14 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2012 11:53 AM by Trina Larson

    Putting a gap in a rule below

    Trina Larson

      Hello,

      Whenever I design a form that requires rules below (e.g. Name______________ Address______________), I frequently have a need to have a gap in the rule below. For example, I might have State_________ Zip____________ on one line, but I seem to be forced to insert a little table here in order to get that gap. There must be an easier way! If you know how to create a gap in the rule, which then starts up again a little later on the same line, I would be most grateful if you could share!

       

      Thanks,
      Trina

        • 1. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
          Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          My suggestion is to create tabs on the lines where you need to have a gap and you have more than one field to fill in. Below is an example:

           

          Tabs.jpg

          If you look at the tab ruler, you see I add a rule by making a right-aligned tab, and using the underscore character as the tab leader. Then I position the next text with a left-aligned tab, then do the next rule with a right-aligned tab and an underscore tab leader.

          • 2. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
            M Blackburn Level 3

            I'm a bit confused by the OP's description. I don't see the difference between "name<rule> address<rule>" and "state<rule> zip<rule>"  But I am more confused by the comment "forced to insert a little table here in order to get that gap" How are you building these things?

             

            Per Steve's method: I would suggest switching out that underscore tab leaders for an underline setting. Much more control and no possibility of jagged rules and gaps.

            • 3. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
              [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

              I also would use underlined tabs, but a possible workaround is to add a thick white underline to the plain text instead. I think that would wipe out the paragraph rule below -- you have to try it.

               

              If it works, the advantage would be you could put all of this in your paragraph style :) Add the underline to all text (exclude the tabs) with a GREP style.

              • 4. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                Trina Larson Level 1

                Perfect! Thanks so much. This question has been dogging me for months.

                • 5. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                  Trina Larson Level 1

                  I was adding a table when I need gaps which consisted of several columns and one row. I would then adjust the paragraph rule in each cell to leave a gap. I realize this is not an efficient method. I don't understand the difference between an "underscore tab leader" and an "underline setting". I put the underscore character in the leader box on the tab panel... this was no problem. But what do you mean by "underline setting" and where is it? Are you referring to "rules below"?

                   

                  Trina

                  • 6. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                    Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    That's the way I've done it for a long time. I had never tried applying underline to the tab character. That's also a pretty slick way to do it, and perhaps a little cleaner.

                    • 7. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                      Trina Larson Level 1

                      I don't really understand Jong's answer. Why would I want a thick white underline below the text? What I want is a rule below that can be seen. The GREP style you are referring to: do you mean add a colored (i.e. non-white) underline here or the thick white underline?

                      • 8. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                        Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I didn't understand Jong's answer either. Perhaps he can elaborate about his method.

                        • 9. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                          [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                          Rule Below runs from left to right. White underline under just the text wipes out Rule Below where there is text, elsewhere it won't.

                           

                          It still depends on underlining being drawn on top of Rule Below. There is some order to this -- I use Rule Above and Rule Below to create these kinds of effects but always forget and put the wrong one "on top".

                           

                          Oh, and the GREP style with the white underlining only has to be applied to "Everything but Tab": [^\t]+

                          • 10. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                            Trina Larson Level 1

                            Hi Jong,

                            I was able to put all this in the Paragraph styles and the GREP, but I still don't understand how one would specify how the underline would be drawn on top of the Rule Below. I don't see any "order of operations" or arrangement of front/back in either the Rule Below nor the Underline option.

                             

                            Sorry about all the questions! Your method sounds intriguing in certain situations, with the exception being that the tabs will be changing depending on the length of the text, which would mean constantly overriding the Paragraph Style to fix the tabs.

                             

                            T

                            • 11. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                              [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                              Trina,

                               

                              My trick totally depends on the order InDesign draws its stuff. You cannot influence this. But I just tried it, and (of course) I was right after all:

                               

                              Screen Shot 2012-03-14 at 9.36.05 PM.png

                               

                              Trina Larson wrote:

                              Your method sounds intriguing in certain situations, with the exception being that the tabs will be changing depending on the length of the text, which would mean constantly overriding the Paragraph Style to fix the tabs.

                               

                              Well yeah, but (1) you need to do that anyway.

                              (2) You only need to set tab stops where each next item should start -- to get a bit of white space 'before' and 'after' text, just type in a space or en-space.

                              (3) You don't need to add a tab at the very end to have the rule run to the right margin. Paragraph rules run all the way by default.

                              (4) (uh, what was it?) Oh yeah: since this all can be set up in the Paragraph Style and Character Style, you only have to change these for a global change. For example, you might decide you want a thinner line; or you want it to move up or down a bit.

                               

                              Re (1): I don't think there is a good way to do something like this without custom tab settings. (You could manually insert underscores or underlined spaces. But that's not a "good" way.)

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                              • 12. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                                Trina Larson Level 1

                                Ok, I see the gist of this. So, you are using Character style for all this or Paragraph style? I ask because your example above uses Character style.

                                • 13. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                                  [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                                  Yeah, I used a character style to define the underlining -- but not because it's convenient, easy to alter, or will survive override all local settings in your document. Three excellent reasons, but in this particular case I used a character style because that's what you need for a GREP style.

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                                  • 14. Re: Putting a gap in a rule below
                                    Trina Larson Level 1

                                    Great! I will give it a try. Thanks for your help and expertise.

                                     

                                    Trina