I would like to know if it is possible to fix elements at their absolute position within custom elements in InDesign CS5? I created a kind of speech bubble and I would like to place a stripline within this bubble to separate two content areas. Just a little scheme to show the desired layout as Pseudo-Markup :D

    <textbox>HEADER SECTION</textbox>
    <textbox>Some other text</textbox>

I created something like this but with two separate elements which aren't connected. So I have to select both of them in order to move the whole bubble. Then I tried to connect them using Object->Paths->Create linked path but then the stripline moves and the HEADER SECTION moves too. All in all I would like to have a speech bubble which can be resized in order to hold more text but it shouldn't make the HEADER_SECTION larger or move the stripline.

Hope you understand what I mean :D


Is this line just a regular line? Or does it need to be a shape or a path?

If it's just a regular line, I'd just do this:

  • Put the text into the speech bubble using the speech bubble as the text area (so, clicking on it with the type tool (set padding, or 'Inset spacing', in text frame options), then...
  • Make sure the header has its own Paragraph Style, then...
  • Give it a 'Rule below' under paragraph styles > paragraph rules of the desired width, colour and distance.

This gives you text that flows in you speech bubble and a rule line after the header with only one object needed - the speech bubble itself. Plus, the line is always in the right place even when a header spans more than one line.

If you need the line to be a shape or a path, not a plain line, I'd try it like this:

  • Fill the bubble with text as above
  • Make your spacer shape, the width of your bubble, select, cut
  • Put the type cursor in the speech bubble after the header, and paste the spacer shape as an inline ('anchored') image
  • Right-click > Anchored object > Options > 'Above line' aligment: center

It doesn't resize with the bubble this way, but it does always remain in the right place below the heading regardless of the text or sizing and it moves with the bubble. It doesn't take long to resize the line shape after you're got the bubble the right size.

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