How to Use Baseline Grids in InDesign

When working on text-heavy documents, you may want to use a baseline grid.

Why? Simple, if you have got columns of text of the same size sitting next to eachother and they are not aligned horizontally, your document can look pretty messy!

A baseline grid is exactly that, a grid that you create of horizontal lines to which you can snap the baselines of your text. With InDesign, you can decide to snap only the first line or all lines in your paragraphs to the grid, so headings and type of small sizes can still be lined up to look tidy.

Create some body type and save it’s font size and leading as a paragraph style. Let’s say you have a 12pt Cronos Pro type with 15pt leading. Go to the InDesign Preferences (Cmd +K) and click on Grids. Set the “Increment Every” option to the same as your body type leading. I use mm for my Units but InDesign cleverly converts points to millimeters when you tab to the next field.

Baseline Grid Settings

Baseline Grid Settings

Once you have said OK to this, go to the View menu and down to Grids to show or hide the baseline grid.

Show Grid

Show/Hide Grid

Finally, go in to your paragraph style > Indents and Spacing and select your chosen option for Align to Grid.

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