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I can answer question 1, at least.
Object > Content
From there, you can choose Text, Graphic or Unassigned.
I don't really understand the second question, though. Screen shots might help.
(1) Cut the text out of the Text Frame (select All and Edit > Cut). Then select the frame with the Selection tool and choose Object > Content > Unassigned
Thank you so much!!! That is going to save me a lot of time. I also went into Edit > Preferences > Type and unchecked "Typetool Converts Frames to Text Frames." That helped a lot
Thank you too, Steve!