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I'd like to place a custom icon on either side of my section headings similar to this hastily-made mockup.

enter image description here

I could just place them as images, but every time that subheading moves, I'll have to move each of them manually. Is there a way to place an image into the document flow so that they would stay attached to the subheading? Ideally this would be something I could set up as a paragraph style and use over and over, but I'm not going to dream that big just yet.\

Thanks very much for any advice.

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You can copy the graphic, switch to the type tool, and paste the graphic into the text line. - This creates an Anchored object that will move with the text.

You can add text wrap around the graphic to control spacing. Use baseline shift in the type pallet to move it up or down.

Once you get it set-up the way you like, you can just keep copy-and-pasting it, but there is no way to style or find/replace it in automatically.

Edited: I take that back, you CAN find/replace with a graphic.

  1. Copy your object.
  2. Put the cursor in your text field
  3. goto Find/Change in the Edit menu.
  4. Enter what you want to replace in the Find what: field.

  5. Click on the @ symbol next to the Change to: field.

  6. Under Other choose Clipboard Contents Formatted.

  7. Do the replace (Change All).

So, when your text flows in, if you could have a special character added before and after your Subhead (maybe with a data merge), you could then Find/Change all instances of that special character. — Just make sure you use a character that is not used anywhere else.

You could also set-up the Sub-head with the graphics. Then save the whole piece together as a library item. When you want to re-use the piece, drag it out of the library, and manually change the text for the Subhead. — a little cumbersome

  • 1
    Anchored Object was exactly what I was looking for to solve my problem. FWIW, when I tried to use copy/paste with my icon from Illustrator CC, it pasted in the SVG code as text instead. But using the Object > Anchored Object menu option allowed me to select my .ai file and do what I needed. Thanks! – grovberg Apr 12 '14 at 15:02
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Another way, similar to Rsiel's answer would be to use a icon font; you'd have to search for the specific icon you wanted, but a fleur de lis should not be too hard to find.

The icon would then be part of the text and you can size and colour as you choose; the icons will then move with the titles / sub-heading etc.

Hope this helps

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Just expanding a little on @Poncho1234 answer; make the image an "font object" instead of an image.

You can do this, by using Icomoon. You create the graphics in vector, upload to Icomoon, and download as a font file. You can then use these objects as if they were letters.

This will save you all that hassle of anchored objects.

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