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Indesign Text Wrap

     Those familiar with other word processing programs often ask how Indesign deals with text wrap , that is wrapping your text around a placed graphic or element like a pull quote. This is a very useful feature for improving the look of magazine articles, brochures, and annual reports. The first point to remember is that text wrap is applied to an object, not to the actual body of text. The object may be a diagram, or a chart, a photograph, illustration or the above-mentioned pull quote. The pull quote is a piece of text copied from the article which succinctly summarizes the mood of the article. We usually make this a larger point size and often add a colour, even add a stroke around the text box. And this item is usually placed in the centre of the page, or between columns of existing text.

The text wrapping process entails a few simple steps: first go to the Window drop-down menu at the top of the Indesign interface and select Text Wrap. At this point the Text Wrap panel will open in the centre of your screen. If this is a feature that you’re likely to use on a regular basis you may wish to dock it with the other panels on the right for easy access. We now select the object (the image or graphic) with the Selection tool.

We find several options in the Text Warp dialog box, the first being the default of No Text Wrap. This means that by default text will not recognize the image and will either sit on top of the graphic, or sit behind it, depending on the layer order of the items. This does not look good from a design point of view.

Keep the object selected and select the second icon on the panel, which is Wrap around Bounding Box. Generally speaking, this is the most useful of the set. When selected the text will jump away from the object; a good analogy being as if a magnetic force has been applied to it. Note also that the Offset value buttons below the icons are set to a default of 0mm. This means that whilst the text hugs is now separate from the objects it is still aesthetically lacking. It would look better if we were to add some white space around the object, like breathing space. To do so change the Offset value to between 2-4mm. Also click on the chain link icon to make all settings the same, that is create an equal distance around all four sides of the graphic. It’s now possible to move the graphic object around with the Selection tool and the text will adjust accordingly. It’s now an aesthetic matter of tweaking the position until we achieve the most pleasing appearance.

The third option on the Text Wrap panel is Wrap around Object Shape. This option could be applied well to coloured shapes or more organically-shaped image frames. An example of the former would be header, footer or side-bar items with coloured fills. The fourth icon on the panel is Jump object and will create white space at each side of the object. This could be good for illustrative diagrams. And the last option of Jump to Next Column can equally be used to create some white space after an important section break.

To save time in future these text wrap options could be saved within a template file as an Object Style for consistency of design. However, one pitfall is adding text wrap to a background image, in which case any text placed on top will simply disappear. We can easily note this by the resultant Overset Text icon (red arrow) and the Error message on the bottom of the screen.

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Tom Gillan has been training Indesign to corporate clients in Sydney for seven years. You can learn more about Indesign at Design Workshop Sydney.

Posted on 2016-01-23, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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