Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Add rules above or below a paragraph, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- Many designs call for a line also called a rule to sit above or below a paragraph especially a heading. And you can spend all day drawing lines with the line tool but you'd be a lot better off using InDesign's paragraph rules feature. In this magazine document from my exercise files folder I'm going to zoom in on this text on the left page down here I'll just press command spacebar or control spacebar on windows and then drag out an area and it zooms in. Now I can see that I have a heading here 'Coney Island' But it looks kind of dull I want my eye to be drawn to it.
So I'm going to put a rule next to it. To do that, I need to put my text cursor inside the paragraph. So I'll simply double click on it. That switches to the type tool and places the cursor inside the paragraph. Now I'm going to open the paragraph rules dialogue box and to get there I need to go to the right side of the control panel and open it's menu. Here I'll scroll down and choose Paragraph Rules. Or you can press command option J on the mac or control alt J on windows. Now the paragraph rules dialogue box is actually two different dialogue boxes in one.
And you choose each one from this little pop up menu in the upper left corner here's a rule above and there's a rule below they look the same but they're affecting different things. And, unfortunately, you can only see one at a time. Now I want to create a rule above so I'll select that Next, I turn on the Rule On checkbox I also want to make sure the Preview checkbox is turned on in the lower left corner that way I can see what I'm doing while I'm working. Now right now I've got a one point solid line set to the same color as the text and it's right at the baseline of the text and that's probably not what I want so let's go ahead and change that.
First, I'm going to change the color of the rule I click this little color pop up menu and I'll choose something different Like this light gray Next I'm going to make the rule a little thicker I could type in a value there but I'm just going to pull it out of this pop up menu Let's make it five points thick. And then I'm going to change the offset The offset is how far away from the baseline this rule should be. I'm going to increase this to maybe .25 inches. And when I hit Tab you'll see that that rule moves up.
So now the rule is above the text. I can also change how wide the rule should be. Not how thick but how wide. For example, I'm going to change the left indent to something like five points when I hit the tab key you'll see the left edge moved in to the right. Now alternatively I could turn it around and make it negative five points. Then I'll hit Tab and you'll see that the line actually gets pulled out into the margin. Now the other way I can control how wide this rule should be is the width popup menu.
Right now it's set to Column so the rule will extend from one column edge to the next. But if I change this to Text I get a very different affect Now the rule only goes to the edge of the text InDesign is smart enough to know where the edge of the text is. And however long that line of text is that's how long the rule will be too. Now in this case I do want the rule to fill the whole column so I'll set it back. Now if I wanted to I could add a rule below too. The same paragraph can both a rule above and a rule below if you want.
But in this case I think it's looking pretty good so I'll click Okay. Adding rules or lines to your text can definitely help you draw the reader's eye to where you want them to look and to separate one section from another. I'm just glad that it's so easy to create these with InDesign's Paragraph Rules feature.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents