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Using advanced anchored objects


InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics

with David Blatner

Video: Using advanced anchored objects

In the Essential Training title, we looked at how to anchor an object into a particular place in a text story so that if the text moves, the object does too. In this movie, we are going to go deeper into Anchored Objects and decide for InDesign's incredibly confusing Anchored Objects dialog box. I have the Bliss_Magazine file open from the Exercise folder and I am going to jump to page 9 by pressing Command+J or Ctrl+J on Windows, press 9, hit Enter. And it takes me right to this last page of the document and I am going to zoom in on this part of the page. I can see that I have this floating object here.
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  1. 2m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 25m 16s
    1. Reviewing Control panel shortcuts
      8m 34s
    2. Managing panels
      6m 14s
    3. Letting InDesign do the math
      2m 52s
    4. Using Selection tool clicks
      1m 39s
    5. Using Quick Apply shortcuts
      3m 2s
    6. Setting up context shortcuts
      2m 55s
  3. 23m 51s
    1. Using column guides
      3m 42s
    2. Formatting and positioning guides
      5m 15s
    3. Setting first baseline options
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Document grid
      3m 13s
    5. Setting bleeds
      3m 3s
    6. Using slugs
      3m 8s
  4. 47m 57s
    1. Shuffling pages (or not)
      2m 47s
    2. Scaling objects to a specific size
      2m 32s
    3. Aligning objects to a page
      4m 41s
    4. Using advanced libraries
      4m 5s
    5. Using advanced anchored objects
      11m 21s
    6. Setting non-printing objects
      3m 10s
    7. Creating notes
      5m 23s
    8. Using Data Merge
      10m 41s
    9. Creating templates
      3m 17s
  5. 39m 32s
    1. Creating polygons and starbursts
      2m 35s
    2. Setting custom stroke styles
      5m 15s
    3. Using advanced effects
      8m 46s
    4. Making masks in InDesign
      4m 10s
    5. Integrating InDesign and Illustrator
      4m 59s
    6. Setting compound paths
      5m 4s
    7. Using advanced clipping paths
      6m 6s
    8. Using advanced image transparency
      2m 37s
  6. 55m 26s
    1. Using advanced text formatting
      5m 37s
    2. Using other languages
      4m 22s
    3. Setting advanced paragraph numbering
      3m 12s
    4. Using GREP to find/change
      6m 54s
    5. Managing glyphs
      5m 6s
    6. Finding and changing glyphs
      2m 39s
    7. Adding footnotes
      7m 57s
    8. Creating outlines
      3m 39s
    9. Setting conditional text
      9m 16s
    10. Creating cross-references
      6m 44s
  7. 33m 4s
    1. Advanced text importing
      7m 50s
    2. Using Apply Next Style
      5m 4s
    3. Advanced text styling
      6m 9s
    4. Setting load styles
      2m 58s
    5. Linking to text files on disk
      4m 1s
    6. Understanding GREP styles
      7m 2s
  8. 1h 4m
    1. Building a multi-document book
      4m 42s
    2. Setting page numbering across books
      7m 54s
    3. Setting chapter numbering
      6m 7s
    4. Using the Section Marker feature
      6m 53s
    5. Creating "Continued On..." numbers
      4m 44s
    6. Synchronizing documents in a book
      5m 41s
    7. Creating a table of contents
      11m 24s
    8. Indexing documents
      7m 25s
    9. Generating an index
      6m 47s
    10. Printing or exporting a book
      3m 10s
  9. 46m 4s
    1. Creating hyperlinks
      12m 53s
    2. Setting bookmarks
      6m 7s
    3. Creating buttons
      11m 16s
    4. Making movies
      8m 24s
    5. Creating sounds
      4m 51s
    6. Setting page transitions
      2m 33s
  10. 25m 59s
    1. Setting up swatch and style defaults
      3m 24s
    2. Using mixed ink colors
      6m 16s
    3. Working with duotones
      4m 23s
    4. Overprinting
      2m 10s
    5. Ink aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Using the Kuler panel
      4m 56s
  11. 50m 27s
    1. Creating the transparency blend space
      4m 6s
    2. Understanding InDesign color settings
      9m 8s
    3. Assign Profile and Convert to Profile
      3m 26s
    4. Working with RGB images
      7m 54s
    5. Working with CMYK images
      6m 28s
    6. Soft-proofing
      5m 18s
    7. Managing color at print time
      7m 25s
    8. Managing color in a PDF export
      6m 42s
  12. 42m 1s
    1. Embedding preflight profiles
      5m 1s
    2. Using the Transparency Flattener preview
      3m 23s
    3. Reviewing Transparency Flattener settings
      6m 30s
    4. Setting print presets
      3m 35s
    5. Setting PDF presets
      3m 21s
    6. Exporting to XHTML
      7m 42s
    7. Exporting to SWF
      6m 45s
    8. Exporting to XFL
      5m 44s
  13. 25m 58s
    1. Understanding XML and InDesign
      6m 51s
    2. Structuring InDesign content
      4m 17s
    3. Importing XML
      6m 57s
    4. Exporting to XML
      7m 53s
  14. 33s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics
8h 3m Intermediate Dec 05, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

David Blatner brings his knowledge of and passion for InDesign to the latest release of this state-of-the-art publishing program, showing how to harness its power and functionality. InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics covers the process of publishing with an eye on the program's latest nuances: optimizing page layouts, automating InDesign with Data Merge and XML, exploring interactive documents (including making movies), and exporting publications to a variety of formats. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Automating with Data Merge and XML
  • Optimizing page layouts
  • Using advanced effects
  • Creating interactive documents
  • Integrating with Illustrator
David Blatner

Using advanced anchored objects

In the Essential Training title, we looked at how to anchor an object into a particular place in a text story so that if the text moves, the object does too. In this movie, we are going to go deeper into Anchored Objects and decide for InDesign's incredibly confusing Anchored Objects dialog box. I have the Bliss_Magazine file open from the Exercise folder and I am going to jump to page 9 by pressing Command+J or Ctrl+J on Windows, press 9, hit Enter. And it takes me right to this last page of the document and I am going to zoom in on this part of the page. I can see that I have this floating object here.

It's basically a group of objects and I want to anchor it into this text. I will press W to jump out of Preview mode so we can see where the edges of the textframes are and the guides and all of that. While this object is selected, I will cut it to the clipboard, double- click before this W and then paste it into the text flow as an inline object. Now this object will actually flow with the text, because it's part of the text story itself. But let's look at some of the Anchored Object options. I will click on the object itself with the Selection tool, go to the Object menu and choose Anchored Object > Options. The Anchored Object Options dialog box shows us that this is an inline object. That means it will move inline within this single of text. If I put some characters before it, it will move to the right. The only thing you can really do with inline objects is to move them up or down with the wide offset. Right now it's set to zero, but I will click in this field and use the Up and Down Arrow keys to move this up and down within that line.

We can also change this to an above line Anchored Object, and if I choose that, it moves the Anchored Object above this line. Basically, this means that it will always be between this line and the line above it. It completely turns off leading or space before and everything, simply to put the object between these two paragraphs. You have various options for Above Line objects, including setting it to the Left, Center, Right and so on. I am going to choose Center, so we can see that we will put it right in the middle of the text column and then I am going to adjust the Space Before and Space After to make it look a little bit better.

Let's say, I will apply a negative Space Before just to move it up a little bit and a positive Space After just to give it little space around that object. Above Line Anchored Objects are very handy whenever you have an object that you need to make sure always stays between paragraphs, but it does not give you a lot of control to move it outside the boundaries of that textframe. For that, we need custom Anchored Objects. In the Essential Training title, we talked about how you can just choose Custom, click OK and then drag this object wherever you want, even right outside of the textframe. For example, I will drop it out here to the left of the textframe out over this margin guide.

But what if you want to specify the exact position of it, if you want to be more clear about where that thing should be. Well, let's go back to the Anchored Object Options dialog box. I will right-click on this or Ctrl-click with a one-button mouse. Choose Anchored Object Options, and once again we will play around inside this dialog box. The problem is, this thing is really overwhelming. So let's take it one step at a time and before long you will understand what's going on. The first thing you need to decide is whether or not this object should be Relative to Spine. That means should it move depending on whether it's on our right hand page or left hand page.

In this case I always want the object to sit off the left side of the textframe, so I am going to leave that turned off. The next item in this dialog box is Anchored Object. This lets you determine what part of the object you are referring to. For example, right now it's set to the lower left corner of the object. That's this lower left corner here of this group. If I change that to the upper right corner, watch what happens to that object. I will click on the upper right corner and it moves. Why did it move? Because now the Reference Point is the upper right corner. In other words, InDesign is actually placing this corner, this upper right corner, exactly where I tell it to go.

The third section here, Anchored Position, lets us control where that point should be. The Reference Point diagram makes no sense at all until you pay attention to the X Relative or the Y Relative sections below. So let's skip past that and look at the X Relative To pop-up menu. Right now it's set to Text Frame. That means that this Anchored Object is going to be set horizontally based on the position of the textframe itself. What part of the textframe? Well, that's where the Reference Point diagram comes in, based on the center point of the textframe.

In general, I find this dialog box easier to understand if I read it out loud. For example, this is going to assign a position to the upper right corner and it's going to place that upper right corner at -33 millimeters from the center of the textframe. See how that works. If I change this offset to zero and I press Tab, which it just jumped down here, you have to press Tab in order for it to know that you are done typing in that field. Now, it's going to place the upper right corner at zero millimeters from the center of the textframe.

If I change this Reference Point to the left edge, now it's going to put the upper right corner zero millimeters from the left edge of the textframe and that's exactly what is going on here. The upper right corner is zero millimeters. It's right aligned perfectly with the left edge of the textframe. I have other options in the Relative To pop-up menu as well, such as Anchor Marker. That would actually set it to the left edge of the Anchor Marker. See that little Yen symbol there. The Yen symbol is InDesign's way of determining where that Anchored Object is sitting. That's the invisible hidden character there. So I can see that the upper right corner is aligned with that character, the marker right there, which of course, is in the same place as the textframe.

So that doesn't make any difference at all. Let's change this to Page Margin. Now, it's going to be zero millimeters from the left edge of the Page Margin. So it aligns it perfectly at the Page Margin. In this case I really do want it based on the textframe. So I am going to set this to, let's say about 4 millimeters off from the left edge of the textframe. Now let's look at the Y Relative pop -up menu. This lets you control the vertical position of this object. Right now it's set to Line (Baseline), so that means the upper right corner of this object is going to be about 10 millimeters down from the baseline of wherever the line is that the Anchored Object is anchored into. If I set this to zero and I hit Tab, you can see that now the upper right corner is perfectly aligned with the baseline of that line.

You have other options as well, for example, you could set this to a position based on the Page Edge, the whole page itself that is, or the Page Margin or this textframe or the column edge, you have a lot of choices here. I am going to choose Line (Top of Leading), because I want this upper right corner to be aligned with the top of the leading of this first line of the text. Let's look at the Keep within Top/ Bottom Column Boundaries checkbox. This lets you choose whether or not you want your Anchored Object to always stay within the text column. For example, if this text flowed down, down, down, down, down until it was ultimately pushed all the way to the bottom of the text column, do you want this Anchored Object to actually stick out beyond the text column itself? If it's okay to do that, go ahead and turn the checkbox off. But I usually think that looks weird, so I am going to leave that turned on.

The final checkbox here, Prevent Manual Positioning, lets you control whether or not that object should be able to be dragged or moved or resized in any way. If you want to make sure that it stays right where you have set it here in this dialog box, go ahead and turn that checkbox on. In this case I am going to leave it turned off, because I am going to be doing a little bit more tweaking to this object. Now that I have precisely placed this object exactly where I wanted it, I am going to move it so that I can show you a different feature of Anchored Objects. First, I am going to scale this up with the Command+Shift+Drag on this lower left corner or Ctrl+Shift+Drag on Windows and I am going to just drag this over to the right side here, so that it overlaps some of the text a little bit. I am going to apply a Text Wrap to this. So I will need my Text Wrap panel, which is Command+Option+W or Ctrl+Alt+W on Windows. There it is over here, Text Wrap.

Why don't I go ahead and apply a Text Wrap to this whole object? We can see that we are now causing some Text Wrap. As I drag this around, the Text Wrap works over here, but doesn't work over here. What is going on there? Well, this can really drive you crazy if you don't know how InDesign handles Text Wrap in Anchored Objects. InDesign will only apply Text Wrap to the lines after the line on which it's anchored. So it forces all of this text to wrap just the way we wanted to, but it does not apply the text wrap to the line on which it's anchored. It won't apply it to anything above that line either. Let's pan up here and we can see that it has no text wrap capabilities up here, only on lines after the line that it's on.

What do you do if you have a situation where you need the text to wrap around this anchored object? Well, don't put it on that line, put it on a line above that line. So let's say, we want to move this Anchored Object up to the end of this paragraph. You can't just drag it up. We can see that doesn't work. We need to move the Anchor Marker itself. So to do that, I am going to double- click inside the story itself and then I am going to open the Story Editor in order to move things around. You see that little icon here, in the Story Editor, Anchored Objects show up with this icon.

I could select that icon just by dragging over it. Remember, Anchored Objects are just like a character inside your text flow, just drag over it like you would select any other character and then I can drag this up to the previous line using the Drag and Drop feature in Story Editor. Now the Anchored Object is sitting in the previous paragraph and when I close the Story Editor, you can see that it's positioned up a little bit higher. Now, I will just drag it down a little bit to put it into position again and you can see that the Text Wrap is affecting all the lines that I wanted to affect and it's still anchored. So I can double- click in here and I will just delete some text up here and you will see that it's anchored right inside the proper position in this story.

There are two other quick things I need to point out about Anchored Objects. One is if the Anchored Object is kind of far away from the marker inside the story, how do you know where in the story it's anchored? Well, it's easy. You go to the View menu and turn on Show Text Threads. When Show Text Threads is turned on, you can actually see this dashed line that goes from the Reference Point of the Anchored Object to the Anchor Marker itself. The second thing I need to tell you is how do you get something out from being anchored. That too is not a big deal, you could just select it and cut it and paste it some place else if you want to or select it, go to the Object menu, come down to Anchored Object and then choose Release. It leaves it in exactly same position but it's released, it's no longer connected to the text story.

Obviously, it takes a little time to get your head around Anchored Objects and how to use them, but once you do, you will be rewarded. Anchored Objects can be used in so many ways to save you time and effort.

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