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Dragging and dropping anchored objects

From: InDesign CS5.5 New Features Overview

Video: Dragging and dropping anchored objects

Anchored objects provide a way to connect objects, whether they be images, text, or shapes, to an area within text, so that the object will travel with that text if it reflows, for one reason or another. Now anchored objects certainly are not new in InDesign CS5.5. As a matter of fact, they have been around since they were introduced in InDesign CS2. But they have definitely been improved in InDesign CS5.5. Let's take a look. I'm beginning this video with the brochure 2.imdb file open on my computer. And I'm simply going to navigate to page two by double-clicking on the page two Thumbnail in the Pages panel.

Dragging and dropping anchored objects

Anchored objects provide a way to connect objects, whether they be images, text, or shapes, to an area within text, so that the object will travel with that text if it reflows, for one reason or another. Now anchored objects certainly are not new in InDesign CS5.5. As a matter of fact, they have been around since they were introduced in InDesign CS2. But they have definitely been improved in InDesign CS5.5. Let's take a look. I'm beginning this video with the brochure 2.imdb file open on my computer. And I'm simply going to navigate to page two by double-clicking on the page two Thumbnail in the Pages panel.

I'm going to zoom in on this image in the upper left-hand corner of the page. I'm going to hold down Cmd+spacebar on Mac, and Ctrl+spacebar in Windows. I'm just going to click and drag around that area to zoom in on it. Now to help you to understand how this feature has improved, I am going to show you how it has been done traditionally. So you can see that this image if I click on it, you can see that there is a text wrap applied to that particular image.

Now, what this is doing is it's pushing the text away from the object. However, if I were to have added some text up here at the top, and I'm just going to put a couple returns so you can see, when I add text, that text is pushed around this object. So oftentimes, an image or a graphic can lose its context within the flow of the text that surrounds it. So I'm just going to press Cmd+Z on Mac, or Ctrl+Z on Windows to undo that operation.

And I'm going to show you how we traditionally would create an anchored object. So, using my Selection tool, I'm going to click on this image, and I'm actually going to press Cmd+X on Mac, or Ctrl+X on Windows to cut it from the page. Now what am going to do is I'm going to grab my Type tool, insert the cursor where you want the image positioned, and I'm going to press Cmd+V on Mac or Ctrl+V on Windows to paste the object. Like you see what's happening, is that the image is pasted within the text, and as far as InDesign is concerned at this point, it is just a piece of text like any other.

The problem is that at this point the object is covering up some of my text. So what I'm going to do Is, I'm going to click on the image. And I'm going to come up here to the Object menu, and choose anchored object options. And we can see that, right now, the image is placed in line. I'm going to change that to custom. And make sure that my Preview is turned on. And now, I'm able to make some adjustments to this image. So I can increase or decrease the y offset so that it's positioned accordingly within the text. If I scroll down, you can see that this is an anchored object. If I were to add some text up here, at the top, just like I did before, now the image is actually moving with the text.

Now, that is how we traditionally inserted an image as an anchored object. I'm going to show you how InDesign CS 5.5 can really save you a lot of time. I'm going to come up here to the File menu, and I'm going to Choose Revert, and I'm going to revert to that original version of my brochure. Once again, I'm going to navigate to page two. And I'll zoom in on that image in the upper left-hand corner. Now, the way they;ve improved this in InDesign CS5.5 is that if I grab my Selection tool and I click on this image, you're going to notice something new.

You're going to notice that there's now a blue box in the upper righthand corner of this image. And this blue box allows me to simply click and drag to make this object an anchored object. To do this, I'll simply click on this box and drag. Until I see my cursor positioned where I want this object anchored to the text. I'm simply going to release my mouse and instantly this image is anchored to my text. You can see right here is my anchored icon.

And if I scroll up a little bit and do the same thing add afew returns, you can see the images now moving along with my text. You can see how much easier this can be especially if you have a lot of graphics you need to make in-line objects or anchored objects. Am going to press Cmd+Z on Mac or Ctr+Z on Windows to go back to this and now that I have this object anchored I'm going to do the same thing to this image over here. Now I'm going to hide my Pages panel, so I have a little bit more room. This image I would like to be connected to this area of text right here. One thing I want to point out, is that if you hover over that blue square, it actually gives you a little bit of a tool tip, to let you know that to drag an object as an anchored object, simply drag this object into the text to anchor it. You'll also notice that there's a couple more options that we can use. For example, maybe I want to make this an anchored object but I want to open up the dialog box so that I can fine tune its positioning.

So to do that I'm going to hold down the Option key on a mac or the Alt key on Windows and I'm going to click on that blue box and drag it into the area of text where I want it anchored. When I release my mouse, you can see that it immediately displays my Anchored Object Options. So if I wanted to, I have even further control, where I can fine-tune the offsets. I can change the reference points for the image. So, maybe I wanted it to be referenced based on the middle of the image and that will, in turn, move the image up. And that would force me to adjust my y offset so that I can move it back down. So that at least gives me a little bit more control over how this image is going to be anchored within my text.

So I'm going to go ahead and click OK. And I'm going to show you one more option here. And to do this, I'm actually going to turn off Preview mode, so I'll click on the button in the lower left corner of my tools panel. And over here you can see that I have a graphic. And this graphic I would actually like to replace the text that is here, inside of my subhead. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to select this text with my Type tool, and I'm just going to delete it.

And you've probably already seen that as I create an anchored object, by default, it does exactly that, creates an anchored object. In this particular case I can simply create it as an in line object which means it's going to flow in line within the text. So to do this I'm going to click on this graphic over here to the right side of my page. And this time I'm actually going to hold down the Shift key you can see that in the tool tip. If I shift-drag, it will make an inline object.

So while holding the Shift key, I'm going to click on that blue square, and I'm going to drag it next to the word at in my subhead. And you can see that it immediatly makes this an inline object next to the word at within this subhead. Let me zoom in on this by holding Cmd+spacebar on Mac, or Ctrl+spacebar on Windows and I'll switch to my Type tool. And I'm going to position my cursor next to the T. And I'll just simply press the spacebar. The way that an inline object differs from an anchored object, is that, I can literally continue typing after the inline object. So I can press the spacebar again and type the word Snowboard Camp if I want to.

So you can see this object is now inline within my text. So you can see how much easier creating anchored objects is using InDesign CS5.5. If you'r creating a document destined for ePub XHTML, or simply creating a long document destined for print, you'll definitely appreciate the ability to create anchored objects by simply dragging and dropping them into place on your page.

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InDesign CS5.5 New Features Overview

13 video lessons · 421 viewers

Chad Chelius
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