Wrapping Text Around an Anchored Object
Do you know how to wrap text around an anchored photo? If I can’t do this, how do I get a photo to anchor to the text around it and wrap the text around it?
Many people know how to paste graphics into text to create inline objects. But they get confused when it comes to handling text wrap. That’s pretty understandable because there are some real complexities to this subject.
There are three “flavors” of anchored objects. If you simply paste or place a graphic into your text where you want the graphic to appear, by default it will become an inline frame. InDesign sees this frame as a single character in the text flow (see below).
If you select the frame with the Selection tool, and choose Object > Anchored Objects > Option, you’ll see that the positioning options are limited. You can only move the inline frame up and down within the current text frame (either by dragging or using the options in the Anchored Object Options dialog).
A second type of anchored object is also shown in the dialog: An Above Line Anchored Frame can be used to place a graphic in a paragraph above the insertion point.
You’ll have the most control over positioning if you choose Custom from the Position pop-up menu in the dialog. This opens a large and potentially confusing set of choices. The options are well explained in InDesign Help and in books like Sandee Cohen’s Visual QuickStart Guide or David Blatner and Ole Kvern’s Real World InDesign. But the important point is that it lets you position your graphic anywhere you want it, either inside or outside the text frame in which you have placed your anchor.
But there’s a shortcut: If you click OK, by default the anchored frame will be placed just to the left of the text frame. You can then drag the graphic with the Selection tool where you’d like it to be positioned.
Text Wrap for Anchored Objects
As you drag the graphic, you will observe the first rule of text wrap for anchored objects: Only the lines following the line where the graphic is anchored will wrap text. The line which contains the anchor won’t wrap. You can see what’s happening better if you turn on a couple of viewing options. If you choose Type > Show Hidden Characters, paragraph returns will show. More importantly, the anchor marker for the graphic appears as a Yen symbol. Then choose View > Show Text Threads (in CS5, it’s View > Extras > Show Text Threads). If you choose the anchored object with the Selection tool, a dashed line connects the anchor marker and the anchored object.
In the example shown above, the text runs around the picture on the lines below the anchor. But how do you get text to wrap on the first line of the paragraph? The answer is to move the anchor. The easiest way is to use the Story Editor. As I pointed out in another posting, one of the best uses of the Story Editor is to view and edit invisible markers. Open the Story Editor, and you can view the markers. Drag the anchor marker to the end of the previous paragraph.
The result is that you can wrap the text on all lines of the paragraph following the anchor marker.
The other limitations of text wrap and anchored objects: (1) Only the story in which you have the anchor is affected by text wrap options. (2) If you anchor an object inside a table cell, text wrap is ignored.
One more tip to speed to process of formatting anchored objects: Create an Object Style. After positioning the graphic relative to the anchor, choose the anchored graphic with the Selection tool. Then create a new Object Style. In the Object Style Options dialog box, Anchored Object Options is one of the panels. Use this to quickly format other anchored graphics.