Text Wrap in InDesign performs the function that Text Runaround does in Quark, with more power and precision
Recently, a correspondent at Yahoo’s Graphic Design Resource Group asked a question about text runaround in InDesign. The questioner, a long-time QuarkXPress layout artist, wanted to know where runaround was in InDesign, but couldn’t find it. Coming from a Quark experience, this is understandable. Despite the fact that Quark and InDesign do, in the main, the same things, in terms of terminology they are both very different in spots, and this is one of them.
Specifically speaking, what Quark called text runaround, InDesign calls text wrap. And, in wide divergence with Quark, it is not available through a CMD-B(CTRL-B) keyboard shortcut to the text frame’s modify properties dialog. With InDesign, Adobe actually evolves this elementary function to a new level by giving it a palette of its own with quick access to its several powerful functions.
What follows is a basic roadmap to the Text Wrap palette-how to get there, and what to do with it once you’ve arrived.
First, when in InDesign, check to see if the palette is already displayed in your collection. If not, there are two ways to make it appear: first, by menu (In InDesign 2 do Window>Text Wrap, and in IDCS do Windows>Type & Tables>Text Wrap). There is a keyboard shortcut, which in both versions is the same (Mac CMD-OPT-W, Win CTRL-ALT-W).
The palette presents all the text wrap options in an upfront, icon-driven way. The top five buttons govern the sort of text wrap used (None, Around Bounding Box, Around Object Shape, Jump Object, and Jump to Next Column); a checkbox at the end of this row allows the user to invert the text wrap, or to bring the text inside the graphic rather than keep it off. The four data entry boxes below govern text inset or outset, this being the actual amount of distance between the text and the image (inset is specified by inputting a negative number, making it possible for the image to overlap the text).
The lower half of the palette provides controls for working with the Around Object Shape wrapping option, and is only active if that option is selected. The chief feature is a drop-down, which contains the following options: Bounding Box, which wraps based on the imported object’s height and width; Detect Edges, which uses InDesign’s automatic edge detection to determine the wrap boundary; Alpha Channel, which allows choosing among alpha channels that may have been in saved in the image during creation ; Photoshop Path, which uses any paths that may have been saved with the image; Graphic Frame, which uses the frame’s boundaries to specify wrap; and Same as Clipping, utilizing whatever may be set in InDesign’s Clipping Path options dialog.
The inset/offset is also graphically changeable. This is a particularly powerful aspect of Text Wrap. With the Direct Select tool active, clicking on the box causes the text wrap boundary to appear; it looks like a very fine path, and can be readily found and identified by the handles. Not only does it look like a path, it can be handled like one and, with the pen tool, points can be added and subtracted and converted from corner points into Bezier points for just about any shape the designer desires.
Text Wrap requires perhaps a bit more of a learning curve than Quark’s runaround feature, but that learning pays off in a feature that provides more control and precision in its features.
About the author: Samuel John Klein is a freelance graphic and web designer in the process of being unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Email contact and examples of work can be found at The SunDial Earth Station.