InDesign Secrets: Wrapping text around images and shapes

Published by | Thursday, September 27th, 2012

In this week’s free InDesign Secrets episode, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to wrap your text around the contours of an image object. In Anne-Marie’s example, she creates a custom text wrap by instructing Adobe InDesign to wrap around the object shape, which in her case is defined by a mask that’s part of a placed image. Once you’ve established the text wrap boundary, you can actually manipulate it as you would any vector shape: add anchor points with the Pen tool, move the control handles, and generally follow the lines of your graphic element as closely as you want.

The technique that Anne-Marie demonstrates can be used for any placed graphic. For instance, let’s say I had the text below placed next to this stylized lightbulb:


A block of text next to a lightbulb graphic in Adobe InDesign


As Anne-Marie demonstrates, using the Text Wrap option called Wrap Around Object Shape, I can create a boundary for the wrapping effect that’s independent from the graphic’s bounding box. Because my lightbulb is sitting on a transparent background, InDesign can see the contours and I can reshape the green text wrap boundary so the words wrap around the curves of the lightbulb exactly as I wish:


A demonstration of the Wrap Around Object Shape option in Adobe InDesign with labels

Here’s the final result:

The resulting wrapped text and lightbulb graphic

Check out the video above or on to learn more about the details and nuances of using the Wrap Around Object Shape feature.

Meanwhile, Anne-Marie’s partner in InDesign secrecy, David Blatner, has a member-exclusive tutorial this week called Inserting pages: Understanding the Pages panel, in which he reveals how to insert new pages into your InDesign document.

Anne-Marie and David will be back in two weeks with more InDesign Secrets.


Interested in more?
• The entire InDesign Secrets biweekly series
• Courses by David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción on
• All InDesign courses

Suggested courses to watch next:
InDesign CS6 New Features
 InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign Typography


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5 Responses to “InDesign Secrets: Wrapping text around images and shapes”

  1. Beverly Wren says:

    Interested in tutorials on CA6. Appreciate any information

    • @Beverly, did you mean CS6? Both David and Anne-Marie have CS6 training (you can find the links at the bottom of this post under “Interested in More?” And I successfully used this technique in CS6.

      If you really meant CA6 and I’m just being obtuse, please let me know!

  2. Dexter says:

    Just wondering if there is some way to wrap text like this on shape when you convert the file to epub. Is there a tutorial for that too?

  3. Ludmil says:

    It does not work for me. I place an object with layer and mask from PhotoShop but no wrap around object shape – same rectaingle.

  4. Marcos Dutra says:

    Great tip. It is the kind of secret buried so deep that I would never find by myself.

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