MacMost Now 391: Wrapping Text Around Images in iWork Pages

Learn how to wrap text around images using either a one or two column layout. Find out how to use images with an alpha channel, images with a solid background, or define a shape to wrap the text around. Also, find out how to crop images.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 391: Wrapping Text Around Images in iWork Pages.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today's episode, let's learn how to use Pages to create layouts that wrap around images. So Pages is much more than just a word processing application, you can also use it to do some layouts. Now one of the things you might want to do is layout text that kind of wraps around a non-rectangular image, so let's look at how you would do that. So here we are inside of Pages, let's start by creating a blank document, and then pasting some text in here, just some sample text. Now, we want to put an image inside of this. We're gonna do that with drag and drop, so I've got on the desktop here, a image of a baseball, I'm gonna drag and drop that into document, and it'll appear in there. And we can see right away, kind of mission accomplished. We've got this image, and the text wraps around it. Now the reason the text wraps around it, is because this image is created with an Alpha Channel. Some clipart is done that way. In other words, the area around the baseball is invisible, so, uh, the text knows to kind of wrap around in a circular fashion like that. Now I can shrink the baseball by grabbing one of the corners here, and dragging to reduce the size, and you can see text wraps normally. Now, you may not want to actually have it work this way. You can see the text actually reads from left to right, and skips over the baseball. So we may actually want to lay this out with a multi-column format, and the way we'd do that would be simply to go to menu item here, and select two columns. Now we have a two-column layout, and the baseball is in the middle of it, which is usually the way you would do this. Now, what if the image doesn't have that Alpha Channel in it? For instance, this one here, is the same baseball, but it's a square image. And we're gonna reduce the size, you can see here that the text wraps around as a square here, which isn't what we want. We want it to wrap around the baseball as if it's a circular object. Fortunately, you can do this in Pages by choosing Format, and this is with the image selected, and go to Mask With with Shape, and it gives you some options here. We're gonna choose oval. So now what we get is the ability to edit this oval here. It's a little too tight so we're going to drag it up to the right, we're going to basically make it surround the baseball, and at the bottom I'm gonna drag it down, like so. So now I've created a circle around the baseball, and I've got exactly what I want; the text wrapping around in a circular fashion. With either technique, we can bring up the inspector, and look in the inspector here, and the third item here at the top is wrap, and under wrap we can select how we want it to wrap, so we can do the floating wrap, which is what we've got, and we can have it trimmed with more or less space around it. Now, here's a third way to do it, and in case you've got an image like this that is mostly white space around the image, you can select it, go to format and choose instant alpha. And then what you can do right after that, is select the color by clicking, you can see a little, that little cross-hair there and select white, and it will figure out the wrap based on that. So that could be an object on white, it could be an object on black, or any solid color. Now let's say we don't want to do a multi-column layout, say we want to do one column, and we want to have the baseball over to the right here, and a little bit larger, uh, so basically it intrudes on the text from the right side. We want to trim it, so we only get the left side of the baseball, we don't get this bit hanging off here that may appear in the margins. We're gonna select the baseball, go to Format and choose Mask. Before I do that, I'm gonna move the baseball up so we can see it here, in the example. Uh, we're gonna choose Mask. And you can see there's an Edit Mask button and a Zoom amount. We're actually going to move the mask so we can see just the part of the baseball we want. So, we'll select about half of it, like that. And then when we're done with that, we can select off of it, and now we can move this baseball independently. See we half a baseball now, 'cause we've masked the other half, and we can put it in the text like that. So it's useful for cropping out things you don't want in an image, or creating wraps that work like this. So there are three different ways to use an non-rectangular shape and have your text wrap around it in Pages. Hope you found this useful. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 5 Responses to “MacMost Now 391: Wrapping Text Around Images in iWork Pages”

    9 years ago

    Excellent, there is everything in Pages now toself publish a book. Now, if you use Pages with wrapped images to create a single electronic non fiction book, is there a company that can make the binding / hardcover for the book? In other words self publish the book, but with Pages as the word processor.

      9 years ago

      There are lots of companies that will publish a book for you. In most cases you can use Pages because they don’t care what program you use. You export PDF files from any program and provide those.

    9 years ago

    Awesome tips Gary. Best on the web!

    Torsten Persson
    8 years ago

    Thanks Gary!

    Very straight forward and informative!

    7 years ago

    Thank you seems such a little return for the benefits you’ve given me.
    Thank you,

Comments Closed.