Text can be aligned with one or both edges (or insets) of a text frame. Text is said to be justified when it is aligned with both edges. You can choose to justify all text in a paragraph excluding the last line (Justify Left or Justify Right), or you can justify text in a paragraph including the last line (Justify All). When you have only a few characters on the last line, you may want to use a special end-of-story character and create a flush space.
Align or justify text
When you justify all lines of text and you are using the Adobe Paragraph Composer, InDesign shifts text to ensure that the paragraph has consistent text density and is visually appealing. You can fine-tune spacing in justified text.
When you set center or justify for text in a frame grid, the text will no longer align exactly with the grid. You can also specify paragraph alignment for all the paragraphs in the frame grid.
When you apply Align Towards Spine to a paragraph, text on a left-hand page is right-aligned, but when the same text flows onto (or if the frame is moved to) a right-hand page, it becomes left aligned. Similarly, when you apply Align Away From Spine to a paragraph, text on a left-hand page is left aligned, while text on a right-hand page is right aligned.
If you want the left side of a line of text to be left-aligned and the right side to be right-aligned, position the insertion point where you want to right-align the text, press Tab, and then right-align the rest of the line.
Align paragraphs to a baseline grid
The baseline grid represents the leading for body text in a document. You can use multiples of this leading value for all elements of the page to ensure that text always lines up between columns and from page to page. For example, if the body text in your document has 12‑point leading, you could give your heading text 18‑point leading and add 6 points of space before the paragraphs that follow the headings.
Using a baseline grid ensures consistency in the location of text elements on a page. You can adjust the leading for the paragraph to ensure that its baselines align to the page’s underlying grid. This is useful if you want the baselines of text in multiple columns or adjacent text frames to align. Change settings for the baseline grid by using the Grids section of the Preferences dialog box.
You can also align only the first line of a paragraph to the baseline grid, allowing the rest of the lines to follow the specified leading values.
To view the baseline grid, choose View > Grids & Guides > Show Baseline Grid.
The baseline grid is visible only if the document zoom level is greater than the view threshold setting in Grids Preferences. You may need to zoom in to view the baseline grid.
To ensure that the leading of your text does not change, set the baseline grid leading to the same leading value as your text, or to a factor thereof.
Create balanced headline text
You can balance ragged aligned text across multiple lines. This feature is especially useful for multiline headings, pull-quotes, and centered paragraphs.
Create paragraphs that span or split columns
You can make a paragraph span across multiple columns in a text frame to create a straddle head effect. You can choose whether a paragraph spans all columns or a specified number of columns. When a paragraph is set to span across columns in a multicolumn text frame, any text before the spanning paragraph becomes balanced as a result.
You can also split a paragraph into multiple columns within the same text frame.
A. Heading that spans columns B. Split column
Align or justify text vertically within a text frame
You can align or distribute lines of text in a frame along its vertical axis to help keep type vertically consistent among frames and their columns.
You can align text to the top, center, or bottom of the frame using each paragraph’s leading and paragraph spacing values. You can also justify text vertically, which evenly spaces lines regardless of their leading and paragraph spacing values.
Vertical text alignment and justification is calculated from the baseline positions of each line of text in the frame. Keep the following in mind as you adjust vertical alignment:
The top of the frame is defined as the baseline of the first line of top-aligned text. The First Baseline Offset option in the Text Frame Options dialog box affects this value.
The bottom of the frame is defined as the baseline of the last line of bottom-aligned text. Footnote text is not justified.
When the Align to Baseline Grid option is applied to paragraphs with Top, Center, or Bottom alignment, all lines will be aligned to the baseline grid. With the Justified option, only the first and last lines will be aligned to the baseline grid.
If you adjust a text frame’s Top or Bottom Inset values in the Text Frame Options dialog box, you change the location of the first or last baseline, respectively.
- In the Vertical Justification section of the Text Frame Options dialog box, choose one of the following options in the Align menu:
To vertically align text down from the top of the frame, choose Top. (This is the default setting.)
To center lines of text in the frame, choose Center.
To vertically align lines of text up from the bottom of the frame, choose Bottom.
To evenly distribute lines of text vertically between the top and bottom of the frame, choose Justify.
- If you choose Justify and you want to prevent the leading value from becoming disproportionately larger than the paragraph spacing value, specify a Paragraph Spacing Limit value. The space between paragraphs is expanded up to the value you specify; if the text still doesn’t fill the frame, the space between lines is adjusted until the frame is filled. The paragraph spacing limit value is applied in addition to the Space Before or Space After values entered on the Paragraph panel.Paragraph spacing limit set to zero (left) and 1 pica (right)
Be careful about vertically justifying multi-column text frames. If the last column contains only a few lines, too much white space may appear between the lines.
An easy way to adjust the Paragraph Spacing Limit value is to select Preview, and then click the up or down arrow next to the Paragraph Spacing Limit value until paragraph spacing appears to be balanced with leading.