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PrintShop Mail how-to: Anchored Objects

PrintShop Mail was made for personalization. And because every mail piece is different, the structure of the piece would be too. But fixed content does exist.  That’s why I get this question pretty often: How can I make an item move up and down as the text changes?

And the answer is anchored objects. These objects can be items, such as images or text boxes that are connected to each other in such a way that a change in position or size of one object (Master object) will affect the position of any number of fixed content (Child objects).

An example use of this technique is to add a signature at the bottom of a letter.  If the letter has a height that changes between records, the text box could potentially be too small (the signature is too far down) or too large (the text goes over the signature). This can happen if, for example, your text box contains a variable that displays the content of a database field with text that can vary in size. Using the anchor tool, you can force the signature (Child) to lock to the bottom of your text box (Master) , moving up and down as the height of the text object changes.

Locking objects

To anchor two object through the Objects Toolbar

  1. Select the object to be anchored (anchor Child).
  2. In the Object toolbar, click on the “Add or Remove Anchor” button.
  3. Move the mouse over another object (anchor Master).
  4. Left click on this object that serves as anchor Master to link the two objects together.

To anchor two object through the Properties Panel

  1. Select the object to be anchored (anchor Child).
  2. In the Properties panel, click on the Anchor property, to expand the Master Object property.
  3. Select the name of the anchor Master object.

Changing your mind

And if you made the wrong choice, this is how you would remove the anchoring:

Through the Objects Toolbar

  1. Select the anchored object (anchor Child).
  2. In the Objects toolbar, click on the “Add or Remove Anchor” button, to remove the anchor.

Through the Properties Panel

  1. Select the anchored object (anchor Child).
  2. In the Properties panel, click on the Anchor property, to expand the Master Object property.
  3. From the drop down menu, select the “empty” option.

 

Anchor Settings

Anchor settings can be changed in the Properties panel of the object.

Horizontal anchors:

  1. Left: The anchor  Child position will be relative to the left side of the anchor Master.
  2. Right: The anchor Child position will be relative to the right side of the anchor Master.
  3. Width: The anchor Child width will be relative to the width of the anchor Master.

Vertical anchors:

  1. Top: The anchor Child position will be relative to the top side of the anchor Master.
  2. Bottom: The anchor Child position will be relative to the bottom side of the anchor Master.
  3. Height: The anchor Child height will be relative to the height of the anchor Master.

Default Setting

These defaults will be selected when you first create the anchor between a Child and Master, depending on the position:

  1. If the anchored Child is positioned to the left of the anchor Master, the Horizontal position will be set to Left.
  2. If the anchored Child is positioned to the right of the anchor Master, the Horizontal position will be set to the Right.
  3. If the anchor Master is positioned under the Child, the Vertical position will be set to Top.
  4. If the anchor Master is positioned above the Child, the Vertical position will be set to Bottom.

Bonus info

  1. A Child object can only have one Master, but a Master can have more than one Child. To change the Master of a Child object, start by removing the anchor for the Child, and then add a new anchor to the other Master.
  2. When anchoring objects, the object will be highlighted in green if it is a valid anchor Master or in red if it is not.
  3. When resizing or moving an anchored Child, it is possible to modify the distance between two anchored objects.
  4. When an anchor Master object is deleted, the link between the Master and Child objects is broken. In the Properties panel of the Child object, Master Object property, will get the suffix “Unresolved”. To re-establish the anchor, you can either link the Child to a new Master, or create a new object and call it the same name as the previous Master

So there you have it, all you need to know about anchoring without the ship.

 

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