Writing my thesis and this drives me mad. I:

  1. place images,

  2. add captions to them,

  3. ..and anchor (see pink arrow) them to relevant text, see image:

enter image description here

(ignore here that the image falls off the page to the right)

Then I write more, and the image fall out of the text box and the page itself, like so:

enter image description here

(ignore here that the image falls off the page to the right)

I have fiddled endlessly with the "anchored object options" without any of that helping whatsoever.

Clearly what I want is InDesign to accept the anchor, but when the image lands between pages, to choose either. As long as the images stays on a page I am happy.

I have trawled piles of tuts, but none address this. Anyone?

(I have automatic addition of pages; there are no manual text-box connecting)



@CAI answer below aaaaalmost gets me there. Here is the problem now. I anchor the image – red circle is the anchor: enter image description here

I then write more, above so the text and image moves down. BUT: I get text (from before the anchor) behind the image before it shifts to next page as it should.

I have changed transparency so you see:

enter image description here

Soo close... any suggestions?

  • @joojaa ..perhaps you have some suggestions?
    – benteh
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 15:37

3 Answers 3


The option you want to set is Keep within Top/Bottom Column Boundaries in the Anchored Object Option

With the anchored object selected go to Object -> Anchored Object -> Options and check Keep within Top/Bottom Column Boundaries

enter image description here

enter image description here

This is the behaviour without Keep within Top/Bottom Column Boundaries selected:

enter image description here

This is the behaviour with Keep within Top/Bottom Column Boundaries selected:

enter image description here


The Problem

The text above the anchored object not being affected by the text-wrap of the object is surprisingly actually expected behaviour.

From Adobe InDesign Help - Wrap text around objects

Wrap text around anchored objects

If you apply text wrap to an anchored object, the wrap affects the lines of text in the story that follow the anchor marker. However, the wrap doesn’t affect the line of text that includes the anchor marker or any lines before it.

There is also a discussion on the Adobe forums about the issue here.

I'm honestly shocked there doesn't seem to be any real workaround for this.


I'm assuming most images won't be affected by this, or if they are, hopefully only by a few lines. But I may be wrong. None of these are ideal and all need some manual action but these are a few workarounds I can think of:

If the overlap is only a few lines, resize the image below the overlap.

If resizing the image isn't an option, insert a page break just before the anchored object.

Another option is to move the anchor point to above the lines that are overlapping. You can move the anchor point by dragging the anchor on the anchored object like this:

enter image description here

Note this is all tested in CS6 and may be different in CC or other versions

  • Thanks! Appreciate your time; and it is nearly there.. now a new problem; if you have time to take a look at my edited Q.
    – benteh
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 19:01
  • 1
    @Benteh I've just done a fair amount of reading and updated my answer!
    – Cai
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:32
  • Thanks for the time and effort! Seems I have to live with a messy document for a while.
    – benteh
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 9:25
  • 1
    No problem @Benteh. It's not ideal is it. At least you know what's going on now.
    – Cai
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 9:26

All of the problems you describe are inherent in the underlying structure of an InDesign document. E.g., InDesign can only calculate how to move text out of the way of an anchored object after the point at which is is anchored. (There are reasons for this. It's not nearly as simple as it might seem.) The anchor and the object must be on the same page, so you're never going to be able to have an image on page 22 with its anchor on page 21.

There are two different answers, covering the two situations of full-width illustrations and text-wrapped illustrations.

Full Width Illustrations

For illustrations that are close enough to full width that they will have no wrapped text, the answer is to use an Inline object. This enormously simplifies the task for you and InDesign.

  • Create a new paragraph style -- call it "illustration" or something similar. Set its Space Before and Space After to match your regular paragraphs, and be sure that Leading is set to "Auto."

  • Place the illustration somewhere on the page or pasteboard, add the caption, group, then cut the group to the clipboard.

  • Create a new paragraph with your "Illustration" paragraph style.

  • With the text cursor in that paragraph, Paste.

As with the other case described below, it is in any case better to hold off until the text is done before inserting these objects. (Patience, grasshopper...)

Illustrations that require wrapped text

The answer here is perhaps less satisfactory but relates to the purpose of InDesign as a layout tool. As someone who's designed a lot of books and other long documents, I can promise you that the sequence in which you do things makes a huge difference to how the work goes.

  1. Don't anchor illustrations or tables until the text is complete, or very close to it. You will only drive yourself to strong language, strong drink, or both, if you anchor illustrations while the actual text is still in flux. Rather, put placeholders in the text, using a unique character pattern you can easily search for later.

  2. When placing illustrations, correcting for widows, orphans, runts or other typographic anomalies, work from the beginning of the text to the end. This is obvious if you think about it for a moment, but it's surprising how many otherwise-smart people don't think about it for a moment.

Good luck with the thesis!

  • Great points about workflow!
    – Cai
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 0:04
  • Of course not exactly the answer I was hoping for, but guess I have to live with it :) I am the only one writing thesis in indd... Thank you a squillion for your time.
    – benteh
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 9:24

Use "inline" anchors on a blank line so the object reflows to the next frame/page. Adjust the "space after" to a negative value to the baseline aligns to the bottom of your object. The object pictured has transparency to show the line of text it's anchored to. 1

enter image description here

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