This post was originally published in 2008
The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
Usually putting together a layout for a printed document would be completed in a desktop publishing package such as Adobe InDesign, however for some smaller projects like a single page article it is sometimes quicker to produce it right inside Illustrator to save switching back and forwards between applications. Using the Text Wrap feature within Adobe Illustrator you can quickly and easily format your text to harmonise with your photographs and images.
Put together your textual layout on the relevant page size, here I’ve roughly set out a few paragraphs of text pulled straight from an article on the topic of frogs.
Go to File > Place and import your desired graphic (resized beforehand in Adobe Photoshop), move it into position on the page. Notice however the image sits over the top of the text rather than the text flowing around it.
With both text and picture selected go to Object > Text Wrap > Make. (Choosing Options will allow you to set the margin around the image)
The image is now sat within the paragraph of text allowing the words to flow around it, keep an eye out for any hyphenations as a result and knock them down onto the next line if necessary.
Now the text is wrapping around the image, the picture can be moved anywhere on the page and the text will continue to flow around it. To adjust the spacing around the image, simply go to Object > Text Wrap > Options.
Let’s say that you wanted to do something a little more fancy, in this example the frog photograph has been clipped out to blend in as part of the document without being constrained to a rectangular box.
To allow the text to wrap around the actual body of the frog, use the Pen Tool to draw in a make-shift shape following the outline of the frog.
With this new shape selected, go to Object > Text Wrap > Make.
The text now flows around the previously created object, and in turn gives the impression that it is wrapping around the frog image.
In my example I added an orange fill swatch for illustrative purposes, to remove this simple select the shape with the Direct Selection Tool and clear the fill colour.