One of the problems with Microsoft Publisher, at least in its 2013 (v.15) version, is that having a default automatic setting for its Draw Text Box function is only partly possible.
While one can partly set this up via this official solution, and have the two-column choice ‘stick’, still the vital and related Column Spacing setting never ‘sticks’…
I always want 0.18, not the default 0.08 columns spacing. But the setting just won’t stick, and I used to have to adjust it manually every time I laid down a text box. Nor does changing the underlying Page Design | Grid | Grid and Baseline Guides… make any difference to this lack of ‘stickiness’.
The solution is to avoid such things altogether, and instead use Insert | Page Parts. To do this you first make a custom Page Part from a Text Box you’ve just drawn. This is how you do it…
1) Top menu tabs | Home | Draw Text Box. Draw and nudge the new text box until it’s exactly how you want it on the page.
2) Adjust the text box’s columns and column spacing. I use 2 and 0.18, as seen in the picture above.
3) Also adjust the box’s font type and size. These settings will also be saved into the Page Part.
4) Now carefully right-click on the outermost edge-line of your completed Text Box. Choose “Save as Building Block…” from the right-click menu…
For our purposes, a Building Block is the same thing as a Page Part. Which is a little confusing.
5) Choose a memorable name for the Page Part you’ve about to save, and save it for the General section of the Page Parts window. These choices will make it easier to find when you want it.
To use the new ‘Page Part’ containing your pre-configured Text Box, you now go to: Top Menu | Insert | Page Parts.
The text box then instantly drops itself straight onto the page, all set up.
However, if you have a double-page spread, the Page Part does not ‘know’ which of the two pages you want the part placed on. So it will appear directly centred in the middle of the spread.
One possible solution to this additional problem, for those working with magazine and newsletter layouts, is to set up a Page Part for twin Text Boxes. Placing this combo Page Part then brings the twin Text Boxes in. But they’ll be “Grouped”, and it’s then more than a little fiddly to “Ungroup” them, which rather makes the whole process pointless. Frankly, for those with creative and art-directed layouts it’s easier to go with the single-page option, and then manually grab and re-position the Text Box.
Finally, the other additional problem is that a colour-matching widget appears just outside the bottom right of such a Page Part, offering to “Match Publication Color”. If you click this option, any text in the text box vanishes! It’s not just that the text is made white, and thus seems to blend with the page background. It’s just erased. Not good. But it’s easy enough to ignore the widget, though.
That’s it. Enjoy your new time-saving insta-box!