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InDesign Inline

Anchoring graphics and other elements inside text frames By Dave Nagel
When you're laying out classified ad pages or other types of listings for print, you want your subheads to flow along with your text. But what if those subheads are graphical elements? In Adobe InDesign, you can embed (or "anchor") graphics into your text fields so that images and other elements can flow along with the words on the page.

There are, essentially, two ways to do this, with a number of options and variations in between. The first of these is to place a graphic (such as a dingbat, a graphic created in Photoshop, etc.) directly into your text field. The other is to take an element you create within InDesign and place that inline inside a text field, anchoring it to a section of text.

Placing imported graphics: method 1
To begin, we'll look at the most common method of creating "inline" or "anchored" elements: importing an image file. The uses for this are, of course, numerous. You may want to create section heads that flow along with the text, custom bullets that stick with a particular paragraph, images that accompany a particular listing (real estate listings, buyer's guides, catalogs), et cetera.

There are two ways to do this. The first and more simple is this.

1. Activate the text box, and insert the cursor at the point where you want the graphic element to be anchored. The graphic doesn't necessarily have to appear at the location of the cursor (as we'll see later), but the insertion point is what we'll be using as a reference for the text that your graphic element will follow. I'll be inserting an arrow that will act as a sort of custom bullet drop cap for a particular paragraph, so I'll place my insertion point at the beginning of that paragraph.

2. Now choose File > Place. The graphic will be placed at your insertion point. If it's a large graphic, you may see something like this.

3. So now you'll want to adjust the imported image. This you can do just as you would any placed image. Use the Selection tool to reshape/resize the image's bounding box or hold down Shift-Command (Mac) or Shift-Control (Windows) to resize the graphic proportionally.

4. Then, using the Selection tool, you can reposition the graphic within the paragraph by simply dragging it to a new position. It will still be anchored at the original point, but the graphic itself will appear in a slightly different location.

5. And, finally, if you're doing something along the lines of what I'm doing, you'll also want to use text wrap on this object so that the text doesn't overlap the graphic. To do this, open up the Text Wrap panel (Window > Text Wrap), and apply the wrapping method that's appropriate for your presentation.

Placing imported graphics: method 2
But there's a second method for doing this that you might find more useful in many situations. In particular, if you're placing an extraordinarily large graphic (which can cause problems with your text frame) or if you do not yet have the graphic that will be used in the final presentation, you can create a placeholder box for the inline/anchored graphic. Then you can import the image later on.

Here's how that works.

1. Once again, click your cursor in the text frame, and position the insertion point where you want the graphic to appear.

2. Then right-click (Mac and Windows) or Control-click (Mac) on that point. From the contextual menu that pops up, choose Anchored Object > Insert.

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Related Keywords:adobe indesign, inline graphics, anchored objects, flow image with text, text frame graphics, subheads, tutorial


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