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Understanding text wrap

From: InDesign CS6 Essential Training

Video: Understanding text wrap

How do you get text to run around something else on your page? For example, I'll zoom in here, and I would really like this text to wrap around this guy's head. How can I do that? Well, I need the Text Wrap panel, and I can find that in the Window menu. I'll choose Text Wrap, I'll select the image that I want to cause the wrap, and then I'm going to choose one of these Text Wrap options. But first, I want to point out that this image is actually underneath the text frame. That's okay; InDesign can do Text Wrap whether the image is behind the frame, or on top of it.

Understanding text wrap

How do you get text to run around something else on your page? For example, I'll zoom in here, and I would really like this text to wrap around this guy's head. How can I do that? Well, I need the Text Wrap panel, and I can find that in the Window menu. I'll choose Text Wrap, I'll select the image that I want to cause the wrap, and then I'm going to choose one of these Text Wrap options. But first, I want to point out that this image is actually underneath the text frame. That's okay; InDesign can do Text Wrap whether the image is behind the frame, or on top of it.

The first button in the Text Wrap panel means no wrap. There's no Text Wrap going on right now. If I click the second button, it means wrap around the graphic frame; the whole frame. Now, that's probably appropriate when you have a rectangular image, but in this case, it completely doesn't work. So I want the third button: wrap around the object's shape. It doesn't look like anything changed here, but technically, InDesign is now wrapping around the shape of the object. Unfortunately, the object is the image itself, and the image is a rectangle.

Images are always rectangular, so we need to tell InDesign, don't wrap around the image; wrap around what's inside the image. That is, the figure of this person's head. We can find that by changing the Contour Options pop-up menu. Right now it's set to Same as Clipping. This image doesn't have a clipping path, so that doesn't help us. We could choose Graphic Frame, and that definitely wouldn't help us, because the frame is a big rectangle too. No; what we want is Alpha Channel, or Detect Edges. Detect Edges asks InDesign to find the edge around this person's head.

But in this case, we have an Alpha Channel. Alpha Channel is a technical way of saying the transparency. This image has transparency. It's obvious; you can see right behind him, so we can choose Alpha Channel. As soon as we choose that, we can see that the text wraps around the Alpha Channel of the image. This thin red line is the text wrap contour. It's slightly pushed away from his head, because there's a value applied here in the Text Wrap panel. Right now it's set to 3.175 millimeters.

If I set this down to 0, and hit Enter, you can see that it goes all the way in to the edge of his hair. That's too tight, so let's bring it out. If I bring it to 10 millimeters, it's way out here away from him. That's too wide, so let's bring it back to about 3 millimeters. The cool thing about this text wrap contour is that we can actually edit it manually if we need to. We'll do that by choosing the Direct Selection tool, and as soon as we do that, we see all the points on that path. Obviously, moving those one at a time is really a hassle, so you're not going to want to do that a lot, but it's nice that you could. And you'll see that as soon as you do that, the Contour Type changes to User-Modified Path.

Okay; let's look at some of the other options in the Text Wrap panel. I'm going to pan over here, so that I can see this image, and I'll drag this image, with the Selection tool, onto my page. There we go; on top of this text. I'm going to scale this down a little bit, or I'll resize this a little bit, so I can see text flows on both the left side, and the right side. That's a little bit weird. A lot of people don't like having the text flow on both the left and the right side. But you can control that by going to the Text Wrap panel, and change Wrap To, from Both Right & Left Sides, to just the Right, or just the Left Side.

However, the option that I usually use is Largest Area. Largest Area is nice, because if I move this a little bit to the left, there's more area on the right, and so the text flows there. If I move this over to the right, then it flows around the left side of the image. You can see this thin red line in a rectangle around that. Again, that's the text wrap contour, and sometimes we want to have more text wrap on one side than the other. To do that, go to Text Wrap panel, turn off this little link icon, and then you can set the left, right, top, and bottom separately.

For example, I'll change the bottom to 0. Now the text flows a little bit closer. Okay; what are these last two buttons in the Text Wrap panel? Well, the first one means Jump over the Object. That means there should never be any text on the left or the right side. Whenever I move this, you'll see that the text flows right over it. It jumps right over it. The last button means skip to the next column. In this case, it's forcing the text right out of that text frame, but if I move this to the left column, you'll see the text goes up to it, and then forces it into the next column.

I find that both of these options -- the jump over, or push to the next column -- are really most helpful when laying out books. So it's great that text wrap forces text to run around an object, but sometimes it can get you into trouble. I'm going to move down here to the lower right corner of this page, and I can see that I have a caption, and I'm going to move that caption down on top of the image. What happened? Where did the caption go? Well, I can see that there's a little red overset mark here, which means that all of that text was forced out of the frame.

The reason is, this image has text wrap. I need the text wrap to be on, because I don't want this text up here to flow on top of the image, but I don't want the text wrap to affect the caption here. Fortunately, InDesign let's you make an exception to text wrap. So while this text frame is selected, I'll go to the Object menu, and choose Text Frame Options, and one of the options hiding in here is Ignore Text Wrap. When I turn that on, and click OK, this text frame will never be affected by text wrap on my page.

Now, these text wrap features do take some getting used to, but I love the way that the text wrap feature let's me precisely manage where my text will and won't flow on the page.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign CS6 Essential Training

113 video lessons · 81091 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 23s
    1. What is InDesign?
      1m 23s
  2. 2m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 38s
  3. 21m 19s
    1. Getting started
      3m 33s
    2. Adding or editing text
      3m 23s
    3. Adding or replacing graphics
      4m 31s
    4. Moving objects around
      4m 55s
    5. Printing and creating a PDF
      4m 57s
  4. 26m 6s
    1. Exploring the application window
      6m 25s
    2. Navigating and magnifying pages and objects
      6m 24s
    3. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 35s
    4. Working with panels
      3m 58s
    5. Setting the view quality of artwork
      2m 31s
    6. Adjusting view and preview settings
      4m 13s
  5. 27m 52s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 39s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      4m 2s
    3. Saving for CS4 and CS5 with IDML
      2m 24s
    4. Setting the margin and column guides
      4m 29s
    5. Putting ruler guides on the page
      5m 7s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 11s
  6. 23m 37s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      4m 32s
    2. Changing page size
      4m 38s
    3. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 18s
    4. Overriding master page items
      2m 43s
    5. Adding page numbering
      2m 22s
    6. Changing page numbering with sections
      4m 4s
  7. 52m 47s
    1. Understanding text frames
      3m 38s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 48s
    3. Inserting special characters
      4m 1s
    4. Importing text
      3m 47s
    5. Threading text frames
      3m 12s
    6. Setting text frame columns
      4m 31s
    7. Setting text inset and vertical justification options
      3m 48s
    8. Allowing text frames to grow and shrink
      4m 5s
    9. Putting text on a path
      5m 50s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      5m 10s
    11. Checking spelling
      5m 12s
    12. Using Find/Change
      4m 45s
  8. 28m 19s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 20s
    2. Using the Links panel
      7m 17s
    3. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 10s
    4. Fitting graphics to the frame
      5m 1s
    5. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 31s
  9. 35m 49s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 2s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      5m 6s
    3. Colorizing images
      1m 59s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 4s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      3m 33s
    6. Using other transparency effects
      5m 15s
    7. Copying and formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      5m 59s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 51s
  10. 18m 34s
    1. Creating color swatches
      4m 33s
    2. Understanding the danger and power of unnamed colors
      5m 46s
    3. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 53s
    4. Applying gradients
      4m 22s
  11. 15m 27s
    1. Editing frame and path shapes
      5m 8s
    2. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      4m 8s
    3. Making polygons and starbursts
      1m 59s
    4. Creating text outlines
      4m 12s
  12. 37m 56s
    1. Positioning objects with the Gap tool
      3m 54s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 5s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      5m 27s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 33s
    5. Grouping and locking objects
      3m 10s
    6. Nesting objects
      3m 23s
    7. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 20s
    8. Understanding text wrap
      5m 51s
    9. Using anchored objects
      6m 13s
  13. 26m 16s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 37s
    2. Collecting, conveying, and placing content
      8m 58s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 22s
    4. Scaling objects
      4m 21s
    5. Skewing objects
      1m 8s
    6. Mirroring objects
      3m 50s
  14. 24m 19s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 31s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 28s
    3. Changing case
      3m 23s
    4. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      5m 3s
    5. Using Find Font
      3m 54s
  15. 32m 51s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 4s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      2m 10s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      1m 52s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 26s
    5. Setting tabs
      7m 36s
    6. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 23s
    7. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 10s
    8. Numbering paragraphs
      6m 10s
  16. 19m 47s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 10s
    2. Using character styles
      4m 45s
    3. Editing and redefining styles
      2m 20s
    4. Using object styles
      2m 47s
    5. Applying styles with Quick Apply
      3m 45s
  17. 39m 59s
    1. Creating a table
      4m 29s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      4m 36s
    3. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      3m 0s
    4. Formatting a table
      4m 32s
    5. Formatting cells
      6m 2s
    6. Applying table styles
      5m 33s
    7. Placing graphics in cells
      3m 1s
    8. Importing Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 46s
  18. 16m 45s
    1. Building a multi-document book
      7m 27s
    2. Creating "continued on..." jump lines
      3m 51s
    3. Constructing a table of contents (TOC)
      5m 27s
  19. 23m 8s
    1. Exporting EPUBs
      6m 12s
    2. Creating an interactive PDF
      12m 49s
    3. Building a Flash SWF
      4m 7s
  20. 28m 1s
    1. Checking a document with the Preflight panel
      5m 26s
    2. Packaging for output
      3m 34s
    3. Using the Print dialog box
      4m 52s
    4. Printing a small booklet
      2m 46s
    5. Exporting a PDF
      7m 56s
    6. Exporting text
      3m 27s
  21. 1m 25s
    1. Next steps
      1m 25s

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