2 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2018 9:42 PM by Scott Falkner

    How can I set up styles/properties so text in columns lines up vertically regardless of content?

    matthewl76057979 Level 1

      I've been working with InDesign for exactly two days and am impressed enough to figure I must be missing something important, because I can't believe such capable software would require all kinds of one-off manual adjustments to get things looking right.


      One of the first things I did was set up paragraph styles for title, sub-title, first paragraph, etc. I've used different font sizes and some space-after settings for these, as well as column-spanning.


      The problem is that now my text doesn't line up vertically from one column to the next. I've played with the leading for all the paragraph styles and can get things looking right, but then a single, simple change (such as a heading wrapping to two lines instead of one, or the sub-title taking a line more or less) messes everything up again.


      I've attached a screenshot below showing the kind of layout I want. As you can see, the column-spanning sections and the in-text headers totally goof everything up. (The screenshot shows the contents of a single text box.)


      Surely there is a way to set up a combination of paragraph styles and text frame properties that will account for all this automatically, isn't there? I would rather not have to adjust text on a page-by-page or paragraph-by-paragraph basis if possible; that just seems so unnecessary, inconsistent, and error-prone.


      Thanks for any ideas!


        • 1. Re: How can I set up styles/properties so text in columns lines up vertically regardless of content?
          amaarora Adobe Employee


          What do you mean by aligning vertically?

          Can you check if using align to baseline grid helps?

          Quick Guide to Baseline Grids in InDesign - InDesign Skills



          • 2. Re: How can I set up styles/properties so text in columns lines up vertically regardless of content?
            Scott Falkner Level 5

            Unless you have the same leading, or multiples of the same leading value, for all the styles in your layout your baselines will not line up. InDesign is following your instructions, and you can tweak your leading and paragraph spacing precisely. To that add that the baseline for the first line of text can be fixed, based on the leading of the paragraph, based on the glyph height or the cap height (which is based on the point size and the font). Keeping the baseline for multiple columns of text lined up can be difficult. This is InDesign’s strength, but it also means you need to plan things out.


            Say your heading is exactly twice as high as your body copy and the leading for the heading is exactly twice the leading for body copy. It should be easy to keep the baselines aligned. But in the example you have two other paragraphs with what appears to be two different leading values. These do not appear to be multiples of the leading of your body copy. It is impossible to have one consistent style that will result in your body copy aligning across multiple columns when these paragraphs have different line counts.


            You can compensate for this in several ways. You can adjust the leading for these paragraphs on a story-by-story basis so that the baselines align. This means the introduction paragraphs will have different leading in different stories. You can adjust he space between these paragraphs of between these paragraphs and the body copy that follows. This will, again, be done on a story-by-story basis. You will get inconsistent space where the horizontal rule is shown, but your baselines will align. Or you can turn on align to grid for your body copy. This will give you the same result as the second option above, but it will happen automatically.