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How do you handle images in a long, often-updated document?

May 23, 2013 4:13 PM

Tags: #anchors #text_wrap #long_documents

I've been trying to figure out a reasonable workflow for a while now and I've reached the limit of my creativity in coming up with a solution. I thought people here might be able to share their processes so I can get an idea of how to lay out this document.


I'm writing an owner's manual. The manual itself is a book file, with each chapter a separate document. Text flows in a single story throughout each chapter. Each page has a single text frame, and they're threaded together.


I need to have quite a few photos, illustrations, etc., referenced in the text. Currently these are anchored images, which I use the "custom anchor" feature to arrange around the page. Generally that means aligning them to the right edge of the frame, maybe a pica below the baseline of the anchor marker. The text wraps around these figures and generally looks nice and clean.


The problem comes when I need to insert information earlier in a chapter, say to update a description or add additional information when we release a new product. As the text reflows, anchored images later in the document tend to fall off the bottom of the page.


I set "keep within top/bottom column boundaries", but of course because text wrap for anchored objects cannot affect text above the anchor itself, the images often end up set over text.


Considering that this document is over a hundred pages long, with many figures throughout, it's not reasonable to unanchor and manually re-arrange each figure every time a change is made. There must be something I'm missing here!


How do you handle it?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2013 4:30 PM   in reply to mitchrobb

    You're not missing anything. It sucks. You have to do it by hand.


    Sad but true.


    Still, if anyone has a good idea, I too would be interested...



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2013 4:10 AM   in reply to mitchrobb

    Hi Mitchrobb,


    Unfortunately, there is no way to get InDesign to handle this automatically.


    It could be scripted. But it would be a fairly complex script. And it

    wouldn't update automatically -- you'd have to rerun the script each

    time you wanted to update the placement of the pictures.


    When I work on books with pictures, I do the placement manually -- in

    other words, keep them as anchored objects as long as possible. Then,

    when it looks like the text is finalized, release the anchored objects

    and position them manually.


    Sucks, I know.





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