Monday, June 30, 2008

Vertical rules with paragraph styles

Adriano wrote and asked if there was any way to reproduce this:

without drawing lines by hand, so that the frame would be quickly resizeable to different column widths as needed. Yes, this can be done, but you have to be sneaky! Here's how:

1. Create a single text frame, and put all the text for the header and the body in this text frame.

2. Assign three paragraph styles to the text: one for the header, one for the first paragraph, and one for the last paragraph. If you are going to have more than two paragraphs, you will need a fourth style for all the middle paragraphs.

3. The horizontal rules are easy. They are just applied with a Paragraph Rule Below setting applied to the Sidebar, header and Sidebar, last paragraph styles.

4. The vertical rules are where we have to get sneaky. First, create a custom stroke style as shown below. (Choose Stroke Styles from the Stroke panel menu.) Note that we are defining an 11 inch dashed line pattern, with a .0278 inch black dash and the rest of the stroke white.

5. Now, for the Sidebar, header paragraph style, define a Paragraph Rule Above setting similar to the screen shot below. Note that for the Type, I've selected the custom stroke style created in step 4. In this example, I've also applied a 20% black "Gap Tint" to make "white" part of the stroke gray, as shown in the header. The 28 point Weight of the rule makes the black line appear vertical.

6. Last, for the Sidebar, first paragraph paragraph style, define a Paragraph Rule Above setting similar to the screen shot below. Note that for the Type, I've again selected the custom stroke style created in step 4.

6 comments:

ptotheatsign said...

Thanks for this one.

Tricia said...

Thanks for that! I guess a separate stroke style will be required for pages that uses a different background colour...?

Keith Gilbert said...

You will need to create additional Paragraph Styles, not Stroke Styles, to change the color of the rules. Or, you can edit the paragraph rule attributes directly, to override the paragraph style, by choosing Paragraph Rules from the Control Panel menu.

Aaron Riddle said...

Very nice tip! Came in handy for me while laying out a publication.

Mick said...

Dear Keith,

In step 4, how did you keep the rest of the stroke white?

Keith Gilbert said...

@Mick, when creating dashes, the "dash" color is controlled by your current stroke color. The color of the space between the dashes is controlled by the "Gap color" field at the bottom of the Stroke panel. So, to keep the "rest of the stroke white", you would need to make sure that your "Gap color" is set to "Paper" or "None", depending on your needs.