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    Russell Viers is a Transition Expert in the publishing world. Since 1997 he has helped newspapers and magazines adapt to changes in the industry. Read more...

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  • Stop complaining about Text Wrap, will ya?

    April 23rd, 2007 by Russell Viers

    I can almost finally quit complaining about the way InDesign handles Text Wrap. Over the years I’ve gotten used to it and learned the workarounds of what I thought was a poorly designed tool from the get go. But now Adobe has revamped the Text Wrap Pane (palette) so that I only have one complaint left…and I’ll get to that in a bit.
    But for now, let’s celebrate InDesign CS3’s new Text Wrap functions, like the ability to sync all four sides of a bounding box when setting the wrap distance. Remember how you used to have to enter p9…tab…p9…tab…p9…tab…etc. Unless, of course, you are paid by the hour, in which case it’s p9…grab mouse and highlight next box…p9…grab mouse and highlight next box…p9…etc.
    Some of you probably just selected the Wrap Around Object button and set the one value to go on all four sides. This trick was faster, but the corners were rounded and didn’t always give the desired results.
    Well, now it’s fixed.
    Watch the video to see it in action.
    The bigger new feature for me is the ability to have the text flow along only one side of the object it’s wrapping, just like Quark XPress does. But in Adobe’s typical style, they one-upped them by allowing you to select which side the text flows.
    That’s right, you can tell InDesign to flow the text on the right or left side of the object, or to flow where there is the Largest area.
    And for those of you who might do books, you have the nifty choice of having the text flow toward or away from the Spine. This is only offered if you are using the Facing Pages option when building your book.
    You won’t know you can control this unless you look for it, because the default setting is to flow text on Both Right and Left Sides, which is how it has behaved since the beginning. Look for the menu on the Text Wrap Pane.
    There is more subtle fix that many may not feel. This is for the Master Page users in the room.
    Have you ever built a Master Page with an object on the page you want to have force a wrap on the document page. But then when you flowed text onto the corresponding document page it ignored the Text Wrap. Yep. And it wouldn’t recognize the object on the Master Page unless you did an Override on the document page? Frustrating.
    Well, it’s frustrating, no more. Nowadays, with CS3, you can put an object on the Master Page and apply the Text Wrap to it and it will work on the document page automatically. And in case there are a few sick people out there who actually liked the way it behaved for the past seven years, you can change it back in the Text Wrap flyout menu. Just select the object on the Master Page you want to have behave the old way and select Apply to Master Page Only.
    So what is it I still have to complain about? No keyboard shortcut for Ignore Text Wrap. You know what I’m talking about…you want to put a text box over a graphic that has Text Wrap applied to it but the text keeps disappearing. You have to go to Object> Text Frame Options and click on Ignore Text Wrap. It might be a little quicker to hit Cmmd + B (Ctrl + B Windows), but not much. I want a short cut to toggle the Ignore Text Wrap on or off.
    Until Adobe fixes this feature, we have to thank brilliant InDesign mind Dave Saunders for coming up with a script for us that does it. Here it is for you. Just drop this into your scripts folder and assign a shortcut to it and it will do the job.
    If you want it, just go to and either Ctrl + click (Macs) or Right Click (Windows) on the file named ToggleTextWrap.jsx and selectDownload Linked File.
    Well, time to wrap up this article…haaaaaaaa…get it…wrap up this article…Text Wrap…wrap it up…get it…oh, my, that’s funny…wrap it up…sometimes I slay myself…okay…that’s enough.

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