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In InDesign CS4 Power Shortcuts, Adobe product manager and designer Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every InDesign user must know. From placing multiple images to the hidden power of Quick Apply, each one of these videos covers an important topic, and includes just the right amount of information to make anyone a true InDesign power user. InDesign users are always looking for faster, more efficient ways to do everything, and this course offers just what they're looking for. Exercise files accompany the course.
There just happens to be a handy shortcut for opening the Paragraph Rules dialog box. That's another one of those hidden dialog boxes or features that's kind of hard to remember where it is inside InDesign. So I think a keyboard shortcut helps me remember where to get it. So I am going to go ahead and click into this paragraph by triple-clicking into the frame, or double-clicking and then specifying the paragraph that I want to add a paragraph rule to. And paragraph rule, that's not a rule as in a set of laws or anything like that. It's a line, a horizontal line or rule above or below the paragraph that you can add programmatically.
So that as the paragraph moves in the text flow that rule travels with it instead of having a drawn actual graphic, that stays in position and then if your text changes the line wouldn't change with you. Command+Option+J or Ctrl+Alt+J brings up the Paragraph Rules dialog box. Again, you want to makes sure you turn on the Preview checkbox. You can kind of see your result and this dialog box is kind of in a weird state when you first open it because everything is turned off. You have to kind of invoke the dialog attributes by turning on the Rule On rule or that checkbox.
I am going to begin by doing a Rule Below. I want the rule to go below this paragraph that I am currently inserting. I'll turn on the rule and you can see by default, it slams that rule pretty much with the baseline or the bottom of that paragraph. So I want to do a couple of things. I want to make it a lot thicker and I don't like this 1.078 points here. I want to make it to thicker rule. So if I do the spinners first, right, every time I hit the arrow key or click on this little Up arrow, that actually goes in one-point increments. But as a general rule here, whenever you're in a dialog box or a panel and you see these little spinner controls that's what they are called, if you hold down the Shift key and click on the up or down arrows, it changes at ten-point increments, so it just gives you a lot faster to get to bigger chunks if you want to get up there faster.
So Shift+Click, it'll get you up in ten-point increment. By default, the rule color is the same color as the text. Sometimes that's exactly what you want, but you can also specify a specific color that you already have in your Swatches panels. And you know, I don't want the rule to be slammed up, right up against the bottom of the text there, especially, if I had descenders, right, I want that to have a little bit space. So I have an Offset value where I can click to move that away from the text, like so. Now, since I have you in this dialog box, as a bonus you can actually take advantage of an old time trick, where you can actually combine multiple rules to create a bunch of special effects.
So if I wanted a thin black rule to be below this green rule, well, there's no way to add another Rule Below but you can use the Rule Above. Turn it on. Let's change that to a one point rule, and you can see the Rule Above and it's at the top of the paragraph here. But if I use the Offset value and tell it to offset in a negative direction, I can actually create the illusion of having two Rules Below of the paragraph, when it's really just a Rule Above and a Rule Below.
The Rule Above just has a very deep negative offset. So pretty handy trick. Click OK and there is your paragraph rules shortcuts. Again, Command+Option+J, Ctrl+Alt+J to actually open up the dialog. Once you're there, just have fun and play around with it until you get the rule that you're looking for.
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