Please post a screenshot?
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If, as I think, you are talking about having a filled area behind text, then there are a couple of options besides paragraph rules defined as part of the style you could try, Unfortunately, ID still lacks a paragraph highlight to do this easily.
First would be to insert a single cell table and put the paragraph you need to highlight into that. Apply a fill to the cell. Note that a table cell will not split across columns.
Second would be combine a rule above, a rule below, and a custom underline set with sufficent thickness and offset to look like a rule behind the text and fill the entire leading slug. Set the rules to fill only the first and last lines (you might think you don't need them since the underline will overlap, but they fill any indents at the start or end of the paragraph). This will break across columns, but underlines, unlike rules, don't have the ability to extend wider than the text, so your highlight can't be wider than the text in the column, and it will only work to make an even edge with justified text, so it may not be a good choice.
Third, use an anchored frame. Draw a frame the size you need, then cut the text from the body and paste into the frame. Cut the frame and paste into the running text. Behavior is similar to the table above.
Fourth, Use a filled frame and put it behind the text. This is pretty similar to what you probably did in PM (I don't recall any full-paragraph highlight techniques being available in PM). This will not flow with the text if you edit.
Fifth, and probably the most flexible (though still not fully automated using styles) is to use a rule above and a rule below and manually adjust the heights to match the paragraphs on a case-by-case basis. This allows full-width or even wider-than-column highlights that will break across columns with any sort of text. You can build the rules into the style set for one line at top and bottom (or if these paragraphs are always many lines, set to the number of lines you've chosen in the keep options for start and end of paragraphs) to make it easy to spot, but you'll still have to go through and override to make the final adjustment.
John as requested this is a sample page. The blue tint panel shown is one of hundreds throughout this manual. The size of each varies from one line to an entire page in some cases. While I can automate this in paragraph rules to suit one highlight size it has to be altered in each changing situation. This means all the previous paragraphs automatically change to the new specification. I am unable to figure out how to make the change as an exception to the rule.
Peter has covered most of the options I have tried. I have reached the end of my options as it seems to change the size and or paste the paragraph tint into
the text is a long and laborious task which confines the tint panel to the exact size of the text panel and has to be done on a case by case basis. If the size has to be adjusted manually to suit each paragraph or area of highlighted text then it would be faster to manually create each panel. This has the disadvantage of panels not moving with the text if future alterations are made.
Peter a question for you. In the fith suggestion how do you override the rule on the tint panel without it changing all other tint panels which are subjected to the paragraph rule?
You don't edit the style, you you put the cursor in the paragraph you want to change, then open the paragraph rules dialog and make your change.
Many thanks. I had not realised I could make a change to paragraph rules (in an isolate rule panel) outside of the paragraph style panel. My mistake was to alter the paragraph rule inside the style which of course altered every panel within the document once applied.
While this is a rather clumsy work around it seems the best solution InDesign has to offer. Thank you for your advice. I don't think I would have stumbled on this solution without your help.
You mentioned initially that you didn't want to have a dozen styles for this, but I can see a case for doing so. If most paragraphs fall into a range of line counts, for those that don't break across columns it would be faster to have multiple styles than to adjust the rules manually. Just base the other variants on your first style, put your cursor anywhere in the paragraph, and apply the correct variant (you can even use a keyboard shortcut).
Here's my thinking. A base style with a one line rule at top and bottom covers both one- and two-line paragraphs. Increase the rule width to cover two lines and your rnage is now two to four lines. Increase the width from two to three, and you can cover three to six lines, and so forth. Notice that there is overlap in the coverage ranges, so you don't need the three-line version to cover three or four line paragraphs if you have a 2-line version. Instead of increasing in one-line steps you can use discontiguous changes, i.e. rules that cover 1, 3, 7, 15 and 31 lines and cover the entire range from single-line to 62-line paragraphs in just 5 styles. Paragraphs over 30 lines are probably in need of splitting, so you might need only four styles, or even three.
Again thank you for your suggestion. You are quite right. Setting up five paragraph styles would be much faster than adjusting each panel manually. I really appreciate the time you have taken to find a solution to this problem. What seemed a very simple graphic issue actually became quite a complex issue to resolve.
Many thanks for your help.
Well, I do a lot of my thinking in the shower and while walking the dog, or when I'm supposed to be listening to my wife, so it's not a big deal. The multiple styles still won't save you from manual work when a paragraph spans columns, though, unless it happens to have the right number of lines in each one (and Murphy's law guarantees that will never happen).
I am sure you are right re Murphy's Law but at least this approach
will save me considerable time. To find these solutions must mean you
are now very clean, have a super fit dog and have managed to stay
married. All positive . Thanks again
As a side note, if you have occasion to post by email again, you'll want to delete your personal info. Everything is posted on the web. I've edited it out of your last response for you.