Wondering how to create lined pages in InDesign? You know…those Notes Pages that everyone seems to have in their planners, journals, notebooks, workbooks and pretty much anything that can be written on? In this video, I’m going to show you 3 different ways to create lines in Adobe InDesign.

Learn how to create this layout from scratch.

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Did you know that there are three different ways to create lines in Adobe InDesign? Well, today I’m going to show you all three different methods so that you, too, can create your own Notes pages. You can create lined sections or simply boxes for people to put answers in inside your workbooks, your digital downloads, your PDFs or whatever it is that you’re creating.

Hi, I’m Lisa from Pretty Fabulous Designs and I help online business owners create beautiful digital downloads using Adobe InDesign. Now, if this sounds like something you might be interested in, make sure to hit the Subscribe button below because I post new tutorials every Monday. Now, the first thing you’re going to want to do is open up Adobe InDesign.

I am using, at the time of this recording, the latest version, which is Creative Cloud 2018. It may work for earlier versions, but don’t quote me on that. If it does not, I am actually not an expert in version control for InDesign functionality, so you could always call Adobe Support for help with that. Now, we’re going to go ahead and say Create New. I’m going to change the units to inches and we’re going to make this a standard eight-and-a-half by 11. I’m going to assume somebody wants to print this out at home and possibly three-hole punch it and put it into a standard binder.

I need to make room for that three-hole punch, so I’m going to go ahead and set one-inch margins all the way around and I’m going to hit create. Here are my margins, the purple and pink lines. These will not print out when you print this. If you want to know what it looks like when it prints, you can simply make sure the Selection tool is selected over on the top left and hit the W key and those margin lines will go away.

Now, if you don’t see the tools over here on the left, check your workspace. They may be on the right or the top or the bottom. You can go to Windows and make sure that the Tools is selected. Now, the first method in creating lines is probably the one that seems most intuitive to you. It’s simply going over here to the toolbar and selecting Line tool.

Now, the important thing when you select Line tool, and this took me a long time to figure out, is you have to add a weight to the line. I know, that sounds crazy, right? For whatever reason, it defaults to zero. A line with zero weight is invisible. In other words, someone who weighs zero pounds doesn’t really exist. We’re going to make these one point. I’m going to leave this line black. You can change this to any color that you want.

I’m simply going to go over here. I’m going to hold the shift key down to make sure this line is straight and I’m going to drag it over to the right. There we go, there’s our first line. Now, the second method is to use the Pen tool over here. This is probably more intuitive if you had been using Adobe Illustrator, but I am not an Illustrator user. I only learned this when I took an Adobe Illustrator course.

Same thing, you are going to change the weight of the line and the color. Let’s make this one pink, just to help it stand out. The way this tool works is you have anchors. I’m going to hold the shift key down to make sure it’s straight again and I’m going to click once. I’m not going to hold it down. Then, over here on the right, I’m going to click a second time and I’m not going to hold it down and now I have a line. [inaudible 00:03:21]. There’s my pink line.

3 | Now, the third way is not really a way and it’s not going to work. I first thought I could use the Pencil tool, but you cannot use the Pencil tool. In fact, I’ll show you what the Pencil tool does. Let’s change that to red. In fact, I don’t even know if it’ll pick up red, but the Pencil tool will simply make a sort of jagged line. Even though I have the shift key held, the Pencil tool truly is doing some shading. Because I dragged the mouse a little bit down to the right, it made a shade. It kind of made an ellipse.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s not really what we want for lines and that’s not really useful for people to draw with. The other method that you may have thought of as well, which I used to do, very inefficient, was I used to use the Rectangle. I would create a tall rectangle over here and I thought I was so clever because I would go in and I would say none over here for the center. For the borders, I would say, let’s make it green, I would put a border.

What’s the problem with that? A rectangle has lines on the outside on the left and the right. If I hit W, once I get rid of the margins, I have a rectangle, which isn’t really what I want. Let’s go back. That’s not going to work. The third method, which is really one that really does work, is simply to use Paragraph Rules.

I never thought of this, because mostly I don’t know how to use Paragraph Rules or Paragraph Styles. Over here on the right, depending on which workspace you’ve chosen, mine is set up to default to Workspace Typography, if you have that set up, you should see Paragraph Styles over here on the right. I guess that’s not going to work, but you can go over to Window and go to Type and Tables and also select Paragraph from here and that fly-out menu will come over here.

Now, the first tab is Paragraph. We don’t need that. We actually want Paragraph Styles. I’m going to create a new Paragraph Style by hitting the New button here at the bottom and it will default to call it Paragraph Style 1. Let’s rename it as Lined Notes. I’m going to go ahead and double-click that. Inside here, I’m going to drop down to Paragraph Rules and click Rule On and, same thing, my menu’s not here, it has a weight of one. For color, so that you can see the difference, let’s go ahead and make this that bright blue or I guess it’s more of a royal blue. Over here, we’re just going to say OK.

How do I actually get these line notes onto paper? I’m going to go over here to the Type tool and I’m going to make a text box. I’m going to have it span the rest of the page here at the bottom. Now, once I’m in there, you see my blinking cursor. It’s ready for me to type text, but I don’t need to type any text. I simply need to create lines. All I’m going to do is hit the return key and it creates lines for me.

These lines are pretty small and, unless you are a small mouse, you probably can’t write in there very efficiently. Let’s go ahead and change these. I don’t know if you saw that, I double-clicked on Lined Notes inside Paragraph Style, that one we just created. I’m going to go over to the second one, Basic Character Formats, and I’m going to go to Leading.

Leading is the space in between lines of text, so we simply need to make this larger. Let’s say this is going to be a 24. You see how that changed because I have the Preview button selected? Maybe I want to make it a 30 or maybe I want to make it a 36. Alternatively, I could just type any number in here as well. All right, that is how you create lines inside of Adobe InDesign.

Again, you could go over here. I could get rid of all of this. I have the Selection tool highlighted, I simply hit the delete button, and I instead could just go ahead and say something like, “Notes.” Let me turn that off, Paragraph Style, Basic Paragraph and I can select my standard font, which is Didot, and I can make this larger. I’m going to put this right here at the top, say “Notes.” Then, I’m going to create another text box to create all those lines. I actually just want all of this to be black, so I’ll go over to Rules and I’ll change this to black, say OK, and then I’ll go ahead and hit my return. There we go.

If I look at this without the margins and I hit W, that is my notes page. It’s really just that easy to create notes. You can create small sections, so if I wanted to, I could actually make this smaller and I could maybe change this to say something like, I don’t know, “To do,” and I could copy all of this, CTRL C and CTRL V over here, and I could change this to say something like, “To do, To buy.” Now I have two lists.

That is how you create lines inside of Adobe InDesign. It has so many different uses, so many different functions. I could go on and on, but it’s already been over eight minutes for this tutorial. I hope you found this helpful. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know in the comments below if there’s a different way that you use to create lines in Adobe InDesign. All right, I’ll see you guys next week. Bye

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