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131 Make a fill in the blank label for contracts and forms

From: InDesign Secrets

Video: 131 Make a fill in the blank label for contracts and forms

There are a dozen different ways to make blank lines for forms and contracts.

131 Make a fill in the blank label for contracts and forms

There are a dozen different ways to make blank lines for forms and contracts. I'm just going to show you two of my favorite methods using a feature that a lot of people don't think about for form lines. Rule above and rule below. In this document, I have a sample contract and there are two different kinds of form lines that I need to add. Down here, I want to add lines that go from the end of the word to the right side of the column. Up here though I want to add lines inside the text, inside the paragraph itself. Something that will align with the baseline of the rest of the text and will even flow with the text, if the text gets edited.

Let's start down here, to add my line down here after the word Name, I'm going to double-click to switch from the Selection tool to the Type tool automatically, and place the cursor next to the word Name. Now, I'm going to go up to the right side of the control panel, all the way over here and select from the pop-menu Paragraph Rules or you could press Cmd+Option+J on the Mac or Ctrl+Alt+J on Windows. I'm going to use the Paragraph Rules dialog box to add that line. To do that, I'll first turn on a rule above. I just click on that little Rule On checkbox.

One point lines are kind of clunky, so I'll make this thinner. Let's say, half a point. And I'll make sure that it's a solid line. And it's going to go all the way across the column from the left edge of the column to the right. Of course, the problem here is that the rule and the line are overlapping, which looks kind of ugly. So I'm also going to add a rule below. I'll click on the rule above check box here and set this to rule below and turn on the rule below as well. Let's change the color of this so we can see what's going on. I'll just make it cyan just for a moment so we can see. I'll also make it thicker, let's say about four points.

You see, I now have two rules on this paragraph, a rule above and a rule below and both are aligned along the base line of that paragraph. I'm going to change the offset of this rule below just a little bit by pressing the arrow keys on my keyboard and you'll see that as I go down pressing the down arrow key, it goes to a negative offset. A negative offset on a rule below actually moves the rule up so that it overlaps the rule above. Why would I want to overlap it? Well, because I'm going to change the width of this rule, this rule below, to text, instead of column.

Now this rule below just overlaps the text and leaves the rest of the rule, the black one, to go out beyond the text. Finally, I'll change the color from cyan to paper because paper does not show up at all. So as you can see, I have a rule above that goes across the entire column and I have a rule below that goes just the width of the text and that knocks out that rule above. The last thing I notice here is that, that line is too close to the word. I'd like to move it away just a little bit. And I can fix that by changing the right indent of this rule below.

If I increase the right indent, it actually reduces the size of that white rule. So I don't want to increase it, I want to decrease it. Just like the offset, I want it to be negative, and you can see that you have a lot of control over exactly how far away that rule should be away from the word. That looks great. Now I'll click OK and I want to apply this same rule to all of these other paragraphs. So, I need to make a paragraph style to do this efficiently. I'll open my Paragraph Styles panel, choose New Paragraph Style, and give it a name. You can call that anything you want of course, but I'll click OK and apply it to that paragraph.

Then, I'll select all of these other paragraphs and apply the same paragraph style. You see, in one click you can get all of those rules. We can make this even prettier by editing this paragraph style. I'll just double-click on it and go over to the Span Columns pane of the Paragraphs Style Options dialog box. And I'm going to change the paragraph layout to split the columns. I'm going to split this one column that's really wide into two narrower columns. And I'm going to make sure the inside gutter is large enough. I'll set that to let's say two picas. I'll click OK and you can see that we now have two columns and the rules look great.

Alright. Lets turn our attention to adding these rules up here. To make a name or address rule in the middle of a paragraph, I'm first going to create a new text frame out here, in an area that doesn't have anything on the page. And, I'm going to type in the word that I want to have as a label for that address. I'll just say, name. Let's go ahead and select that and make it smaller. Let's change the fonts to make it italic, probably center it. That looks pretty good. And now we need the rule itself above that label. To get that rule, I once again go to the Control Panel flyout menu and choose Paragraph Rules.

In this case, I could add a Rule Below or a Rule Above. But, technically because the rule is going to be above the text, I'll make it a Rule Above. I say Rule On, make it a little bit narrower. And then, change the offset, and I'm going to make this a positive offset until it goes above the word. Now, in this case I do not want that rule to go outside of the frame. It's going to mess up my trick if it goes beyond the frame. So instead I'm going to turn on Keep in Frame, turn on this little check box here and that forces the rule inside the frame.

Just forces it right along the top edge of the frame. But as I increase my offset, it changes the distance between the paragraph, that word, and the rule. So I'm going to set this, let's say about seven points down. That looks good. I'll click OK. I always like making a paragraph style for these things, in case I need to change them later. So I'll make a new paragraph and I'll call this label for form, and apply it to that paragraph. Finally I'm going to go back to my selection tool and I'm going to double-click on the bottom side handle to make this smaller.

That snaps that side up so that can be a small as that can be and still fit all the text it needs to fit. So, there you go. I have a rule, I've got a label and all I need to do now is put it down here inside my text. There are several different ways to anchor objects inside text but I'm just going to go to the Edit menu and cut this to the clipboard with a selection tool. Then, I'll double-click on this to switch to the type tool, select that word that I'm trying to replace, delete it, and then paste from the Edit menu. That actually pastes that object in as an in-line or anchored object inside the paragraph.

I'll go back to my selection tool and you'll see that this is too high. I need that rule which is going along the top edge of that frame down along the base line down here. So, all I need to do is click on that anchored object, and drag it down. I'll drag it down as far as it'll go and it stops when the top edge of that frame is at the baseline of the text. Let's click off of here and go into preview mode, by pressing the W key to see how this looks. That looks pretty good. Course, I probably want a space before the R, so I'll double-click in there, and click and add a space.

There we go. Now, I'd like to add another one of these over here for the address. I'll just drag over it with the mouse, copy it to the clipboard with a Cmd or Ctrl+C. Come over here to the address and paste, and you'll see that I now have pasted in exactly the same anchored object into this section; except that this should be not labeled name, it should be labeled address. So I'll just select it, just by double-clicking on it and changing the word. I could do the same thing over here by selecting this text down here and pasting.

In fact, while it's on the clipboard I could paste this 50 times really quickly and then go back and change the labels. One of the great things about this technique is that the label will always stay centered inside the line. The other great thing about this technique is that it's really easy to expand or extend the line or make it shorter. Just choose the selection tool, click on the anchored object, and then expand it, by dragging one of the side handles to the right or left. There we go. Now, that ones wider. And we can make this one narrower, if we want. There we go. You see you have a lot of control over the width of these lines.

Now, as I said, there are a lot more good ways to make lines for forms, including tabs with leaders or using anchored paths. But, I find that these two rule above methods really help when you're trying to lay out a form quickly.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign Secrets
InDesign Secrets

156 video lessons · 73045 viewers

Anne-Marie Concepción and David Blatner

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 2s
    1. 156 Uncommon uses for Quick Apply
      6m 2s
  2. 14h 15m
    1. 001 Intro to InDesign Secrets
    2. 002 The hidden "auto-expand text" feature
      5m 51s
    3. 003 Letting InDesign do the math for you
      3m 15s
    4. 004 The indispensible Quick Apply feature
      5m 29s
    5. 005 Customizing the Links panel
      6m 53s
    6. 006 Magically building graphs with the Chartwell font
      7m 43s
    7. 007 Using the Eyedropper tool to pick up character or paragraph attributes
      3m 21s
    8. 008 Selecting through and into objects using cmd-click and Select Above/Below
      5m 46s
    9. 009 Some great tips and tricks for the Swatches panel
      9m 40s
    10. 010 Saving down for backward compatibility with INX and IDML
      5m 55s
    11. 011 Using the INX and IDML formats to fix problems
      4m 46s
    12. 012 InDesign's Easter eggs
      5m 0s
    13. 013 Three cool GREP styles everyone can use
      7m 35s
    14. 014 A field guide to special characters
      8m 2s
    15. 015 Trashing the application preferences to solve weird behaviors
      4m 42s
    16. 016 Aligning numbered lists by decimal points
      3m 10s
    17. 017 Running a script
      9m 33s
    18. 018 When text disappears from a text frame
      6m 18s
    19. 019 Preview and Presentation modes (changing color, etc.)
      4m 8s
    20. 020 Using multiple windows for comparisons
      3m 35s
    21. 021 Putting images on a stroke
      5m 23s
    22. 022 Making your own motion path
      5m 43s
    23. 023 Copying objects between Illustrator and InDesign
      6m 53s
    24. 024 Using layer comps in Photoshop files to show alternates in InDesign
      4m 19s
    25. 025 Adding custom HTML tags to EPUB/HTML exports
      5m 32s
    26. 026 Tracking down type issues with the composition highlighter
      8m 13s
    27. 027 Managing your InDesign panels
      5m 46s
    28. 028 Creating running heads using variables
      5m 1s
    29. 029 Live Caption tips and tricks
      8m 3s
    30. 030 Making professional drop caps
      10m 37s
    31. 031 Making two-state buttons in interactive documents
      5m 5s
    32. 032 Moving pages from one document to another
      3m 15s
    33. 033 Wrapping bulleted text around a curve
      5m 58s
    34. 034 Importing a custom dictionary
      7m 8s
    35. 035 Changing document orientation and page size
      6m 45s
    36. 036 Numbering instead of using auto page numbers
      6m 23s
    37. 037 Setting story order with the Articles panel
      8m 3s
    38. 038 Updating a linked table without losing formatting
      5m 38s
    39. 039 Creating electronic sticky notes
      4m 49s
    40. 040 Moving master page items to the top layer for visibility
      2m 48s
    41. 041 Five guide tricks that will impress your coworkers
      6m 18s
    42. 042 Letting InDesign add the diacritics
      4m 21s
    43. 043 Using single-cell table cells for custom paragraph formatting
      6m 2s
    44. 044 Formatting fractions correctly
      8m 11s
    45. 045 Fixing unwanted hyperlinks in an imported Word file
      5m 57s
    46. 046 Inline graphic tricks with invisible paragraphs
      4m 21s
    47. 047 Ensuring the first line of every chapter starts in the same spot
      3m 1s
    48. 048 Specifying an exact amount of space between objects
      5m 17s
    49. 049 Fixing last lines that are too short
      8m 16s
    50. 050 Creating web graphics from your InDesign artwork
      7m 20s
    51. 051 Using “No Language” to suppress unwanted hyphenation, spell-checking, and smart quotes
      2m 48s
    52. 052 Five things that should be in every new file
      5m 19s
    53. 053 Forcing EPUB page breaks with invisible objects
      6m 21s
    54. 054 Understanding component information
      6m 39s
    55. 055 Creating running heads using section markers
      4m 16s
    56. 056 Making a font with InDesign using the IndyFont script
      5m 20s
    57. 057 Finding where that color is used
      7m 17s
    58. 058 Text wrapping
      6m 54s
    59. 059 Inserting pages: Understanding the Pages panel
      4m 20s
    60. 060 Copying paths between Illustrator and InDesign
      5m 14s
    61. 061 Automating Find/Change with the Find/ChangeByList script
      12m 48s
    62. 062 Embedding images
      7m 43s
    63. 063 Adjusting leading inside a paragraph
      4m 31s
    64. 064 Placing one InDesign file inside another
      3m 58s
    65. 065 Creating bookmarks for PDFs
      7m 25s
    66. 066 Customizing the story editor preferences
      6m 4s
    67. 067 Setting the size of text exactly with this free script
      3m 28s
    68. 068 Using Gravity to simulate perspective
      3m 15s
    69. 069 Fixing the overflowing text frame problem in EPUBs
      5m 0s
    70. 070 Ten uses of the Story Editor
      11m 39s
    71. 071 Moving an object: Ten ways!
      7m 18s
    72. 072 Understanding optical margin alignment (and the quote trick)
      4m 23s
    73. 073 Changing the shape of any frame with the pen tool
      6m 12s
    74. 074 Working with sets in the content conveyor tool
      10m 40s
    75. 075 Running text along the top and the bottom of a circle
      3m 51s
    76. 076 Creating a list using the Table of Contents feature
      3m 25s
    77. 077 Quickly threading frames together and unthreading frames
      13m 22s
    78. 078 The secrets of formatting objects with Find/Change
      6m 34s
    79. 079 Using ruler guides: 10 great tricks
      5m 3s
    80. 080 Converting a clipping path to a frame
      4m 24s
    81. 081 Adding a drop shadow to a single word inside a frame
      3m 14s
    82. 082 Creating a custom cross-reference format
      13m 53s
    83. 083 Putting different-sized pages on a single spread
      3m 7s
    84. 084 Formatting prices with nested and grep styles
      6m 21s
    85. 085 Checking out the Gridify tricks
      5m 17s
    86. 086 Using Illustrator to create InDesign gradient swatches
      4m 49s
    87. 087 Building a simple grep style to change character size
      3m 45s
    88. 088 Exporting a grayscale PDF
      3m 16s
    89. 089 Three ways to cheat text outside of its frame
      6m 8s
    90. 090 Three great Object Styles for any designer
      8m 1s
    91. 091 Choosing alpha channel image transparency
      2m 25s
    92. 092 Adding and reading metadata for InDesign files
      3m 25s
    93. 093 Adding ALT tags to your images
      6m 59s
    94. 094 How to Place & Link a text frame's text but not its formatting
      7m 4s
    95. 095 Setting the baseline position of a caption
      2m 39s
    96. 096 Managing changing pages with primary text frames
      5m 23s
    97. 097 Secrets of the Info panel
      7m 31s
    98. 098 Surprising ways to do a word count
      5m 29s
    99. 099 Placing an object where you want it with an object style
      6m 18s
    100. 100 Aligning Objects tips and tricks
      5m 10s
    101. 101 Applying corner options to any shape
      2m 17s
    102. 102 Converting footnotes to endnotes with a free script
      4m 49s
    103. 103 Making tab leaders pretty
      4m 18s
    104. 104 Converting text to outlines the right way
      4m 30s
    105. 105 Turning InDesign into a speed demon
      8m 31s
    106. 106 Working with MiniBridge
      5m 45s
    107. 107 Customize your QR codes
      6m 17s
    108. 108 Using the same keyboard shortcut for two different commands with the Context feature
      5m 22s
    109. 109 Making a text highlighter
      3m 33s
    110. 110 Updating an interactive PDF without losing work done in Acrobat
      5m 31s
    111. 111 Adding custom text at the beginning of each line automatically
      4m 0s
    112. 112 Packaging images on the pasteboard
      3m 32s
    113. 113 Automatically updating figure references for books
      6m 9s
    114. 114 Adding Tool Tips to your form fields in InDesign
      3m 21s
    115. 115 Setting poetry, flush left, center on longest line
      3m 54s
    116. 116 Use bookmarks to navigate long documents in production
      4m 57s
    117. 117 Selecting text with the InDesign keyboard dance
      2m 0s
    118. 118 Including a total page count in your page numbers
      6m 19s
    119. 119 Making a custom arrowhead
      5m 37s
    120. 120 Making alternative body text styles for fast typesetting
      5m 4s
    121. 121 Making InDesign patterns with the free PatternMaker
      3m 45s
    122. 122 Creating pull quotes the easy way
      5m 1s
    123. 123 Allow text frame to resize with text
      2m 43s
    124. 124 Mapping Word styles to InDesign styles
      5m 48s
    125. 125 Make two automatically threaded text flows
      3m 37s
    126. 126 Saving for Web in InDesign
      6m 7s
    127. 127 Numbering rows in a table
      5m 10s
    128. 128 Making automatic jump lines
      6m 52s
    129. 129 Turning off allow pages to shuffle in order to separate facing pages
      3m 40s
    130. 130 Dealing with parentheses around text size
      4m 19s
    131. 131 Make a fill in the blank label for contracts and forms
      7m 53s
    132. 132 Changing the shape of polygons and starburst as you draw or afterward
      4m 17s
    133. 133 Contextual text and images that you only want sometimes visible
      4m 55s
    134. 134 Creating nav points in a movie
      4m 31s
    135. 135 Adding effects to your rule above and rule below
      3m 38s
    136. 136 Fitting text to a specific size
      4m 45s
    137. 137 Quick tips for making a small PDF file size
      6m 9s
    138. 138 Sharing presets, workspaces, and custom shortcuts sets
      5m 17s
    139. 139 Making a multi-level numbered list
      5m 17s
    140. 140 Faking bold and italic when the font family doesn’t have one
      5m 2s
    141. 141 Keeping the same scale size when updating or relinking to images
      3m 9s
    142. 142 Inserting glyphs
      6m 42s
    143. 143 Building richer, bolder color gradients
      3m 7s
    144. 144 Finding the right font with InDesign’s font menus
      4m 35s
    145. 145 Lay out a front, back and spine for a book jacket
      6m 12s
    146. 146 Ghosting area of image behind text
      2m 53s
    147. 147 Make a transparency mask in InDesign
      3m 45s
    148. 148 Using preflight to find common document errors
      6m 11s
    149. 149 Cropping with paste into
      5m 18s
    150. 150 Using vertical justification to spread out text in a frame automatically
      5m 16s
    151. 151 Rotate text inside a frame, or the frame around the text
      2m 30s
    152. 152 Looking at snippets vs. libraries
      6m 49s
    153. 153 Import a folder full of pictures, one per page
      8m 54s
    154. 154 When InDesign ignores your leading values
      4m 5s
    155. 155 Extracting images from a Word document
      3m 42s

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