There are a couple of possibilities here:
1. The objects are part of a group. Double-clicking a group of objects will allow you to select them individually, but you won't be able to select more than one at a time.
2. The objects are anchored to the text.
If it not either of these, then it might be time to replace your preferences.
There is no lasso tool in Indesign as far as I know.
Found my problem. I imported an entire word document at once and objects other than the basic text weren't in layers. That's apparently why word wrap around objects wasn't working either.
Thanks for taking a look! Maybe this will help someone else . . .
Hmm - I'm not sure what you mean about the layers, but I'm glad that you got it sorted. I've often seen Word documents coming into Indesign with objects that are interpreted as anchored objects. If you go to View>Extras>Show Text Threads and select one of the objects, you will see where in the text it is anchored to.
It seems that it was because graphic objects were anchored to text objects in frames, as you suggested. When they're anchored they disappear from the Layers and lose their text wrap properties (text won't wrap even though wrap icons aren't disabled).
Why? Just how is this supposed to work? I would think you'd want the objects to stay in the layers even when they're anchored.
Hi Malcolm -
I actually anchored the objects myself because I wanted graphics and their captions to be anchored in the story. But as soon as I anchor an object it disappears from the layers panel - is it becoming a new class of object, or is it just de-layered for some reason? - and it also can't be multiple-selected once it's anchored (but other objects on the page can be).
I'd really like to understand it better, but at least now I have an idea of how to work around it. I'm using the latest InDesign Classroom in a Book - and it's a real slog but it's all that's out there right now for 2015. If anyone has any good reference books I'd appreciate knowing about them.
Try Sandee Cohen's InDesign CC Visual Quickstart Guide. It's the best guide for InDesign beginners.
Or David Blatner's InDesign CC 2015 Essentials course on Lynda.com. Trial for 10 days for free.
Thanks, Steve - I've order Sandee's book, I need all the help I can get!
Found my problem. I imported an entire word document at once and objects other than the basic text weren't in layers.
Just to clarify, I don't think the way you are using the term "layers" is all that clear. I think what you are talking about is the stacking order of objects in a single layer. It's very similar, but if you talk about layers, most people will think you are talking about objects on separate layers. Here's what I mean:
Here is a text frame with two images. The top image (cornish hen) is anchored in the text, and the lower image (steak) is free-standing. The layers pallet will show the one layer, but if you click the triangle, you can see the contents, like this:
The steak image listed first is the free-standing image at the bottom. It's higher than the text because it is higher in the stack than the text frame (they would be reversed if I either brought the text frame to the front or sent the image frame to the back). If I click the triangle on the text layer, it will show the anchored object:
The cornish hen is lowest because it is anchored within the lowest object on the layer.
Here, I brought the text frame to the front, so it's higher in the stack than the steak image (which I moved up to show that the type covers the image). Notice that the steak is now the lowest in the stack.
Here is the first time I'm actually using layers (notice that the blue frame around the steak has changed to red. That's because the visual color indicator of the layer is red). I made a second layer and moved the steak to layer 2. Because layer 2 is higher than layer 1, I didn't need to bring the steak to the front in order to place it above the type, which is still on layer 1. It would probably be more clear if you thought of layers as being the relationship of objects on separate layers, and think of objects all on a single layer as being part of a back-to-front stack. Just FYI.
Many thanks, Migintosh, for such a thoughtful and thorough reply. While I've worked in Photoshop for years, I was unaware of the stacking in InDesign (of which I'm a veteran for all of a week now). Your explanation is a very helpful step on this vertical overhang of a learning curve!
I've been wrestling with a specific problem for hours (par for the learning curve course), and I think it's becoming clearer to me. It has to do with anchors, graphic placement and word wrap, i.e., how to place a graphic and anchor it so it's where I want it and will continue to be when the story changes. I'll search more through the discussions first - clearly I'm not the only one who has run into these challenging anchoring issues. I'll start another discussion or join an existing one if/when I can't figure it out - and I'll keep this discussion posted.
Thanks again to all who helped - and any other thoughts are most welcome!