Navigate the Functions and Multiple Uses of Text Wrap

show more Understanding text wrap provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by David Blatner as part of the InDesign CS5 Essential Training show less
please wait ...

Understanding text wrap

How do you get text to run around something else on your page? For example on this left page I don't want the text to run on top of this image. I want that image to kind of push the text away. Now I could just drag the bottom of the text frame up so that it's above the image, but it's actually more efficient for me to use text wrap. Some people call text wrap runaround but I'm going to call it text wrap, because that's the name of the panel in InDesign which you can find under the Window menu. The Text Wrap panel lets you control exactly where text should flow and where it shouldn't.

In this case I am going to select the image in the background and I'm going to see that the first button in the Text Wrap panel is selected. That means no text wrap at all. But if I click on the second button, it means wrap around the frame. That's exactly what I wanted. You'll see the text no longer can go on top of this object. Now, I need to point out something important here. This image is actually behind the text frame and that's different than it works in QuarkXPress. In XPress the wrapping object has to be on top of the text frame, but here it can be below or above the frame.

Now if that freaks you out, if you don't like that very much, you can change that in the Preferences dialog box by going to the InDesign menu on Mac or the Edit menu in Windows and choose Composition. In the Composition pane of the Preferences dialog box there is an option for Text Wrap Only Affects Text Beneath. You might as well just call that the "make it work like QuarkXPress" feature there. I do not use that. I don't like it at all and I'm not going to turn it on. First of all, because it will stop the text wrap working in this document and second of all because I usually want my text above my images, especially if I'm using transparency. Because you want text above your transparency whenever possible.

So I leave that off but I at least wanted to let you know that it does exist. Once I have done that I see a problem. The caption for this image is overset. See that little red plus sign? That text won't fit in that frame, and in fact no matter how big I make that frame it still won't fit. Why? Well, because there is text wrap affecting it. Let me undo that with Cmd +Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows. The text wrap of the image below is affecting the caption and that's a problem. I want to see my caption of course.

So I need to tell InDesign that this frame should not be affected by text wrap, and I could do that by selecting the frame, so it has nothing to do with the image. I select the text frame and then go to the Object menu and choose Text Frame Options or Cmd+B or Ctrl+B. Look at this checkbox, Ignore Text Wrap. That sounds like it's exactly what I want. So I turn that on, click OK and we can see that suddenly the overset is gone and the caption shows up. All right, let's apply a little bit more text wrap. I'm going to apply the same text wrap over to this big image behind here, here we go, make that text wrap around that frame and I also wanted to apply text wrap to these images here.

I of course don't want the text to be flowing over those images. So to do that I need to select the images. They are actually behind these text frames so the easiest way for me to do that is to click between these frames, kind of right in the gutter there. I'm going to click and then Shift+Click and then Shift+Click and I've got all three images. And let's go ahead and apply the same text wrap, wrap around the frames. Now, when I do that I get some controls that highlight the middle of this panel and these let me control how far should the text wrap away from those objects.

If I want the text to be pushed further away I can simply increase the values here. For example, I'll make this go up to maybe 0.2 inches. I'll press Tab and notice that all of these fields are linked together. That's because the Link icon is turned on in the panel here. If I want there to be more space on the right than on the left I'll click that button. That breaks the link, and now I can change this value so maybe on the left side I want 0.125 inches instead. Hit Enter. And now I've got less space on the left than I do on the right.

Let's drag this vector image down here on top of this frame, right over there, and I'm going to zoom in on this with a Cmd+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows, and I'm going to see that I'd like to have some text wrap around it. I don't want the text going on top of it. So let's look at some of these other options in the Text Wrap panel. The one we've been looking at forces of the text to wrap around the frame. Even though that's in this case a rectangular shape, so that's not really handy, I'm going to skip past the third on and show you the fourth and fifth. The fourth button means jump over the frame, jump over the offending object so that I have text above it and below it, but not on the left or right sides.

The last button forces the text to skip to the next column so I will not have any text wrap to the left or right or below the image. But none of those suit this situation. I want the text to wrap around it in kind of a circle. So I'm going to click on button number three, wrap around the content of the frame. Now, it doesn't look right, does it? It's not the effect that I'm looking for. The reason has to do with the Contour Options, and let's look down here at this pop-up menu. The Contour Options pop-up menu is currently set to Same as Clipping.

Now if this actually had a clipping path, it would work. If this were an image that had transparency like a Photoshop or a pixel image that had transparency, it would work. But it does not work well at all with these kinds of vector images, like images from Illustrator. In these situations, I need to change the Contour Options from Same as Clipping to Detect Edges. That's telling InDesign to go in and look for the edges, look for what's white in here and make me a text wrap that's applicable. So this is getting closer, but we still have a little bit of work to do here.

The Wrap Options pop-up menu lets me control where the text will wrap. Right now, it's set to Both Right & Left Sides. That's why I'm seeing text on both sides of the image. Generally, you want to push it one side or the other, and you have various options here. Perhaps you want it just on the right side or just the left side. The option I usually choose though is Largest Area. Largest Area means in this case it'll be on the left side but if I move this image to the left side of the column the text would go around the right side. Wherever the largest amount of space is the text will flow.

Now we're really getting close, but I'd like to move the text a little bit farther away. So I'm going to move the text wrap to about a quarter of an inch. That pushes it a little bit farther away from the graphic. Notice that I only have one field to control here. That's because when you are wrapping around a shape like this circle, there is no top, bottom, left and right. There is just, how far do you want to push away in all directions. Now I want to point out something else here too. Look at this red line around my graphic. That's my text wrap line. I can actually see where the wrap is.

Where InDesign made the text wrap when I chose Detect Edges. You only see that when you have the image selected inside the frame. For example, if I choose Select Container, that goes away. Now the frame is selected, not the image. I can drag this around and you can see that the text wrap works, flowing around the proper side of the image, and when I drag it to the right side the text flows around the left side again. But I see that there's just too much space here below the image. This is a classic problem with text wrap in InDesign.

Some day Adobe is going to figure this out, but in the meantime they leave it up to us to edit the text wrap manually to get it to exactly the way we want it. To edit the text wrap, to really fine- tune that path, you need to have the image selected, so you can see it. So I'll click on the Select Content button here. Now I see the red line and then you need to use either the Pen tool or the white arrow tool. I'm going to click the white arrow, the Direct Selection tool first, and you can see that this lets me come in here and fine-tune every point on that Bezier path.

As I move it, the text wrap changes. Now I'll hit the P key to switch to the Pen tool because this will let me actually remove points from here. I'll click on that point to delete it, click on a couple of more points here to delete those, hit A to switch back to the Direct Selection tool and then move this point up. You generally need to move it higher than you'd expect in order for the text to move around the bottom of an image. Telling InDesign where you want your text to flow and where you don't want it to flow is in an essential part of good layout. Text Wrap makes that process easy.

Understanding text wrap
Video duration: 8m 13s 10h 33m Beginner


Understanding text wrap provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by David Blatner as part of the InDesign CS5 Essential Training

please wait ...