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Using a seven-column grid

From: Designing with Grids in InDesign

Video: Using a seven-column grid

Because of the odd number of columns, a seven column grid is particularly dynamic and flexible. It allows for two text columns of three units, plus a caption or a white space column of a single unit. Or three text columns of two units with a single unit caption or white space column. Where it gets interesting is when you vary the position of this caption or white space column. Here are some things to keep in mind when working with a seven column grid.

Using a seven-column grid

Because of the odd number of columns, a seven column grid is particularly dynamic and flexible. It allows for two text columns of three units, plus a caption or a white space column of a single unit. Or three text columns of two units with a single unit caption or white space column. Where it gets interesting is when you vary the position of this caption or white space column. Here are some things to keep in mind when working with a seven column grid.

If you want to vary the position of this caption or white space column, then you are going to need to use threaded text frames, as opposed to a single text frame divided up here into multiple columns. Which in other situations may be more convenient, but here each of these is a single column text frame that has been threaded to the other text frames in the text flow. And that's going to mean that I can then select this frame. Maybe move it here and then select the caption frame and move that here.

And we can very this from spread to spread to get more mileage from our seven columns. A second thing to bear in mind, and especially when using three text columns as we see on this spread. Make sure that your combination of page size, margin size, and type size allows for columns that are wide enough for at least 40 characters. Now you can check the number of characters per line using the info panel. And, we can see here, I'm slightly coming in less than the ideal of 40 on some of those lines.

So, I think I'm just about going to get a way with it here. But, in order to have as many as character per line as I do. And, it's pretty borderline. I've had to do the following. I've had to decrease the size of the margins. Compare the size of the margins here to those here. I've also had to decrease the size of the body text. I've gone from 9.5 to 9 point. And, I'm using a relatively condensed typeface.

Here, I'm using Adobe Garamond Pro. One other thing to consider and this is actually going to give you less characters per line, so it is intention with that point that I just made. And that is, that because of the odd number of columns and the asymmetric nature of a seven column grid, you might prefer to have your text left-aligned, as I have here, as opposed to justified. But that really comes down to a personal choice.

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This video is part of

Image for Designing with Grids in InDesign
Designing with Grids in InDesign

35 video lessons · 7018 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Introduction
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 9m 37s
    1. Why grids matter
      1m 35s
    2. The parts of a grid
      3m 42s
    3. Some permutations of a twelve-column grid
      4m 20s
  3. 33m 4s
    1. Determining your page size
      3m 40s
    2. Creating margins and defining your type area
      8m 51s
    3. Setting up your baseline grid
      5m 24s
    4. Ensuring that your text columns "bottom out"
      4m 8s
    5. Potential problems with the baseline grid
      4m 58s
    6. Controlling the aspect ratio of your type area
      6m 3s
  4. 33m 26s
    1. Using text wraps with grids
      3m 43s
    2. Using layers with grids
      4m 49s
    3. Combining object styles with grids
      6m 28s
    4. Using the Gap tool with grids
      2m 9s
    5. The power of Gridify
      7m 21s
    6. Using the MakeGrid script
      4m 24s
    7. Other grid tools
      4m 32s
  5. 24m 44s
    1. Fitting subheads to your grid
      4m 45s
    2. Halving your baseline-grid increment
      2m 41s
    3. Accommodating paragraphs with different leading
      3m 15s
    4. Using a custom baseline grid
      5m 45s
    5. Working with side-by-side paragraphs on a grid
      3m 58s
    6. Creating a cap-height grid
      4m 20s
  6. 13m 32s
    1. Working with bleeds and crossovers
      2m 20s
    2. Rotating images and text
      2m 55s
    3. Breaking your grid with cutout images
      3m 8s
    4. Breaking your grid with pop-out images
      3m 34s
    5. Overlapping images on your grid
      1m 35s
  7. 8m 20s
    1. Using a five-column grid
      1m 52s
    2. Using a seven-column grid
      2m 48s
    3. Designing posters on a grid
      1m 15s
    4. Maximizing white space with a grid
      1m 0s
    5. Working with radial grids
      1m 25s
  8. 1m 12s
    1. Final thoughts and additional resources
      1m 12s

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