Section 37. Anchoring Objects in Text

#37. Anchoring Objects in Text

If you have pictures or other graphic elements that need to flow with related text, you can anchor the objects in the text. This prevents you from having to manually reposition objects such as charts, sidebars, or graphics every time text reflows. Any type of object can be anchored in text, including text frames, picture frames, paths, and tables. When you anchor objects, you can position them inline with text, above text, or in a custom position such as out in the margin (Figure 37a). You have precise control over object position, including the ability to fine-tune placement with the mouse.

Figure 37a. Anchored objects flow with text. An Inline object (left) is positioned at the baseline of text at the text insertion point; an Above Line object is positioned above the line containing the text insertion point; a Custom object can be positioned outside the text frame, relative to the spine, margins, and more.

Anchoring Existing Objects

You have two choices for anchoring objects: You can anchor existing objects or you can anchor placeholder objects. To anchor an existing object in text:


Select any type of object using one of the selection tools.


Choose Edit > Cut or Edit > Copy.


Select the Type tool and click in text to position the insertion point where you want the anchored object.


Choose Edit > Paste.

By default, the object is anchored inline, but you can reposition it using the Anchored Object Options dialog box. If the object is larger than surrounding text, it may overlap the text; in that case, you may need to adjust the leading or insert line breaks.

Copying and Pasting Anchored Objects

Anchored objects and anchored object markers function just like characters when it comes to selecting, cutting, copying, and pasting them with the Type tool. If you need to copy and paste a story containing anchored graphics to a different location, for example, the graphics will come right along with it.

Anchoring Placeholder Objects

If you haven't created the object that will be anchoredor if its content is not readyyou can create a rectangular placeholder and anchor it in text. To do this:


Select the Type tool and click in text to position the text insertion point.


Choose Object > Anchored Object > Insert.


In the Object Options area at the top of the Insert Anchored Object dialog box, specify the Content for the object (such as Text or Graphic).


Select an Object Style to base the object on (if you've created any).


Select a Paragraph Style for the text it will contain (if the object is a text frame).


Enter a Height and Width for the object.

You can also specify the position of the object, as discussed in the next section.

Positioning Anchored Objects

To change the positioning of an anchored object, click it using a selection tool and choose Object > Anchored Object > Options. The controls in the Anchored Object Options dialog box are the same as those for positioning in the Insert Anchored Object dialog box. Choose an option from the Position menu at the top:

  • Inline or Above Line: Select this option if you want to anchor the object inline with the text or above a line of text.

  • Custom: Select this option if you want to anchor the object in a different position, such as out in the margin.

If you choose Inline or Above Line from the Position menu, the Anchored Object Options dialog box (Figure 37b) lets you specify which type of anchoring you want and then further fine-tune the positioning.

  • Inline: To position the object inline with text, click Inline.

    Enter a value in the Y Offset field to move the object up or down from the baseline of the text.

  • Above Line: To position the object above the line containing the text insertion point, click Above Line. Choose an option from the Alignment menu to specify how the object is positioned within the text frame: Left, Center, Right, Towards Spine, Away from Spine, or Text Alignment (which matches the alignment of the paragraph). Enter values in the Space Before and Space After fields to control the amount of space above and below the anchored object.

Figure 37b. When Inline or Above Line is selected from the Position menu, the Anchored Object Options dialog box lets you specify the position of anchored objects that are flowing with or above lines of text.

If you choose Custom from the Position menu, the Anchored Object Options dialog box (Figure 37c) lets you specify precisely where the object should be placed.

  • Relative to Spine: Check this option if you want the object's placement to be different for right-facing and left-facing pages. For example, if a book has a wide outer margin, you might place anchored objects in the margin. When text reflows from left to right pages, you'll want the anchored objects positioned accordingly.

  • Anchored Object Reference Point: This option specifies what part of the anchored object should align with the page, text frame, or margins (as specified in the Anchored Object Position area below). For example, if the left edge of the object should align with the text frame, click a box on the left edge.

  • Anchored Object Position: In this area, the X Relative To menu and X Offset field control the horizontal placement of the anchored object. The Y Relative To menu and Y Offset field control the vertical placement of the anchored object. The reference points available vary according to the selections you make in the X Relative To and Y Relative To fields, but essentially the Reference Point you click indicates the location on the page the object should align with.

Figure 37c. For an anchored object with Custom alignment, the Anchored Object Options dialog box lets you position it in relation to the columns of text, the page, and more.

The interplay of these settings is fairly complex, so be sure to check the Preview box so you can see any changes you make as you make them.


In addition to all the positioning settings in the Anchored Object Options dialog box, you can drag anchored objects using the selection tools. If you're creating a template and don't want users to be able to move anchored items, check Prevent Manual Positioning.

Releasing Anchored Objects

If you no longer want an object to be anchored, select it with a selection tool. Then choose Object > Anchored Object > Release. (The Release command is available only for anchored objects with Custom alignment.) You can also copy and paste any selected anchored object to create an unanchored copy of it.

Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos(c) 100 Essential Techniques
Adobe InDesign CS2 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques
ISBN: 0321321901
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 142

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