Grids or Guides along X-height

Explorer ,
Feb 26, 2022 Feb 26, 2022

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I’d like a grid or guides option with horizontal lines for:

 

  1. x-height of body text
  2. ascender height of body text
  3. base of body text

    Finding after an extended period of self study reviewing dozens of Taschen publications (and this applies far more broadly), photos and other elements often align to the main text's x-height, not just to base or ascender. For example, photo captions or the first line of margin notes or captions beside the main text don't align to the base of the body text, but rather their x-height top aligns to the top of the adjacent body text x-height. How are such guides achieved in ID? Seems ideal to have very light but different color guides for 1, 2, & 3 respectively. 

    Admittedly this is a very incomplete understanding of grids in ID, but I'm aware of the goal: conforming and aligning elements to the main text's x-height. Many thanks in advance.
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Adobe Community Professional , Feb 27, 2022 Feb 27, 2022
Hi @Typothalamus , some of what you are looking for might be handled by your Baseline Grid Preference setup and the Text Frame Options. Here I’ve setup my Baseline Grid relative to the margins and starting at 0 My text frame is snapped to the margin and its Text Frame Options First Baseline Offset is set to the default Ascent, so the 10/14 pt text’s ascent line lines up with the grid. I can change the First Baseline Offset to x-Height and the text’s x-height will align with the baseline g...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2022 Feb 27, 2022

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Hi @Typothalamus , some of what you are looking for might be handled by your Baseline Grid Preference setup and the Text Frame Options. Here I’ve setup my Baseline Grid relative to the margins and starting at 0

 

 

Screen Shot 54.png

 

My text frame is snapped to the margin and its Text Frame Options First Baseline Offset is set to the default Ascent, so the 10/14 pt text’s ascent line lines up with the grid. I can change the First Baseline Offset to x-Height and the text’s x-height will align with the baseline grid

 

Screen Shot 55.png

 

If I choose Leading, the baselines line up with the Baseline Grid.

 

Screen Shot 56.png

 

The other option would be to set regular page guides to the font’s ascender and x-height lines, which can be scripted—keep in mind the ascender is variable and depends on how the font was designed. I’m guessing you would not want to try that manually

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Explorer ,
Mar 02, 2022 Mar 02, 2022

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Hi @rob day –  thanks for your detailed explanation. To be quite honest, I've come the old and analogue route to understanding grids, reading the classic Grid Systems by Josef Müller Brockman, spending long periods scrutinizing layouts, and have been executing things totally manually rather than in the systems that ID offers, as I found that easier at first, but now need to learn how ID wants this to work. I must reverse engineer now. So what I have is a refined layout that is effectively a derivation of a Taschen layout that looks excellent, but is breaking all the rules in how to set up a project in ID. I need to walk backwards and rebuild. I know everything that I want in terms of the grid, alignments, and integration and alignment of elements, just not so clear on how to build this in ID the correct way. If you were I, really what's the basic order of operations (the first 2-3 steps) to taking it all apart and putting it together, properly? I've litterally done a facsimile measured by hand under a lupe and printed out at full page size to confirm. Shocking...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2022 Mar 03, 2022

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Also are you using Parent (Master) Pages, Object Styles, and Paragraph Syles in your setup?

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Explorer ,
Mar 03, 2022 Mar 03, 2022

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1. Master Pages, yes

2. Object Styles, no (have not yet explored)

3. Paragraph Styles, yes, though not Character Styles (Paragraphy Styles seems to cover part of Character Styles) 

Attached is a sample, with content replaced by lorem ipsum placeholder text. 
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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2022 Mar 03, 2022

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Are you trying to align the body and note text baselines across the spread?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2022 Mar 03, 2022

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I just noticed you are aligning your notes with superscript numbers. You might look at custom text anchors for aligning the notes to the body text, otherwise you are going to be chasing the baseline alignments everytime there is a text reflow. An anchored text frame can be saved as a Object Style.

 

Something like this where I’ve copied the text frame and pasted it as an anchored object at the note number insertion point, then customized the anchored object:

 

Screen Shot 35.png

 

Now if I add text the anchored note text frame will follow the anchor’s insertion point:

 

Screen Shot 36.png

 

My body text frame’s First Baseline is set to x-height and the note frame is set to Fixed:

 

 

Screen Shot 38.png

 

 

 

Screen Shot 37.png

 

Here’s the helpx page:

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/anchored-objects.html

 

 

 

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 03, 2022 Mar 03, 2022

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Typothalamus said: "I must reverse engineer now."

 

Hi,

a great help with that could be a script by Roland Dreger. Look into:

setUpBaselineGrid.jsx

https://www.rolanddreger.net/de/9/grundlinienraster-einrichten-per-skript/#

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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