Column Rules

Many designers like to add a thin line [called a ‘rule’] between columns of text, but until now they had to be objects on the page or master page, now they can be added with the ‘click’ of a checkbox in the Text Frame Options dialog box.

Object > Text Frame Options

  • First, you’ll notice that the dialog box has changed a bit. The options that used to be in ‘tabs’ across the top of the dialog are now options listed down the left side
  • Column Rules – turn on ‘Insert Column Rules’ and ‘Preview’ and there they are! And since this is an object-related feature it can be saved as an Object Style!
  • Rule Length – by default, the rule will go from the top to the bottom of the text frame. Increasing this value will ‘indent’ the rule, decreasing it will ‘extend’ the rule outside the frame
  • Horizontal Position – moves the rule left or right based on this value [probably a good idea to set your units to ‘points’ for finer control than ‘inches’]
  • Stroke – includes all the options anywhere you can apply a stroke [rule below, etc.]

Pros and Cons

  • You’ll notice in the example above and below the title is set to ‘Span Columns’ and the column rules respect the paragraph settings [which is awesome], but there’s a caveat..

  • Rule Length – as mentioned above ‘Rule Length’ can indent/extend the rules between columns. In the case where you have a paragraph set to span columns, the rule extends beyond the text frame jumping over the paragraph that’s set to span columns
    • increasing the rule length indents the rule from top/bottom, but doesn’t appear to when using span columns, because the above paragraph settings are ‘hiding’ them