So I was giving text variables a go and I noticed some strange behavior with custom text. I went on the help page and found this lovely note about custom text variables:
Text variables do not break across lines.
First of all... why? Is there a way around this odd limitation? I have a document that repeats a lot of the same blocks of text and I reuse it for things that only change slightly and text variables seem perfect, except that they break my layout...
Text variables are a single character, as far as ID is concerned, and that's why they cannot break.
Peter hit the nail on the head. Explains why, but it makes the feature useless for variable text such as live captions, long section markers... any instance where the text needs to be over more than one line.
Can always make it a feature request: fix variable text so it can break across lines: Adobe - Feature Request/Bug Report Form