Change frame grid properties

  1. Using the Selection tool , select the frame whose properties you want to modify. You can also use the Type tool to click on the frame, and position the text insertion point or select text.

  2. Choose Object > Frame Grid Options, and then specify the frame grid options. (See Frame grid properties.)

  3. Click OK.


Select Preview to confirm options before applying the changes, and then confirm changes in the document.

Frame grid properties

Use the Frame Grid dialog box to change frame grid settings such as the font, character size, character spacing, lines, and characters.


The values in the Text Frame Option dialog box and the number of columns in the Frame Grid settings dialog box interact dynamically. Column number settings in Text Frame Options are also reflected in the frame grid settings. Furthermore, First Baseline Offset and Ignore Text Wrapping can be set only from Text Frame Options.


Select the font family and font style. These font settings will be applied in frame grids based on the layout grid.


Specify the font size. This value will be the grid cell size.

Vertical and Horizontal

Specify the grid scaling for full-width Asian characters in %.

Char Aki

Specify the spacing between grid cells in the frame grid. This value is used for the grid mesh spacing.

Line Aki

Specify the grid spacing. This value is used as the distance from underneath (or left of) the grid mesh on the first line to the top (or right) of the grid mesh on the next line. If a negative value is set here, Auto Leading value under Justification in the Paragraph panel menu is set automatically to 80% (the default is 100%), since grid alignment will only increase line spacing above the spacing already set by the leading amount in the text attributes. Changing the leading value set in the text will change how the grid alignment spreads the text lines out to match the nearest grid line.

Line Align

Select an option to specify line alignment for the text. For example, if you select Top for a vertical frame grid, the start of each line will be aligned to the top of the frame grid. (See Align or justify text.)

Grid Align

Select an option to specify whether to align the text to the embox, ICF box, or roman baseline. (See Align paragraphs to a baseline grid.)

Char Align

Select an option to specify the method of aligning small characters to larger characters in a line.

Char Count

Select an option to determine where the frame grid’s dimensions and character count appears. (See View or hide the frame grid character count.)


Select an option to specify how to show the frame. Grid shows frame grids with grids and lines. N/Z View shows the frame grid direction in dark blue diagonal lines; these lines disappear when you insert text. Alignment View shows frame grid with only lines. Alignment shows the frame line alignment. Grid With N/Z shows a combination of both.

Grid views
Grid views

A. Grid view B. N/Z view C. Assignment view with text inserted D. Grid with N/Z view 


Specifies the number of characters in a line.


Specifies the number of lines in a column.


Specifies the number of columns in a frame grid.


Specifies the spacing between columns.


If you make changes in the Frame Grid settings dialog box when nothing is selected in the frame grid, that setting becomes the default for the frame grid.

You can also use grid setting to adjust character spacing. (See Using grid tracking to adjust character spacing.)

Convert text frames and frame grids

You can convert plain text frames into frame grids or frame grids into plain text frames.

When plain text frames are converted into frame grids, for text that has not had a character style or paragraph style applied in the story, the frame grid's document defaults are applied.

You cannot apply grid format directly to plain text frames. After converting a plain text frame into a frame grid, you can apply grid format attributes by applying a predetermined grid format to a frame grid using text that has not been given a paragraph style.

Also, when a text frame is converted to a frame grid, blank space may be created at the top, bottom, left or right of the frame. This space is shown when the text frame width or height is not divisible by the font size or leading values set in the grid format. This spacing can be removed by dragging the frame grid handle and adjusting with the Selection tool. When converting text frames to frame grids, edit the text after adjusting any insets created during conversion.

Convert a plain text frame into a frame grid

  1. Select the text frame and do one of the following:
    • Choose Object > Frame Type > Frame Grid.

    • Choose Type > Story to show the Story panel. Select Frame Grid in Frame Type.

  2. To reformat story text according to grid attributes, select Edit > Apply Grid Format when the frame grid is selected.

Remove a grid from a frame grid

  1. Select the frame grid, and do one of the following:
    • Choose Object > Frame Type > Text Frame.

    • Choose Type > Story to show the Story panel. Select Text Frame in Frame Type.

View or hide the frame grid character count

The frame grid character count is shown at the bottom of the grid. Shown here are the values for characters, lines, total number of cells and the actual number of characters.

Characters placed in the frame grid
In this frame the value for characters per line is 10, the value for lines is 5, and the total number of cells is 50. 29 characters have been placed in the frame grid.

  1. Choose View > Grids & Guides > Show Character Count or Hide Character Count.

To specify the size and position of the character count view, select the text frame and choose Object > Frame Grid Options. Under View Options, specify the Char Count, view, and size, and click OK.

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