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How to get solid lines (not dotted) between Indesign CS6 tabs

Mar 15, 2013 10:52 AM

I am a long-time Indesign user since it was invented. Any time I do fill-in forms (which seems to be frequently) I always end up manually putting the lines between the tabs. I know about tab leaders, but all I can ever find there is a dotted line. I need a way to make the tab leader between tabs a solid underline, but NOT the name, address, phone text underlined.


Any help would be quickly appreciated. It will just save me loads of time if I can specify a solid underline tab leader and then blow through these fill-up forms.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2013 10:58 AM   in reply to Av8rdan

    I like to add a character style to the tab itself that adds an underline to the tab. No leader required.

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    Mar 15, 2013 11:30 AM   in reply to Av8rdan

    This would be a character style for underscore, which could be (nested) within a Paragraph Style.




    Without Peter's method, many people might define an Underscore for the Tab Leader


    Capture 2.JPG

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    Mar 15, 2013 11:57 AM   in reply to Av8rdan

    It (can) produces a near perfect continuous line, dependent on the font. I have never had it fail me for Hi Resolution imaging; I run plates at 1200 dpi. Desktop printers may produce a less desirable result.


    Underscore zoom.JPG


    Acrobat Preview

    Underscore - Acrobat Zoom.JPG


    This would suit your situation, Style the Tab Character with Underline, Not underscore


    Underline Style.JPG

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    Mar 15, 2013 12:12 PM   in reply to Daniel Flavin

    I think Daniel may have led you a bit astray by naming the style "underscore" since it has nothing to do with an underscore character. Tabs ar characters, just like a, b, c... and have font attributes, so evn though they are invisibile they can be underlined. By creating a character style that does nothing but turn on underline (and you can customize the weight and position, as well as the stroke style for the underline), then applying that style to the tabs in your form you automatically get a line at each tab you enter, and it adjusts as the tab position and surrounding text are changed.


    Daniel suggested using a Nested style, but I suspect if your forms are like mine it's ahrd to predict the number of tabs in a paragraph, so a GREP style might work better. You could use, I think the GREP string [\t~y] to pick up any tab or right indent tab (I love using Right indent tabs in forms), and apply the underline style. I also tend to use a thin space of some sort on either side of the tabs in my forms to keep the line a bit separated from the text on either side (don't add the underline to the spaces).

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