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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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