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In this chapter we are going to talk about Text Wraps and how to get good quality Text Wraps in InDesign. Starting out with a basic Text Wrap around a bounding box, and that's what I have here. I am going to come to my Text Wrap panel. For all intents and purposes, we have three different types of Text Wrap. And they are, No text wrap, i.e., the picture just lands on top of the text or the text goes on top of the picture; Wrap around bounding box, which is the option we are currently looking at; and Wrap around object shape, which we use when we want to wrap text around in a regular shape.
There are these two other options, Jump object, and Jump to next column. And they are seldom used, but they do this. If I do that it's going to literally jump the whole of the object, and this one would then push all of the text after the Text Wrap into the next column. When you specify a Text Wrap, you also specify its Offset, and that's this value right here. When the chain is unbroken, all four sides of the Offset will be the same. What's tricky about Text Wraps is having the Offset look optically even.
The best way to achieve this and really the only foolproof way to achieve it is to combine your use of Text Wraps with the use of a baseline grid and to make sure that the Text Wrap Offset amount us equal to the baseline grid increment, more on that later. For now, let's just look at the issue of when we are creating a Text Wrap around the straight sided object as we are here, is it best to use left align text or justified text? Well, both can present challenges.
Of course, when you are placing an object within your column, you are narrowing your column. When you on narrowing your column, you are more likely to get uneven word spacing. That problem is probably more noticeable with justified text. However, working with justified text and Text Wraps has one distinct advantage. And that is that it creates a more even wrap around the objects. You'll see over here on the right-hand side the text is left aligned, but in the first column we have a very ragged wrap around the object.
So it's not accentuating the contours of the object. And if I come to my Layers panel, I can turn on this extra layer, and I will turn off layer 1. We can see that those are the different shapes that our Text Wraps are creating, a nice even shape when using justified text, and a ragged shape on one of our four sides when using left aligned text. I am going to move to the next page, and we are going to look at some of the other issues involved.
Let's now have a look at some of the Wrap Options. Typically you want to wrap to both left and right-hand sides, and that's what's going on here. In the case of this image I am using an Alpha Channel, which means that InDesign is using the Alpha Channel that is embedded in the document to determine the shape of the wrap. Now that Alpha Channel is only in there because I, the user, or somebody else, put it in there. Let's just go and take a look at this document in Photoshop.
So I am going to come to my Links panel, and I am going to right-click on that choose Edit With > Photoshop CS6. And there we see the document, and this document has a layer mask included with it, and it's that layer mask that InDesign is recognizing and using to create text wrap offset. If you do not have a layer mask embedded in the document, and you don't feel confident about creating one in Photoshop, you do have the option of choosing Detect Edges, but the result that you will get will be very unpredictable, and unless the image is against a solid and contrasting color with a good deal of contrast around the edges of the image, then the Detect Edges option probably won't give you what you are after.
As well as recognizing an Alpha Channel, InDesign would if there were one in the document recognize a Photoshop Path. So Photoshop Paths and Alpha Channels are two different approaches to cutting out or isolating the image. There may be times when you want to wrap to the left or the right side of the image, and that's what I have done here with our friend Ducky. Because sometimes--and this is one of the things we need to watch out for when using Text Wraps--we can create islands of text that gets stranded around the object.
And there are different ways to avoid this, but a quick fix in this case would be just to choose to wrap to the left side, and that's going to move that text out of the way of the right side of the object. Some other considerations. This is almost always a bad idea, placing an image in a single column of text and then wrapping text around it. And the reason it's a bad idea, and InDesign is not going to stop you from doing it-- in fact, it has one preference that will slightly change the result that you'll get when doing exactly this.
But I would say it's not a good idea because your reader is more likely-- if they were on this line, for example-- they are more likely to go down here to read the next line in this column than jump the image to read across the column. So when you are working with Text Wraps, you are usually working with multiple columns or you are offsetting the image and something like that would be a far more effective treatment.
So there we have the basics of working with Text Wraps, the different types of Text Wraps, setting the Offset amount, determining the Wrap options, and just an aesthetic consideration about not placing an image wholly within a single column of text and then putting a Text Wrap on that image.
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