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Learn these 3 helpful text formatting tools in Adobe InDesign



When it comes to working in Adobe InDesign, often times it comes down to two things: saving time and being efficient.

Using a software that relies heavily on text formatting, it's important to know some of the more useful tools and tricks InDesign has to offer.

In this tutorial, learn three helpful text tips you should integrate into your InDesign workflow to not only save time, but work more efficiently.

The three areas of focus in this lesson will be how to apply Paragraph Borders and Shading, Paragraph Rules as well as Conditional Text.

As always, you can download the lesson material for this tutorial here.

Let's start with Paragraph Border and Shading. This is a text formatting tool that can simplify how you can add a border around text – or in this case, a rule to the left of the title

Paragraph Borders and Shading

  • With the Type Tool select the 50% off everything text and change the typeface to Degular Display Black.

  • Set the pt size to 68 and align the text to the Left.

  • Check the Border selection to activate the border around the text.

  • Under the Stroke section, click the chain icon to unlink the selection and adjust the settings to just the Left field.

  • In the Left field, set the stroke size to 15 pt.

  • Set the stroke colour to the purple colour provided in the lesson notes.

  • Under the Offsets section, click the chain icon to unlink the selection and adjust the settings to the Left field.

  • In the Left field, set the offset to -0.625.

  • In the Bottom Edge dropdown, choose Baseline so the bottom of the stroke aligns with the bottom of the text.

  • In the same dialog box, click on the Shading tab.

  • In the Shading colour dropdown, choose the light purple colour from the swatches, which was also provided in the lesson notes.

  • Under the Offsets section, click the chain icon to unlink the selection and adjust the settings to the Top and Right fields.

  • In the Top field, set the offset to 0.1875 and in the Right Field, set the offset to 0.125.

  • Click OK.

Here's a look at the title in the first square postcard with the Paragraph Border and Shading applied.


The next text tip is similar to the first, only it deals with Paragraph Rules above and below the text that can also be applied to a Paragraph Style.

Let me show you how it works.

Go to Page 2 in the template to access the second layout for this fictional women's store called Sophia. There, you will find space to add text to the right of the image.

Paragraph Rules

  • Create a text frame and paste the text for Page 2 in this space.

  • Select the text and set the font to Degular Thin and the pt size to 26.

  • With the text still selected, set the leading (line spacing) to 25 pt.

  • Open the Paragraph panel by going to Type > Paragraph.

  • With the text still selected, open the Paragraph panel options in upper right corner of the panel. This can also be accessed in the upper right corner of the Control Panel.

  • Choose Paragraph Rules.

  • In the Rule Above dropdown selected, click the Rule On option to activate the rule above the text.

  • Set the Weight of the rule to 7 pt.

  • In the Type dropdown, select Japanese Dots.

  • Set the colour to the light purple that is available in the lesson notes.

  • Set the Offset to 0.5.

  • Set the Right Indent to 0.5.

  • Click OK

Here's a look at the

Next, let's explore how Conditional Text works. This is a really great tool built into InDesign that allows users to create multiple versions of text within the same text frame with the ability to hide and show each text piece – much like you would see with Layers.

For this next part, you will need to open the Conditional Text panel by going to Window > Type and Tables > Conditional Text.

You will notice that in the template, I added three percentage figures to the text frame – 50%, 60% and 70%. Follow the steps below to create new conditions for each.

Conditional Text

  • In the Conditional Text Panel, click on the Plus icon in the bottom right to add a New Condition.

  • Name the New Condition 50%

  • Add another New Condition.

  • Name the New Condition 60%

  • Add one more New Condition.

  • Name the New Condition 70%

  • With the Type Tool, select the 50% and the superseding space in front.

  • In the Conditional Text Panel, click the 50% condition.

  • Follow these last two steps for the 60% and 70% text pieces, respectively.

Here's a look at at the title in the second square postcard layout using Conditional Text with multiple versions of the percentage figures.


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