Indesign baseline grid

by Design Workshop Sydney

Many designers like to apply a baseline grid to a document. This ensures that lines of text in adjacent columns line up with each other. This is one of the many features of the program we explore in our Indesign coursesIndesign-baseline
The baseline is an invisible line which runs along the bottom of each line of text; the baseline grid is the sum of these lines on a page. To align a body of text to this baseline grid we first need to check the leading value of our text copy.
Select the Type tool and select some of your text; check the leading value in the top Control panel, for example 16pt.
Then go into Edit > Preferences (Mac: Indesign > Preferences) > Grids > Baseline Grid. And adjust Increment every to your leading value, in this case 16pt. Make sure you measure in points and not in millimetres. Then select the Type tool again and select all your text (Ctrl+A).
Go to your Paragraph formatting and select the button that looks like two lined up columns, Align to baseline grid. Note that in Adobe Indesign CS4 this button was removed from the Control panel and you need to go into the actual Paragraph panel to select Align to baseline grid.
Note that the Space After and Space Before features of the Paragraph formatting will ignore your alignment to the baseline grid, so they are incompatible features and shouldn’t be used together.
More tips can be found at the Indesign Users Group which meets bi-monthly in Sydney, and is a free forum for designers to discuss topics and the latest Indesign features. See many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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