Text: Wrap, Runaround, and the Question of Defaults

The con­cept of text flow­ing around illus­tra­tions and oth­er objects such as pul­lquotes in lay­out is such a cru­cial one that both Adobe and Quark’s sig­na­ture appli­ca­tions devote remark­ably detailed attribute access to.

Perhaps pre­dictably as well, the con­cept is tagged with two dif­fer­ent bits of nomen­cla­ture in the respec­tive pro­grams: InDesign terms it text wrap, whilst QuarkXPress terms it text runaround. Both, how­ev­er, refer to the same thing.

One ques­tion we do seem to hear quite often here­abouts at QVI is about defaults, most com­mon­ly how does one set text wrap defaults in Adobe InDesign from refugee Quarksters (or peo­ple who just want to know). As it turns out, while Quark does allow you to set a default runaround behav­ior, InDesign does not. However, one can devel­op doc­u­ment con­struc­tion habits in InDesign that will at least approx­i­mate the behav­ior of a default.

Adobe Wraps You Up, But Quark Gives You The Runaround

One of the most remarked-upon dif­fer­ences between XPress and InDesign with respect to this high­ly sim­i­lar func­tion is the name: QuarkXPress calls in Text Runaround, and Adobe InDesign calls it Text Wrap.


Quark Text Runaround Palette (small)

The text runaround dia­log
box from QuarkXPress 6.5

The con­trols on both are rather straight­for­ward and intu­itive. Quark pro­vides an effects pre­view, and InDesign’s is icon-driven; click­ing on the but­ton ren­ders the effect shown on that but­ton, whilst Quark’s is obtained by select­ing the named effect from a pull­down. Insets/outsets are spec­i­fied in the appro­pri­ate box­es in the dialogs, and InDesign also allows graph­i­cal alter­ing with the direct-selection (white-arrow) tool.

Each inter­face can be sum­moned with a key­board short­cut: CMD-T (Mac) or CTRL-T (Win) for Quark’s runaround; OPT-CMD-W (win) or CTRL-ALT-W for InDesign’s text wrap palette.

Mastering the Quark Default

In QuarkXPress, this behav­ior can be made pre­dictable in, esseni­tial­ly two ways; by the doc­u­ment, and set in the pref­er­ences:

  1. Defaults by the doc­u­ment: As any expe­ri­enced XPress lay­out artist knows, any doc­u­ment behav­ior ini­ti­at­ed dur­ing the edit­ing for a giv­en doc­u­ment becomes pecu­liar to that doc­u­ment. In the case of text runaround, assume we make pic­ture box­es and the last one we cre­ate had a runaround of “Auto Image”. We save our doc­u­ment and close out. When we next open that doc­u­ment and bring up the Runaround dia­log, the runaround should default to “Auto Image”.
  2. Default defined in the pref­er­ences: Quark allows the user to spec­i­fy a glob­al default in Preferences. To do this, first make sure that no doc­u­ments are open; this way, the default behav­ior will apply iden­ti­cal­ly to all future New doc­u­ments. Go to Preferences, and choose “Tools”, found under “Print Layout” in the Preferences side­bar. Now, from the icon dis­play, choose the box tool you wish to set default for and click the “Modify” but­ton. A dia­log that looks like a sim­plfied Modify dia­log will appear. Choose your default behav­ior from the runaround drop­down and click “OK” to save this pref­er­ence.

InDesign: It Ain't My Default!


InDesign Text Wrap Palette

The text wrap palette
from Adobe InDesign CS2

Adobe’s InDesign, in con­strast, has no such global-default pref­er­ence set­ting. When using text wrap, the lay­out artist should go in with some aware­ness of what state the text wrap palette is in to start (a bit of per­son­al advice we might give is to make the text wrap palette a reg­u­lar part of your work­space; this author keeps it tucked into the low­er left edge of his screen, grouped with the Glyphs palette).

With this palette access­able, then, there are a hand­ful of habits one can devel­op that will help them con­trol the appar­ent InDesign text wrap behav­ior:

  1. Globally: Immediately after fir­ing up InDesign, with no doc­u­ments open, call up the text wrap palette and set your pre­ferred wrap. This should obtain the desired glob­al default effect for all sub­se­quent new doc­u­ments.
  2. Locally:When one gen­er­ates a frame, imme­di­ate­ly set the wrap for that frame. All sub­se­quent frames gen­er­at­ed with­in that doc­u­ment will take on that wrap on gen­er­a­tion.
  3. Local Reset: If one wants to reset the defaults for the doc­u­ment under con­struc­tion, des­e­lect all box­es and choose anoth­er wrap. Subsequent frames should then take on the select­ed wrap.

Pariah Burke

Author, consultant, trainer, guru: Digital Publishing, ePub, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark. Empowering, Informing, Connecting Creative Professionals™

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