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Baseline grid tricks

From: InDesign Typography

Video: Baseline grid tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for working with baseline grids, and the first of those is how do we work with paragraphs that are smaller in size and tighter in leading when they come side by side with our body text? I am going to turn my Grid on by pressing W and then come to my View options to see my Baseline Grid. In fact, I think I will press Command or Ctrl+Semicolon just to hide the column guide so we are only seeing the baseline gird but not the column guides.

Baseline grid tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for working with baseline grids, and the first of those is how do we work with paragraphs that are smaller in size and tighter in leading when they come side by side with our body text? I am going to turn my Grid on by pressing W and then come to my View options to see my Baseline Grid. In fact, I think I will press Command or Ctrl+Semicolon just to hide the column guide so we are only seeing the baseline gird but not the column guides.

And the issue here is that my Body Type is 9.25 points on 12 Point Leading, my Caption is 8 points. Now if this were on 8 point leading, it would just look too loose. So, rather than not align this to the grid, you can see that it is aligned to the grid, but actually only its first line is aligned to the grid. This is the third way, rather than aligning it to the grid or not aligning it to the grid, we have this third option of aligning it to the grid, but only its first line.

Now there is more that's going on here, because you can see that after the first line, lines 2, 3, and 4 are out of sync with the grid, and then line 5, and every subsequent fourth line comes back on the grid, and that's no accident. The Leading value of the Caption is 9 points, 4 times 9 is 36, the Leading value of the Body text is 12 points, 3 times 12 is 36. I will now turn my Column Guides back on, Command or Ctrl+Semicolon.

Let's look at another issue that's likely to come up, and that is how do we align the tops of pictures relative to the text that's next to them? And you can see in the case of these top two pictures here, if I turn the Guides off, they are not visually aligned with the top of the text. And that's to do with the fact that each of our text frames is going to have a little bit of space at the beginning, and that's because each first line of type is aligned to the grid, and we have if we look in our Text Frame Options, we have this default Offset Baseline option, Ascent.

That's how that's going to look. There is no reason to change that. But what we need to do is bring the top of the pictures down so the tops of the pictures align with the cap height of the text and the columns next to them. If you're just doing the odd one or two, you could just draw a guide as necessary and adjust the tops of the picture frames according to that guide. But if you anticipate this coming up a lot, let's say you are doing a catalog with lots of text and images arranged in this way, then it's going to be worth your while to create a cap height line.

I have one already created, if we come to the Layers panel, I can turn that on, and we see I have got now a whole additional increment. It's also at the 12-point increments, but it's offset from the baseline grid increment, and it marks the tops of caps of the type. Now, of course, the top of caps is going to vary according to what typeface and at what size you are using it. So I am going to turn that off, and we'll create this again. To do this, come to an example in your text.

I am going to position my page right there, so I can also see the left-hand page, because I want to draw down a guide, and I want that guide to be on the left and the right pages. To make sure that, that happens, I am going to hold down the Command key or the Ctrl key and drag that down, and I want to position this guide at the top of caps of the I right there. Okay, now when I have got it in place, I am going to select it, and I am going to cut it, and since I want this to be on all of my document pages, I am going to put this guide, or grid of guides on my master page.

So, I am going to come to my master page, I will zoom out, and then I am going to paste that guide that's on the clipboard in place, Command+Option+Shift+V or Ctrl+Alt+Shift+V, paste it right there. With it selected, I'll come to the Edit Menu, and I will choose Step and Repeat. I mentioned in an earlier movie that I have 55 lines. I already have one of these guides, so I need an additional 54, and I want the Vertical Offset to be the same increment as my Leading or Baseline Grid increment, which is 1 pica or 12 points, and then I will turn on my Preview, and there is my cap height line.

Now, what I didn't make sure, though, was that all of these lines were on a separate layer, and it's going to be a good idea for me to do that because I don't want to see all of these all the time. I am going to swipe down the spines as I select all of those, come to my Layers panel, create a New layer, and then drag that selection to the new layer. I will call it cap height1 just to distinguish it from the one that's already there. And just one other thing that is entirely a matter of preference, and that is what color do we want these guides to be? I am going to come to Ruler Guides, and I'd like them to be a little bit less obtrusive.

So I am going to go for a Gray. Now that I have those in place, I can come back to the Pages where they are needed. I can select the tops of my images, and I can pull them down, I know exactly how far to pull the tops of those picture frames down to, and the tops of those frames do indeed snap to those grids, and I can do the same here. In fact, it's already been done on all of the other images but just those top two needed it. So that's how you can create and employ a cap height guide.

What about one other thing? And that one other thing is how do we work with a Custom Baseline Grid? Every once in a while, you may find yourself wanting to have multicolumn text in a separate frame, and that text is smaller or bigger than your body text. So, it requires a different grid increment, and that is the case here. Each text frame can theoretically have its own grid increment.

I think if you're using more than two baseline grids in the same document, then you might need to rethink your grid strategy. But there are occasions where you do want to set the Baseline Options for a specific text frame, and that's what I have done here. So, this particular text frame uses a Grid Increment of 10 points as opposed to 12 points. And as with the main grid, I am starting at 0, in this case, relative to the top inset.

You'll see that this type is also aligned to the grid, but it's marching to the tune of a different drummer. So, there are three different tips for working with grids, how you can align to the first line, how you can set a cap height to adjust your pictures making sure that they align to the top of caps, and how you can work with a Custom Baseline Grid.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign Typography
InDesign Typography

107 video lessons · 19860 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Customizing the workspace for type
      2m 18s
  2. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 only)
      3m 59s
    3. Understanding text flow methods
      6m 25s
    4. Understanding text threads
      3m 40s
    5. Understanding Smart Text Reflow
      2m 27s
    6. Mocking up pages with placeholder text
      5m 47s
    7. Placing multiple text files
      3m 50s
    8. Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 only)
      4m 1s
    9. Copying and pasting vs. placing
      2m 25s
    10. Cleaning up text with Find/Change
      5m 46s
    11. Using the Story Editor
      3m 41s
    12. Spanning columns
      5m 14s
  3. 45m 50s
    1. Choosing your type
      6m 46s
    2. Understanding text essentials
      6m 37s
    3. Scaling type
      2m 27s
    4. Using italic and oblique type
      4m 33s
    5. Working with condensed and extended type
      4m 26s
    6. Setting type in all caps
      3m 46s
    7. Setting type in small caps
      4m 21s
    8. Underlining type
      4m 11s
    9. Using superscript and subscript
      4m 35s
    10. Applying baseline shift
      4m 8s
  4. 16m 6s
    1. Understanding type anatomy
      3m 25s
    2. Exploring serif and sans serif
      2m 48s
    3. Comparing points, picas, and ems
      8m 34s
    4. What's in a name?
      1m 19s
  5. 16m 27s
    1. Setting leading
      4m 56s
    2. Avoiding auto-leading
      4m 12s
    3. Leading shortcuts and preferences
      4m 7s
    4. Using autoleading with inline graphics
      3m 12s
  6. 21m 25s
    1. Defining kerning and tracking
      2m 5s
    2. Understanding kerning methods
      5m 10s
    3. When and how to kern
      5m 53s
    4. When and how to track
      8m 17s
  7. 45m 48s
    1. Working with quotes, primes, and apostrophes
      8m 16s
    2. Using dashes
      5m 24s
    3. Using ellipses
      2m 56s
    4. Working with accents and special characters
      4m 1s
    5. Using space characters
      4m 15s
    6. Working with ligatures
      4m 29s
    7. Setting fractions
      3m 56s
    8. Using lining and proportional numerals
      2m 49s
    9. Using alternates, swashes, and ornaments
      5m 2s
    10. Working with optical sizes
      4m 40s
  8. 57m 20s
    1. Understanding alignment
      3m 47s
    2. Working with left-aligned type
      3m 24s
    3. Working with justified type
      7m 5s
    4. Using Optical Margin Alignment
      3m 39s
    5. Determining column width
      4m 53s
    6. Working with center alignment
      5m 36s
    7. Working with right alignment
      1m 22s
    8. Aligning to or away from the spine
      1m 50s
    9. Understanding the Paragraph Composer and Single-line Composer
      3m 44s
    10. Combining alignments
      9m 20s
    11. Using hanging punctuation
      2m 13s
    12. Working with vertical alignment
      10m 27s
  9. 14m 9s
    1. Using first-line indents
      2m 26s
    2. Using indent alternatives
      2m 3s
    3. Working with left and right indents
      4m 0s
    4. Using last-line indents and outdents
      1m 26s
    5. Using paragraph spacing
      4m 14s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. Setting hyphenation
      6m 14s
    2. Working with line breaks and discretionary hyphens
      4m 48s
    3. Balancing ragged lines
      1m 36s
    4. Using the No Break feature and non-breaking characters
      2m 52s
    5. Using frame, column, and page breaks
      3m 42s
    6. Defining Keep Options
      4m 7s
  11. 37m 53s
    1. Understanding tabs
      8m 58s
    2. Considerations for table text
      3m 55s
    3. Table tips and tricks
      11m 55s
    4. Creating a bulleted list
      6m 50s
    5. Creating a numbered list
      3m 46s
    6. Creating a multi-level numbered list
      2m 29s
  12. 23m 12s
    1. Understanding drop caps
      11m 3s
    2. Navigating tricky drop caps
      5m 14s
    3. Using a nested character style with a drop cap
      3m 59s
    4. Other uses of drop caps
      2m 56s
  13. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding paragraph and character styles
      7m 13s
    2. Creating, applying, and editing styles
      7m 3s
    3. Removing overrides
      4m 58s
    4. Creating and applying character styles
      5m 4s
    5. Creating and applying nested styles
      12m 30s
    6. Using GREP styles (regular expressions)
      4m 8s
    7. Creating and applying sequential styles
      6m 19s
    8. Using paragraph rules creatively
      11m 48s
    9. Mapping Word styles
      6m 12s
    10. Working with anchored objects and object styles
      6m 24s
  14. 25m 30s
    1. Applying a text wrap
      6m 7s
    2. Making items ignore a text wrap
      1m 46s
    3. Using text wraps for flexible layouts
      3m 2s
    4. Working with difficult text wraps
      8m 39s
    5. Inverting text wraps
      2m 7s
    6. Setting text wrap preferences
      3m 49s
  15. 29m 33s
    1. Choosing a page size and setting margins
      6m 33s
    2. Setting up columns
      2m 53s
    3. Dividing a page into rows
      3m 27s
    4. Setting up a baseline grid
      5m 40s
    5. Handling baseline grid problems
      3m 37s
    6. Baseline grid tricks
      7m 23s
  16. 12m 19s
    1. Looking at screen documents
      4m 2s
    2. Setting size, leading, and line length onscreen
      3m 13s
    3. Exploring typefaces designed for the screen
      3m 36s
    4. Accessibility: Contrast and color
      1m 28s
  17. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

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