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Lesson 7. Page Layout and Printing > Flowing Text Around Graphics

Flowing Text Around Graphics

At this point, all of the text you’ve placed on the page is contained within the rectangular boundaries of the text block. Occasionally, though, you may want to flow text around a graphic for a more interesting design. You may be familiar with this concept (sometimes called run-around) from page layout programs. Like these programs, FreeHand lets you run text around graphics, as you will see in this next task.

Import the film_canister.fh11 file you modified in Lesson 4 and place it on the pasteboard. Group all of the objects in the film canister.

If you no longer have your file, you can use the file in the Media folder within the Lesson04 folder. You are placing the canister on the pasteboard initially so that you can group the objects in the file if they are not grouped already.

Move the grouped film canister object to the middle of the two-column text block.

When you flow text around a graphic, the graphic needs to be in front of the text block. Because the film canister was imported after you placed the text on the page, it is already in front. However, you can’t flow text around a grouped object. But grouping the film canister makes it easier to manage if you need to move or resize it, so you don’t want to ungroup it, plus there is not one object in the film canister that defines the shape around the outside of the canister. To work around this problem, in the next step you will draw a shape around the film canister so you can flow the text around it.


If your graphic is not in front of the text, choose Modify > Arrange > Bring to Front.

Select the Pen tool or the Bezigon tool and draw a path around the film canister. Stay about a pica (1/8 inch) from the outside edge of the canister. Be sure to close the path.

The shape around the film canister will define the area around which the text will flow.

With the path selected, choose Text > Flow Around Selection. In the Flow Around Selection dialog box, click the flow-around icon (the right icon) and then click OK.

The text flows around the shape. Once you see how the text wraps, you may want to adjust the path. Drag a point on the path to change the shape, or click with the Pen tool to add a new point on the path.


The left icon disallows text flow around the graphic.

In this example, you can change the gap between the text and the film canister by adjusting the path. Because you can adjust the gap, you did not need to enter any values in the Standoff text boxes in the Flow Around Selection dialog box. If you were using a shape that wasn’t grouped, then after you had applied Flow Around Selection to the shape, you would have to enter standoff values in the dialog box to adjust the gap.

Once you are satisfied with the text flow, you need to remove the stroke on the path. You don’t want the shape to show in the printed piece.

On the Object panel, select the Stroke property and then click the trash icon to remove the stroke on the path.

The flow-around path is now invisible.


If you need to edit or move the path later, switch to Keyline view. You’ll be able to see the outline of the path so you can select it.

Now you will add another graphic to the page and set the flow-around option on this graphic.

Import the big_air.tif file from the Media folder within the Lesson07 folder. Place the imported image to the left of the introductory paragraph (the second text block). Choose Text > Flow Around Selection.

Notice that you can flow text around this image without drawing another shape.

In the Flow Around Selection dialog box, click the flow-around icon. In the Right Standoff text box, type .25. Click OK.

The values you enter in the Standoff text boxes control the amount of spacing between the image and the text. In this example, the text appears only to the right of the image, so you need to enter standoff values only in the Right Standoff text box.

You can adjust the standoff amount and move the image around on the page to your liking. You may also need to adjust the height of the text block to display all the text in the paragraph.



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