InDesign CC 2018 – Paragraph Borders

InDesign CC 2018 introduces a new feature called Paragraph Borders. Previous versions of Adobe InDesign included the ability to add paragraph shading, but now we’re able to add one or more borders around a paragraph of text. Together with paragraph shading it is now possible to create standout content without the need for additional text frames.

In a number of other articles it’s been apparent that some people are not sure how InDesign’s new paragraph borders could be used. Here is the low-down on how to use them and a couple of real world training examples of this great new feature.

How to Add Paragraph Borders

To apply paragraph border in InDesign, select or place the pointer within a paragraph inside a text frame.

  1. From the Paragraph Panel, check the Border option and select a swatch colour.
  2. To edit the border, Alt-Click (PC) or Option-Click (Mac) the Border Corner icon.

Paragraph Panel with Border option (click to enlarge)

InDesign - Paragraph Control

This will open the Paragraph Border options box where you can edit standard stroke values like the size, style and colour of the border. It’s also possible to set the corners of the border from square to rounded, fancy or bevelled. Importantly, the offset option will dictate how far from the edge of the paragraph the border will sit. There is plenty of control over all aspects of the border placement and behaviour.

Paragraph Border and Shading options box

InDesign CC 2018 - Paragraph Border Options

Paragraph Borders can be applied as one-off styles, but as you’d expect, they can also be applied as part of an InDesign Paragraph Style. Creating a Paragraph Style now includes a new section called Paragraph Border where the same options can be added to any style. This is extremely powerful.

Underline Separator using Paragraph Border

One of the real world example uses for the InDesign CC 2018 paragraph border is the option to add a border to only one side of the text. This can be used to add accents to the sides of text, but also as borders to the bottom (or top) of paragraphs.

  1. To do this, simply unlink the Stroke size options and set the Top, Left and Right sizes to zero. Once you’ve done this, set the Bottom stroke size to the required thickness, for example 1pt.
  2. Set the Stroke style as desired and the Stroke colour from the swatches selection drop-down list.
  3. Finally, unlink the Offsets option and set the Bottom offset as desired, for example 2mm.

InDesign CC 2018 Paragraph Border as a separator (click to enlarge)

InDesign Border as Underline


Standout Content with Paragraph Border

The second example of where the Paragraph Border can be very effective is where you want to highlight a piece of standout content within the flow of your text. This can be used around things like Tips or Hints and pieces of text that you want your readers to purposely take note of. The example below shows how this can be used to tell the reader that content is important.

InDesign CC 2018 Paragraph Border as standout content (click to enlarge)

InDesign CC Standout Content

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