Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Highlight paragraphs with boxes, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- I'd like to call out a paragraph over here on my left hand page. Something special that will catch the reader's eye. For example, maybe a shaded box behind the paragraph. Now this is something that programs like Microsoft Word have been able to do for a long time. But until recently, InDesign couldn't do it. So people had to resort to all kinds of work arounds like just drawing the box manually. Fortunately, now it's easy to do in InDesign. Using a feature called paragraph shading. Now paragraph shading is a paragraph formatting attribute of course, so I need to select some of the paragraph.
I'll grab the type tool, then click inside this paragraph, and then zoom in to 200% with command 2 or control 2 on Windows. That way I can see what I'm doing better. Now to apply paragraph shading, I just click on the shading checkbox up here in the middle of the control panel. Of course you can only see that checkbox when the control panel is in paragraph formatting mode, which it is. But this checkbox is kind of dumb because you don't have any control over the size of the shading. You can change its color over here in this pop-up menu, but I need more control.
So in order to get more control, I'm going to hold down the option key on the Mac or alt on Windows, and click on this little icon to the left of that pop-up menu. When I do that, up comes this big dialogue box. Now technically this is two different features in one, shading and borders. I'm going to focus on shading first, and then I'll show you borders. Now the first thing you need to do is make sure the shading checkbox is turned on up here. Next give it a color. Right now it's set to light gray, but you can change this to any color swatch in your document.
I'm going to leave it the way it is, but it is a little bit too dark. Here, let me move this out of the way so we can see what we're doing. I'd like to make this a little lighter. So I'll change the tint to something smaller, for example 40%. Now obviously the shading is too close to the edge of the text, so I'm going to increase these offset fields down here in order to push it away from the text. Make the box bigger. But before I change this value, I'm going to make sure this button in the middle, that little link icon, is turned on.
That way if I change one field, it'll change all of them. So I'll click on one of these, and then I'll simply click the up arrow on my keyboard, and that increases this to one millimeter. Now you can control other aspects of the shading box, like its corners. Like I'll come up here and change these to rounded corners instead. And I'll increase the value of this to a couple millimeters. Then I'll click OK. That looks awesome! But now what about that borders thing? The borders are basically just the same thing as shading, but it's a stroke instead of a fill.
Here, let me show you. I'll click in this paragraph to the right, and now I'm going to come up here and hold down the option or alt key and click on this icon next to the word border. Up comes the same dialogue box, but this time I'm in border mode. Let's move this to the other side of the screen. Now I'm going to turn on the border checkbox and set my offsets down here. I'll increase the same amount, one millimeter, and now I can change the stroke. Let's make this thicker, change its type to thick thick, and then why don't we change it's color too? That looks pretty good, so I'll click OK.
Now of course you can also apply both shading and border to the same paragraph if you want. I really love this paragraph shading feature! I don't need it for most of the documents I make, but when I do need it, it just saves so much time.
- 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