Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up your baseline grid, part of Designing with Grids in InDesign.
With my margins and columns and my layout grid established, it's now time to turn on the baseline grid and adjust its preferences. So, firstly, I'm going to turn on the baseline grid, and when I turn it on, it will not look how we want it to look. I'm going to turn it on from my view options. And in fact, when I turn it on we don't even see it at all. And the reason we don't see it in my case is because my view size, my fit in windows size, on this monitor is 72%.
The view threshold for the base line grid is 75%. So, we need to go directly to the grid preferences and adjust that. Windows users, your preferences are under the edit menu. So, this is the option I'm referring to. I'm going to reduce it below that number. I'm going to reduce it to 65%. This means that at view sizes of 65% and above when the baseline grid is turned on, it will be visible. So, I'll now click OK just so, they can see how the baseline grid will look initially.
It's an incremented ruling which currently is at 12 points which is what we want, but we don't want its current start position which is three (UNKNOWN) or half an inch from the top of the page. Nor do we want the grid to go outside of our type area. And just as a viewing preference we can also change the color of the grid. So, those are the things that I'm going to do. Back to my preferences, starting with the color, we'll make it light grey simply because light gray is unobtrusive and we have enough grids and guides going on as it is.
Then, I want this start position to be zero, not relative to the top of the page but relative to the top margin. Now, unfortunately there isn't a preview button here, so you can't see these changes taking place as I'm making them until we actually leave the preferences. The increment, 12 points, that's actually what want it to be, so I don't need to change that. There is one other option that concerns us, and it's this. Grids in back. With grids in back checked, if you place an image or a, an element with a solid fill on your page, you will not see the gridlines.
I prefer to see the gridlines, so I'm going to. Uncheck that option. This is now how our baseline grid looks. So, we've turned it on, we've adjusted the preferences, the third part is when we need to now make our text lock to the baseline grid. Or at least those parts of our text that is appropriate for us to lock to the baseline grid. We've used this number of 12. Everything about our paragraphs needs to be based on 12 for those paragraphs that we want to be locked to the baseline grid. That means the leading value plus any space before, plus any space after needs to equal 12.
Or a multiple of 12. Now, there are various work rounds which we'll be looking at for when that's not possible, but remember you don't have to have all of your text on the baseline grid. It's okay for certain things to come off the grid. But what we're concerned with is the body text, the continuous reading text, and this definitely does want to be on the grid. So, I'm going to draw myself a single column. And I will fill that with placeholder text. And I'm just going to use this now to experiment with my body text.
Highlight that text. I have yet to make a body text paragraph style. And that's what I'm going to do now. So, let's assume that I want to use Minion Pro as my body text font. I need to change the size to ten points, the leading to 12 points even though the leading value and the baseline grid increment correlate, we do not currently see our text locked to our baseline grid nor will we until we do this.
Come to a paragraph formats, and click on align to baseline grid. So, there are two ways we can do this. If we're doing it locally, i.e. On a case by case basis. We can do this, and you can see that the text now comfortably sits on those baseline grid rulings. Or more likely, if you're working with a paragraph style, we can incorporate it into our paragraph style options. So, I'm going to go now to create a new paragraph style, which I will call body and in my indents and spacing this is the option that I'm after, all lines.
We'll see there is. This other option first line only, and that can be useful in certain instances where text doesn't comfortably sit within the parameters of our 12 point increment. This is a workaround, but for now, we want all lines chosen. And, we have now created a baseline grid and created a paragraph style upon which we can base numerous other paragraph styles which is locked to that baseline grid.
- 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