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Where Is My Text? Text Disappears When Over Background Object

A. wrote:

I’m trying to add a text box on top of a “design” box. The text doesn’t show when it is over the “object” but if I drag it off I can see it. Any ideas?

This is a very common problem and can be very confusing if you’re not expecting it. The object under (0r over) the text frame probably has text wrap turned on.

You have two options. If you want to disable the text wrap entirely, you can select the object (the picture or background frame or whatever), choose Window > Text Wrap, and click the first button.

Alternatively, you can tell InDesign that this particular text frame (the one you want to put over the image/background) should not be affected by text wrap. To do that, select the text frame, choose Object > Text Frame Options (or press Cmd/Ctrl-B) and turn on the Ignore Text Wrap checkbox.

Knowing when text wrap is affecting your object can mean the difference between a happy day and a day spent banging your head against a wall.

All that said, there could also be one other explanation: The text might have align to baseline grid turned on. If that’s the case, then pulling the text frame onto the pasteboard would allow it to appear, as noted in this other great article.

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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81 Comments on “Where Is My Text? Text Disappears When Over Background Object

  1. I’ve been stuck on this issue for a week. I couldn’t find anything online. I just about gave up and was going to change my design and I came across this and it worked. I never would have thought of this option on my own. Thank’s a bunch!

  2. And what do you do when the text wrap option being turned off in the text box makes no difference and you cannot even switch off text wrap in the coloured box? That’s what I’m stuck with.

  3. Thanks for the help. I was head-banging trying to figure out why I could not place a text box, and you provided the simple solution.

  4. I’m having the same issue in ID cc 2017. Neither suggestion worked. I see nothing in Layers panel. I have a simple rounded rectangle w/ 3 smaller text frames laid a top. I’m only able to type text on the first few lines, then I can’t type any more and the “O” OpenType properties and not available message displays. Please help I am a total newby and really discouraged that I can’t even type in a simple text frame.

    • Same issue here. I can type a few words and then the + shows up to link text to a new text frame, but I’m far from filling the one I have.

  5. Yah! I got it. But if I want to make a background design of my text (Whole Page) at the same time, want to use text wrapping on another inserted (small) picture? It doesn’t work anymore because the text wrap was already turned off. is there any option?

    • Try this of InDesign CC201 if you need to have a text box with a floated image above the background.

      Click on the image and open the Text Wrap option in the tools panel. (You may have to select Text Wrap from the window menu item.)

      There is an option labeled Invert. Click this option. This seems to have solve my issue.

  6. Hoping someone can help me. I have random text layers that are still active, but EMPTY. Yes, InDesign 2018 CC has crashed several times since I started this specific project (it is an older file)

    The layers tab still shows the text it should display, it is simply EMPTY. I turn the layers off and on with the eye in the layers menu – NOTHING brings it back.

    I am so stressed out as I have to redo all the text and writing from scratch! And its completely unpredictable. It has happened on at least 5 different pages (not even the ones I am working on!) of a 44 pages document.

    I tried exporting the entire file to PDF just to see if the text is still there, but it is not. Adobe support is closed. Any help is much appreciated. Very worried as the file needs to go to the printer. Its like there is a ghost just randomly making text disappear.

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