Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Accommodating paragraphs with different leading, part of Designing with Grids in InDesign (2013).
For documents that have body text and supporting text, how do we make sure that the two types of text are both aligned to the same grid? In this case I have body text at 10 point and supporting text used for captions and sidebars at 7.5 point. The leading of my body text is 13.5 points, and that works well, makes for nice readable body text. If I were to apply 13.5 point leading to my 7.5 point caption or sidebar text, that's going to make for that text far too widely spaced.
So what's the solution? The solution is, we can use an option called Align First Line Only. And what that does, is it makes sure that the supporting text is aligned to the grid. But just its first line, after that it conforms to whatever leading value we specified, in this case nine points and just does its own thing. But in addition to this, we can also set things up in such a way that the leading value of our supporting text ultimately comes into sync with the leading value of our body text.
Firstly, how do we make sure something is aligned to the first line only? My body text has all lines locked to the baseline grid, my supporting text has just the first line. They are both applied through the same icon on the control panel. But if I only want to affect the first line then I come to the Control Panel menu and choose this option. If I'm incorporating this into a Paragraph Style Definition, come to Indents and Spacing and it's this option, First Line Only.
And we can see that if I draw down a guide, to that first baseline, they are cross aligned. Furthermore, and here's the important point here, 13.5 times 2 is 27. 9 times 3 is 27. So that means after that first line, every two lines of the body text, and every three lines of the supporting text, things will come back into alignment and I can draw down a guide right there. And right there, and we can see that things go out of alignment and come back into alignment.
Here now are some other leading combinations that also work. 12.75 for the body text, combined with 8.5 for the supporting text. 12.75 times 2, 25, 8.5 times 3, 25. 12 paired with 9. 12 times 3, 36. 9 times 4, 36. You get the idea. So with a bit of consideration, you can make sure that even though it's going to be impossible and undesirable to have all lines aligned to your baseline grid, after that first line, things will come back into synch every 2, or 3, or possibly 4 lines, depending on the leading value combinations that you use.
- Why grids matter
- Determining your page size
- Creating margins and defining your type area
- Setting up a baseline grid
- Understanding the power of InDesign's Gridify feature
- Breaking your grid with images
- Maximizing white space with a grid