Join Mike Rankin for an in-depth discussion in this video 081 Creating effects with paragraph rules, part of InDesign FX.
- View Offline
Hi, I am Mike Rankin, and welcome to InDesign FX. This week we'll see how to create some interesting effects with paragraph rules. As you see from these examples, there's no shortage of things you can do with paragraph rules. You can control the colors, the stroke styles, the size, and position of rules both above and below a paragraph. So let's see how each of these were done. I'll go to the next page of my document, and we'll start at the top with Rounded Rules. I'll double-click to select the paragraph, and I am going to press Command+Option+J or Ctrl+Alt+J on the PC, and because I just copied the paragraphs from the first page of this document, it's going to remember the rule that I used.
I just temporarily turned it off here. So I am going to turn it back on, and we can walk through the dialog box and see the settings that create the rule. The first thing I need to do is turn on Preview, so I can actually see the Rounded Rule, and the way this was created is with a very thick rule. I used a red color, and the interesting part is a Rounded Rule is made of two parts, a Dotted Rule, and a Gap Color. If I turn off the Gap Color, if I make it None, you can see that this really is just a bunch of dots, but by applying a Gap Color in between, I can fill in these empty spaces and make a solid Rounded Rule.
Of course, if I wanted to, I could pick a different color, and then you'd see the dots again. But I'll just leave this as a Rounded Rule and click OK. Now let's try a different one, again, Command+Option+J or Ctrl+Alt+J to bring up the Paragraph Rules dialog box. I'll turn this rule back on and this is a double-dotted rule, so I have a rule both above and below the paragraph. We'll try another one, Gradient Rules, Rule Above, let's turn it on, and again this is a really thick rule, so all the type fits inside of it, so 30 points.
Let's round it just like the first one by choosing Japanese Dots style and a matching Gap Color, but in this case instead of using a Solid Color, I'll use the Gradient Swatch. And the interesting thing about this is as you type or add more text, the gradient will stretch to be applied to the entire paragraph. But you can see what happens when it goes to a second line. If I go too far, I don't see the rule applied down here, so it's only going to be applied to one line of type. Let's try the next one.
Turn this rule on, and I made something that looks a little bit like Green Grass here. This time I chose a Straight Hash and again a Gap Color, but the contrast is provided by Tint change, so I have 100% for the regular hash mark and only 60% tint for the gap, so slightly different green color. And the last one, this is a really interesting one. With this rule, I have a different color that appears behind each letter. Now the key to this was choosing a mono- space font, so if I look up in the Control Panel, I can see I have chosen Courier Regular.
This will only work with a mono-space font where each glyph is the same width, and for this rule I chose a Dashed rule with different colors, so I have Cyan and Magenta for both the Dash and the Gap. And as I type more text, you can see that it continues on alternating. In this video, we saw how to make a variety of paragraph rules, we saw how to make rounded rules with dotted stroke styles and matching gap colors, we saw how to place rules above and below a paragraph, how to make a gradient filled rule that fits a paragraph text, and even how to make a crazy rule that alternates colors with each character that you type.
Really, you can do a huge number of different things with Paragraph Rules, so have fun experimenting. I'm Mike Rankin, I'll be back in two weeks, thanks for watching.