There are many ways to make a heading more prominent in InDesign, but one of the easiest way is to insert a line before and after it. This article will show you how to undertake that InDesign trick in minutes.

InDesign trick
The InDesign trick we’re going to accomplish

Step 1: Select some text

Locate the text frame which contains the text portion that you want to turn into a heading. Using the Select tool, double click the text frame to make the Type tool active.

Click on the part of the text that will become the heading. Unlike Microsoft Word, you don’t have to select all of the text. You only need to make the cursor flash on that line.

Step 2: Apply a paragraph style

Open the Paragraph Styles panel by going to View > Styles > Paragraph Styles. Click on the page icon to add a new paragraph style.

InDesign trick – paragraph styles

The new paragraph style will be named something like Paragraph Style 1, Paragraph Style 2 etc. Double click on that to open a dialogue for customization. Change the name to something recognizable, like Heading.

For the purpose of this InDesign tutorial, please click on the Paragraph Rules pane. You can see that this is a two features in one.

You have rules above and rules below. For this InDesign trick, we’re going to turn on both of them.

First, select Rules Above and check Rule On. Set the weight to 2pt, color to black, type to solid. Increase the offset value to make the rule at the center of the line. This value depends on the font family and size that you use, so there’s no right or wrong here.

InDesign trick – rules above

Next, change to Rule Below to add another rule. Make the weight even thicker, like 4pt and change the width to text so that it will be only be as long as the heading. You can change the left indent and right indent to make it wider, but I will keep them as 0.

Now, change the offset value to move this rule up until it overlaps with the first rule. Again, there is no right or wrong value here. Simply tap the up arrow key to adjust the offset until you feel right.

Finally, change the color to paper, which is InDesign’s term to white. Actually, it doesn’t have to be white, but it has to be the same color as the background which the paragraph sits on, which happens to be white.

InDesign trick – rules below

Click OK and check the InDesign effect you’ve created.


InDesing is a page layout tool, but it’s not a big yawner as it appears. Please check back for more upcoming InDesign tricks to help you make beautiful, user-friendly ebooks and documents.

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