Join Brian Wood for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with document-based baseline grids, part of InDesign CS2 Beyond the Basics.
Now we're going to go thru how to work with baseline grids with documents. I've opened up from the exercise files inside of the Chapter 2 folder, I've opened up the "brochure_baseline.indd" document. Now, the exercise files once again that I'm using throughout the tutorial are available with the Premium subscription and on the CD-ROM. If you're a monthly or annual subscriber and you don't have access to these, I mean you can follow along and use your own files, but if you really want to follow along and utilize, you know, step by step exactly the files that I'm using I'd recommend you upgrade to the Premium subscription because that actually gets you access to the files, or purchase the CD-ROM itself.
So, let's get started with the baselines out here. I wanted to discuss a little bit about baselines and talk about what happens here and what they are. So, I'm going to zoom in over here using Command- Spacebar, Control-Spacebar on Windows. Take a look on the left hand side. I'm on page 2 right now of the document. I'm going to draw a guide from the horizontal ruler up top. Click, and drag out. And, if I take a look, what I'm going to be able to see, is across the two columns here the text is not perfectly lined up. You know, a lot of times that's fine. You know, a lot of publications you're working on that's great. But, if you're doing something like a newspaper, magazine, that sort of thing where that does matter, then for you to line those up is going to be kind of a pain unless you use the baseline grids.
All of your text sits on baselines kind of like this, and InDesign comes with a grid that sits behind. It's kind of like college-ruled paper. To see that, we're going to go up to View, come down to Grids and Guides and you will see Show Baseline Grid. So, let's open that up there. Take a look, it's going to take your eyes a second to kind of adjust here. You might get a little nauseous, but that's fine. It's par for the course. What I'm going to do is delete that guide that I had on here. So, I'm going to click on that and delete that. I don't need that anymore. This grid is kind of like college-ruled paper and what it's meant for you to do is to snap your text to it.
To do that I'm going to come to my Type tool, and once again if you're on your black arrow, if you double-click on top of text you come directly to your Type tool, which is kind of a nice little feature. With your Type tool inside of there, your cursor in there, come to your Paragraph Formats in the Control palette, or the Paragraph palette itself, it doesn't matter. Come all the way to the right over here in the Control palette. Take a look. You've got two buttons, Do not align, and Align to baseline grid. Watch what happens when I click Align to baseline grid. If you take a look, you're basically just spreading the text out.
Here's what's happening. Typically we're going to be doing space afters, we're going to be doing leading, all sorts of things to get our text to look good. If I snap text to the baseline grid the baseline grid has a set distance between the lines here. The distance should equal the leading value of your text; the leading value being the distance between the lines. , If it doesn't, if these lines are too close together it's going to basically push the text to the next line itself and snap it to that grid. So, that's a problem we've got. So, what we need to do is this...
With all of our text we're going to get it to line up, but I want it to look good too, which is kind of a problem right now. So, what we have to do is we can actually set the grid itself to basically change the space between the lines here. So, the first step we want to do is this: Put your cursor in your text, make sure it's in there, come to your Character Formats or the Character palette, doesn't matter. Take a look at your leading value right now. That should be the distance between the baseline grid. That's what we're going to set it at. So, I've got 14.4 point right here. I'm going to select that right there. If you take a look I can click on the actual icon on the left here.
I'm going to copy that value. So, I'm going to go to Edit>Copy, Command-C, Control-C. We're going to go set our baseline grid now, to work. To do that we're going to come to Preferences. On the Mac, come to InDesign, on the Windows come to Edit, come down to Preferences, and if you take a look in here, we're actually going to see Grids. Come to Grids, you're going to open up your Preferences pane here. Now, if you take a look we're going to be able to see that we have Baseline Grids setting inside of here. There's a lot of things you can do to this. You can change the colors of these lines sitting out here.
You can tell it where to start relative to the top of the page. Right here it says Relative To: Top of Page. You can also tell it to go within your margin guides. Increment Every should equal your leading value. Now, if you take a look, this leading value right here is in inches. Does anyone know the conversion from 14.4 points to inches? I didn't think so. It's kind of rough. So, what I'll do is this. Click on Increment Every. It's going to select a text. I'm going to do a Paste, Edit>Paste. You can do Command-V, Control-V, and you're going to see your leading value in there.
Now, there's a little thing in here. I've got to get rid of these actual parenthesis here because it won't recognize it otherwise. Now, with it pasted in there, if you Tab, or go to another field - just clicking on the field - it will automatically convert it to inches for you. So, that is the distance between the baseline. So, if you take a look we also have Relative To. Relative To, like I said, allows you to say: start this grid - if you look on my page out here - start it at the top of the page, or better yet, if I move this out of the way, start it at the top of my margins, which is usually what we want to do.
I'm going to move this back. I'm going to say Relative To: Top Margin. Select Top Margin. We can't preview this unfortunately. So, we're going to have to click OK, get it out there and take a look at it. So, Relative To: Top Margin. I'm going to tell it to Start 0 here. If it said Top Margin it would start it a half inch from your top of your margin. So, I'm going to say let's start at 0 inches from the Top Margin and get it to start directly on there. Now, View Threshold is literally saying, if I zoom out beyond this value they will actually disappear. These gridlines will disappear.
So, you can get it to do that. It's kind of a nice little feature. Once we set up our baseline grid, this is going to do it for the whole document, click OK, take a look at your document out here. You can basically see now that it starts right at the top of your margin guides here. And, if you look at your text it should look a lot better. It's actually the distance between these grid lines here is set to your leading value. That's a good thing. Now that this is snapped to the grid itself, one thing we want to do is we want to get the rest of our text to do that. So, this is actually a paragraph format.
I've actually set up paragraph styles for this. If you didn't set up paragraph styles you'd have to go in and select every paragraph and tell it to snap to the baseline grid. Since we have a paragraph style - come off to the side over here in your Paragraph Styles palette. If you take a look we've got Body with a plus next to it, plus meaning that we've got an Override. If you take a look, it says Grid Alignment: Baseline. All I want to do is this: with my cursor in the paragraph we're going to redefine the body to tell it to snap all the body text. So, with Body selected, I'm going to come to the Paragraph Styles menu and say, Redefine Style.
There's the shortcut for that. That allows me to redefine all the body text. Now, if you take a look all of your body text should be snapped to the baseline grid. Kind of a nice easy process. There's a couple things you want to watch out for this though. With Space After, and that sort of thing, if I look down here - let me scroll down a bit here - I'm going to use my Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows, to get to my Hand tool. If I take a look, you're going to have to jump basically the distance between the two baselines here. So, if you have heading values or headings themselves that are not snapping, it's going to look a little different right there.
And, if you do any Space After, for instance, if I had my cursor in this paragraph, come to your Paragraph Format, or the Paragraph palette, go up to Control panel, Paragraph Formats, if you take a look I've got my Space After right here. Now, if I do any Space After, watch this. If I start to do Space After, it's going to start to move my text. See what happens to this paragraph down here? It has to snap to a line. So, it's actually going to jump which is something that you do have to watch for. So, those are basically baseline grids inside of a document.
The whole document works the same way using the baseline grid for every page.
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