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.
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:
- 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”.
- 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!
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.