I have a multi-page document set up on logically ordered layers (background, photos, type, etc. in ascending order, so type on top). On some pages, text wrap works perfectly! On other pages, the text wrap will flat-out not work. One of the following will happen:

  • If I set the text up, drop in placeholder text, it shows. I add a photo, it shows as under the type. When I attempt to text wrap it, the text disappears, but the photo shows, as does the outline of the text box.

  • If I drag the same photo and text outside that particular page, the text magically appears and is wrapped correctly. If I drag it back into the appropriate page, the text disappears as mentioned above.

  • If I go to Object/Text Frame Options and check mark the box, "Ignore Text Wrap", the type disappears. If I uncheck the box, the type appears again but runs across the photo.

  • Worst case scenario, "Ignore Text Wrap" undoes ALL the correct text wraps that already exist in the rest of the document. I have tried copying/pasting a 'good' set of photo + text wrap into a new page to only have it undo the text wrap on ALL pages. (Thank goodness for Ctrl+Z!)

I've been searching for a solution for 2 weeks to no avail. Any clues out there? No threaded text exists at this point (one problem at at time, oy!), no hidden objects, nothing overly complicated.

I sure hope someone has an answer. Thank you in advance.

  • I'm not really certain how altering the wrap on one text box is "undoing everything" across other pages. I've never seen that happen.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 4:12
  • 2
    Hi Quoi, can you by chance show so a screenshot? I have a few questions that might help resolve your issue. Are the layers your speaking of actual layers in the layers pallet or are the layers just organized top to bottom on the page within a single layer. If this doesn't make sense I can explain better. Are there character/paragraph/object styles associated with the text fields or photographs? The text wrap you refer to, is it the applied to the photos or the text fields (two overlapping text fields for example). It sounds like you have an object style associated with a few of these.
    – Javi
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 5:45
  • Check your offset values (padding) on the text wrapped objects. That could be pushing the wrapping text off the page if it is set really high.
    – John
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 16:26
  • In answer to replies: Scott, I know it sounds nuts, but it's happened at least a dozen times.
    – Quoi
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 22:27
  • Hi Javi, the layers are actual layers: starting with (bottom)background, shapes (for color boxes, etc.), photos, type, logos (top). Each element appears to be in it's correct layer. The filler text has the same paragraph style applied, but this is true for all the text boxes. I will try and a get a screen shot to you shortly.
    – Quoi
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 22:32

1 Answer 1


Unfortunate that I wasn't able to answer this at the time, but for posterity:

When this kind of random, inexplicable behavior occurs in InDesign, there are relatively few reasons. When the problem is with a specific document, here is the order of likelihood:

  • Document has become corrupted. InDesign documents are actually database files, and as they are being worked on and edited they accumulate internal "cruft" that always makes the file larger and sometimes causes weird behavior. Save to IDML, then use that to create a fresh INDD, which will be smaller and free of internal errors.
  • Font is corrupted. Check this by switching to a different, known good font (Myriad Pro, for example). If this is the issue, fix or change the font.
  • An image is corrupted or malformed. This is especially common with legacy .eps files, but even jpegs and tiffs can have issues. To verify, remove or substitute image on the problem page with known good ones. Fix the images/illustrations.
  • InDesign's preference file is messed up. Save a backup and then trash the preferences file. Instructions for doing this are easy to find, so I'll not elaborate here.

General rules for troubleshooting anything also apply, such as narrowing down the problem. Keith Gilbert has what he calls his five "desperation tips" that are worth keeping in mind in case things ever get really difficult. These are:

  • Split up the file, either by creating a set of separate documents or simply deleting parts to see if something makes the problem go away. At worst, if you find the culprit you can throw it away and recreate just that one section.
  • Export just the text and/or export to an Acrobat 9 or later PDF and export from Acrobat. This at least recovers assets from an otherwise-impossible document.
  • Delete text frames or stories one at a time (not just the one that appears to be the problem). Keith points out that a single corrupt story can wreck an .indd, and I'll take his word for it, since he troubleshoots a lot more files than I have ever had to.
  • Delete styles and swatches. Keith says he's seen files with corrupted styles that magically recovered when the styles were deleted.
  • When all else fails and a file can't even be opened safely, Markzware offers a file recovery service with a small fee to have them examine the "patient," with a larger fee for the actual surgery if they are able to recover the file successfully.

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