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Paragraph Rules

Lesson 8 from: Adobe InDesign CC Intermediate: Beyond the Basics

Erica Gamet

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Lesson Info

8. Paragraph Rules

Lesson Info

Paragraph Rules

Create a new frame here. Actually, I have a frame set up called Paragraph Rules. And so, one of the things that we can do is we can put a rule back behind text. I'm actually not gonna open that one yet. I'm gonna show you what I mean before I open up some of those other ones that are there. And I am going to make sure I hide those hidden characters. I don't wanna see those. So if I have a headline, and then I have a bunch of text down here, and I want a frame back behind this headline. Maybe this headline is bold, and we'll make it a little bit bigger. And also, let's make it CAPS. So in that, I wanna make sure that I have a line back behind it, or square back behind it. I can do that using something called paragraph rules. So under the paragraph panel, under the menu, Paragraph Rules, which sounds like it tells you a rule that you're supposed to do something or not, but it's not, it's a line, a rule line. So I'm gonna tell it rule above or below. It doesn't matter, because we're gonna...

have to move it anyway. So I'm gonna say rule below, and turn that on, and turn on my preview. So I can see I now have a rule below that. But what I wanna do is I wanna make it, first of all, a different color. So let's make it yellow. So I'm making sort of a highlighter here. And I can choose what type of line I want. I'm just gonna use a solid line for that. And I'm gonna go ahead and just make it thicker. So basically, I'm making it thicker. And because it's an underline, it's moving the line down. And that's fine. I just wanna make it fat enough to fit that text. But then I can come back up here to the offset, and I can move that up. So let's just move that guy up until it lines up pretty good. Looks good. And then I also can tell it whether or not I want it to fit the column, or just the text itself. And I do want it to stick out a little bit beyond the text, and that's what this little left indent is for. So I can bring this in just to some negative values, just so it sticks out a little bit. And now, I've got that text set up as a rule. So, now keep in mind, this is the entire paragraph. So if I have other information, I can't just have just this one word selected. If I did, I could use the underline feature instead. If I just wanted this word to have that sort of look to it, I could use the underline feature, and I option clicked on that, and choose underline, and do the same sort of thing. But it would be just for this particular character that's here. But in this case I'm doing it across an entire paragraph. So the nice thing is, as I have other text, if I were to put text before that, and paste that in there, and hit return, I now have that, and it travels with it. As I add and delete text, that text moves with it. And that's why I don't wanna have a separate square that I have to move along with it. I can use that paragraph style that's there. I'm gonna open up one that I have with these paragraph rules, just to kind of show you some other things that you can do with that. So these are both paragraph rules as well. So this is a headline. And so this is a paragraph style that I've set up called the Bubble Banner. And all I've done is the same thing with paragraph rules. Come down to my paragraph rules. This is the same dialog box that we just saw. I turn the rule on. And I did a dotted line instead. That's how I got these rounded corners. I did a dotted line, and it's color, but I also made the gap color, the color that goes between the dots, the same exact color. So that gives me my rounded corners. So it's basically a dotted line with the gap filled in with the same exact color. So that's just a paragraph rule. I can check that in my paragraph panel under Paragraph Rules. And I have my rule above turned on, and there's that. So I have the same thing here. It's the same sort of thing. And so we can set that. So as we work with this, this becomes the same. I can go ahead and add that to each of those paragraphs that are. Sorry, sometimes though, when I hit the return though, it's going to break that, because it is actually two different paragraphs. But I can see that as I continue to hit return, it automatically adds that background to that. So that is a paragraph rule just added to the background. So it moves with it. I don't have to maintain a line or a square behind the text as well, and it moves along with them.

Ratings and Reviews

Marianne Stewart

I've been using InDesign for a decade, and decided to take this class to see what else I could learn. Wow! Erica taught me ways to do repetitive tasks easier, faster, and cleaner. She showed me many, many ways that I wasn't using InDesign to it's fullest potential (and now I am!). Her teaching style is very thorough and in-depth, but also easy to follow and understand. I highly recommend this class!


Great class, but as a former professional typesetter (before InDesign, PageMaker and QuarkXpress), Erica uses the term "Justified Left" incorrectly! (sorry!) There is no such thing. Justified refers only to text that spans the width of it's column from edge to edge. The spacing in-between words will vary. Used primarily in newsprint where the columns widths are narrow. The other proper terms for text alignment are: Flush Left Ragged Right (or) Left-Aligned Flush Right Ragged Left (or) Right-Aligned Centered Justified The oddball is "Justified". It's the only option where word spacing is variable. This is the least desirable because it creates "Rivers and Valleys" of white space that distract the eye. Letter and word spacing can be tightened or tweaked to improve the overall look, but at cost in time.


Great class and very informative. Erica’s a good instructor. Given the volume of information presented I’d like to see class materials included. It makes the course much easier to follow.

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