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Quick Tip: Working with Text Wrap and Fit Content Options in Adobe InDesign

Adobe In Design lets you wrap text around any object, including text frames and imported images. There are different styles to choose from and some features you can set up including the distance between the text and object frame. In the following Quick Tip you will learn more about basic image and text placement in InDesign. Let's get started!

Activate Text Wrap

To activate this option go to: Window > Text Wrap (Option + Command + W).

There are five options to choose from:

  • No text wrap (A): Object is placed over or below text (depending on your layer distribution) without interrupting it.
  • Wrap around bounding box (B): Text is distributed according the bounding box around the frame; this mean whatever shape your container is, it will always have a square or rectangle frame around it and this will be the area used for text wrap.
  • Wrap around object shape (C ): Text is accommodated alongside the container form following its shape.
  • Jump object (D): Object is left alone without text at its right and left sides.
  • Jump to next column (E): Like the last option but in this case no text is left after the object, the remaining content is displaced to the next column.

All of the wrap options, except the first, let you select the distance you want between object and text; this distance is called offset. You can modify it by inputting a value in any of the desired sides, take note if the "chain" icon is selected all of the settings will have the same size.

In the following picture the chain icon has been deactivated and only top and bottom values were added; notice the right and left margins are just next to the text.

Additional Wrap Options Features

If you use any of the "Wrap Around" options there are some additional settings you can select. To activate this panel click over the menu icon on the top right corner of the Text Wrap window and select "Show Options".

Wrap to:

  • Right side
  • Left side
  • Both right & left sides
  • Side towards spine
  • Side away from spine
  • Largest area

The first wrap options are pretty much self explanatory; text can be fit to the right (A), left (B) or both right and left (C) sides of the object. The last option is "Largest Area" (D) which compares the right and left spaces and fit the text at the largest. Note: if you change the object frame position and vary the areas, text will automatically fit into the new largest one.

The options which are not very clear at first are: "Side towards spine" and "Side away from spine". Spine is the region where two facing pages meet; for example where the paper is folded in a magazine. Now you know what spine is, in this particular case, the function of these options are understandable. You can fit the text towards the spine (E) or away from it (F).

When you use "Wrap around object shape" some additional options are activated, these are the "Contour options":

  • Bounding Box: text is wrapped around the bounding box.
  • Detect Edges: wraps around the frame shape automatically.
  • Alpha Channel: This option is displayed only if the image has been saved with alpha channel information. InDesign recognizes the default transparency from Adobe Photoshop as an alpha channel.
  • Photoshop Path: This option is displayed only if an image path is available. Select a path from the Path menu to generate the wrap shape.
  • Graphic Frame: Generates the limits according to the object frame.
  • Same as Clipping: The area is defined from the clipping path of the image.

Also you may have noticed there is an "Invert" checkbox right next to the Text Wrap icons; activating that option just does what it says, it inverts the area of the wrap.

Finally; if your image has some empty space inside it you use that space for including text by checking the "Include inside edges" option.

Using the Fit Content Options

To insert content in a frame (A) going to "File > Place" (Command + D). A window will prompt where you can select which file you'd like to use. Select it and the mouse will change showing a small thumb (B), now click over the frame to insert it (C); for this case as the picture is much bigger than the frame only a small portion of it is displayed.

InDesign has five options to fit content into frames; select any of the frames and the option will be visible near the right side of the tools menu.

Each option is pretty much self explanatory and their use is just according to our needs. The five options are:

  • Fit content to frame (A) (Option + Command + E)
  • Fit content proportionally (B) (Option + Command + C)
  • Center content (C) (Shift + Command + E)
  • Fit frame to content (D): (Shift + Option + Command + E)
  • Fit frame proportionally (E): (Shift + Option + Command + C)

You can also accede to these options by Command + Clicking over the image and look for the "Fitting" section.


Now you know how to enhance your documents presentation. InDesign let us use some really good tools to use with text wrap and make our life easier with the content fit options. Just by doing some small tweaks you can achieve a much better result. I hope you've enjoyed this tut.

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