Setting Column Rules

Creating a multi-column artifact? Add column rules in your text frame to enhance readability.

For a multi-column text frame, you can add separator lines (column rules) between the text columns to prominently differentiate between individual columns. Column rules are mostly used in newspaper, books, brochures, etc. to separate out different pieces of information.

Without column rules

No Column Rules

With column rules

With Column Rules


For a text frame containing one or more characters, column rule is applied from the ascent of the top line to the descent of the bottom line of the frame text.

Set column rules

You can set column rules using the Text Frame Options or the Object Style Optons dialog.

Do one of the following to open Object Style Options dialog:

  • Choose Window > Styles > Object Styles.
    • In the Object Styles panel, open the More Options drop-down list and choose New Object Style.
    • Select Text Frame Column Rule Options.


Column Rules

Do one of the following to open Text Frame Options dialog:

  • Choose Object > Text Frame Options and open the Column Rules tab.
  • In the Properties panel, in the Text Frame section, click Options.
  • Right-click the text frame and choose Text Frame Options.
  • Press Command/Ctrl+B.
Object style options

Set column rule attributes

To set column rules:

  • Select Insert Column Rules.
  • Set the attributes for the column rules – Length, Horizonal Position, Width, Type, Color, Tint, Overprint.
    • To modify the properties of all the column rules, you can use the following controls: 
    • Rule Length: Start and End: Set custom top and bottom ends of column rules corresponding to the text frame insets. These options can contain both positive and negative values.
    • Horizontal Position: Horizontally move column rule across the text frame. These options can contain both negative and positive values. 
    • Stroke: Set stroke properties of column rules, which includes width, type, color, tint, and overprint.
  • Enable the Preview check box to see the changes you're making to the text frame.

If the text is wrapped around an object, Column Rules follow text wrapping.

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