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Sometimes when laying out an Adobe® InDesign® page, you may want to remove the background of an imported image—perhaps so you can wrap text around a shape as in Figure 1. Creating a clipping path in Photoshop is often the best solution because its selection tools make it easy to isolate and remove even complex backgrounds. However, because the graphic element (the dancing pair) in Figure 1 is much darker than the background (the surrounding white area), you can easily remove the background using the Clipping Path feature in InDesign. In addition to removing white and light backgrounds, you can also use the Clipping Path feature to remove black backgrounds and backgrounds that are significantly darker than the graphic element they surround.
Here’s how to remove the white background from an imported image. (Note: The example in the figures below includes a two-column text frame behind the graphics frame to help show how the Clipping Path feature works.)
If you want to add the final touch and wrap text around the
clipping path you just created, make sure the graphic or graphic frame is still
selected, and then choose Window > Text Wrap. (You’ll need to overlap the
graphic frame with a text frame to see the text wrap in action.) In the Text
Wrap panel, click the Wrap Around Object Shape button (third from left at the
top of the panel). If it’s not selected, choose Both Right & Left Sides
from the Wrap To Menu and Same As Clipping from the Type menu. To create space
between the shape of the dancers and the surrounding text, you can enter a
value in the Top Offset field. (Because an irregular shape is selected, you
cannot specify different values for Top, Left, Bottom, and Right Offsets.) The
example in Figure 4 uses a Top Offset value of .125 inches.
To remove a black background from a bitmap graphic, follow the steps above, but in the Clipping Path Options dialog box, select both Invert and Include Inside Images, and specify a high Threshold value. Figures 5 and 6 show before and after examples of using the Clipping Path feature to remove a black background. Notice that the Threshold setting in Figure 6 is 251.
Figure 5.Figure 6.