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Using anchored objects

From: InDesign CS6 Essential Training

Video: Using anchored objects

This graphic has been placed on my page, and given a text wrap, so that text flows right past it. If I double-click in this text to switch to the Type tool, I can drag over it, and you can see that the text is one stream, right over the image. It looks pretty good right now, but what if I need to edit the text? It's imperative that that graphic and the caption underneath it stay together. But if I come over here and just grab some text and delete it, well, we have problems. The text moved, but the graphic didn't. How can we tell the picture to move along with the text? Well, to do that we need an inline, or an anchored object.

Using anchored objects

This graphic has been placed on my page, and given a text wrap, so that text flows right past it. If I double-click in this text to switch to the Type tool, I can drag over it, and you can see that the text is one stream, right over the image. It looks pretty good right now, but what if I need to edit the text? It's imperative that that graphic and the caption underneath it stay together. But if I come over here and just grab some text and delete it, well, we have problems. The text moved, but the graphic didn't. How can we tell the picture to move along with the text? Well, to do that we need an inline, or an anchored object.

Let me undo what I just did with a Command+Z, or Control+Z, and I am going to turn this object into an inline object. To do that, I am first going to give it its own line to sit on. So I'm going to click at the end of this paragraph, and just press a Return. I want that graphic to be on that line, as though it were text. To do that, I am going to choose the Selection tool, click on the image itself, and cut it to the clipboard. Now I am going to switch back to the Type tool, place the cursor inside that blank line, and paste.

When you cut or copy with the Selection tool, and then paste with the Type tool, the object becomes an inline object; it's sitting there right on that paragraph. Now, it doesn't look quite right, of course, and that's because this paragraph has an absolute leading. I talk about leading in a later chapter, but for right now, I am just going to point out that I can drag over that line with the Type tool, and change the leading here in the control panel from an absolute 15 to an Auto leading. Auto leading is great for inline objects, because it says, just take however much space you need; I'll move the text around to make it fit.

Also, I am going to make this paragraph centered by going to the right side of my control panel, and clicking on the center alignment button. That looks much better. Now this object is inline, so if I make that same kind of edit, like taking out a bunch of text, it flows with the text. If I add text -- I'll just type a bunch of gibberish here -- you'll see that as I'm typing, it's moving down. Let's look at another example. I am going to press Option+Page Down, or Alt+Page Down, to go to my next spread, and I'm going to zoom in on this part of this page.

I have an object out here in the margin, and I'd like to make that an inline object. I want to put it right into this paragraph up here. Instead of using the cut and paste method, I am going to show you a slightly different method. See this little blue box in the upper right corner? If I hold down the Shift key on my keyboard, and drag that box into the text, you'll see a black line show up wherever I drag. That black line means this is where it's going to be anchored, or placed inline, as soon as I let go of the mouse button. For example, if I put it right before this word, Memling, you will see that it gets anchored, or inline right there.

Let me pan down a little bit, so we can see this better. Now, in this case, I want the object to be really small, like a little icon before that word, so I'm going to drag this down to be the proper size. Once again, I am going to switch back to the Type tool, place my cursor in the text, and just type a little gibberish. That icon moves along with the text, because it really acts as though it were a single character in the flow. But what if I don't want that object inline inside the text moving around? What if I want to have it outside of the text frame, in the margin where it was originally? To do that, I need to turn it into an anchored object; not an inline object.

I am going to press Command+Z or Control+Z a few times to go back to where it was before I anchored it, and I am going to move it into position. Now, instead of holding down the Shift key while I drag the little anchor box, I'm simply going to drag the anchor box with no modifier key. I still get that little black bar, but it does something different. I am going to let go of this right before the word V, at the beginning of the paragraph, and when I do that, you'll see that that little blue box turns into an anchor icon. That anchor icon says that it's an anchored object in the text flow, and its anchored right into that position I placed it, before the T.

While inline objects can only be inside of a text frame, an anchored object can go anywhere I want. I can drag this anywhere; outside the frame, inside the frame, doesn't matter, and the cool thing is, as I type in here -- I'll just type a bunch of gibberish -- you'll see that that thing keeps moving down. It's anchored to that position in the text. If I delete all of that, it moves back up. Now I am going to use the Selection tool to drag a little bit further in, so it's covering up some of that text. I obviously don't want it to cover up the text entirely, so I'll go to the Window menu, choose Text Wrap, and turn on text wrap for that object.

I want the text to flow around the object, so that I can see the icon, and the text. Well, the text wrap is doing something very strange here. This is a quirk in InDesign. You just have to understand how it's going to work, and you can work around it. When you apply a text wrap to an anchored object in InDesign, you have to understand that it only applies to lines after the line that it's anchored in. So in this case, this icon is anchored before that letter T, and so it will not apply to that whole line. It does apply to all the lines after it, but it doesn't apply to that line, or any lines before where it's anchored.

So if I want this to work, I need to reposition the anchored object, and I am going to do that by dragging that little anchor icon out, and I am going to put it at the end of the previous paragraph. Technically, it's anchored after this word, Ursula, but it's still positioned out here. So as this text is edited, the icon will continue to flow with it, but it text wraps properly. One last thing I should point out about these anchored objects. and that's how to get them unanchored again. To do that, I simply select the Anchored Object, go to the Object menu, and choose from the Anchored Object submenu, Release.

That object is now no longer anchored in the text. Now, there is a lot more you can do with anchored and inline objects in your documents, but the important thing is to see that you can quickly set up these relationships between text and objects.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign CS6 Essential Training

113 video lessons · 81495 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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