How to Make a Grid in InDesign

In this walkthrough, we've shared how to make a grid in InDesign, so you have a guideline for layout placement. Working with a grid has become a mainstay when designing elegant and sharp compositions. Grids create structure and organization, so there's a rhythm to your layout. They take out guesswork when placing graphics or text.

Margins and Columns
Margins vary depending on the size of your project. They create supportive gaps, so there's a cadenced look to your layout. When setting up a grid, you will define an outer margin and inner margins. 

Meanwhile, columns begin the foundation for your grid. We suggest you start with a small column quantity when working with text.  

Every time you add a new column, gutters are formed as well. These are the spaces between two columns. 

Using a Baseline or Document Grid
A baseline grid is typically used when working with text, whereas a document grid is better for objects. Baseline grids look like ruled notebook pages, and document grids look like graph paper.   

How to make a Grid in InDesign
1. First, open a new document in InDesign and designate a page size. You should consider the size and structure of your page, as well as the planned content. As you begin setting up your grid, knowing these sizes will eventually allow you to create a more detailed and adjustable grid. 

2. Next, set your margin size. This will vary depending on the size of your document. Open the Page drop-down menu and double-click on the Master. This will set up your grid on the Master page, which will ensure your grid appears on every page in the document.

3. Select "Margins and Columns" in the Layout drop-down menu. We suggest starting with columns of 3 or 5 when setting up a baseline grid. These columns will appear in red by default. 

4. To structure the gutters of your grid, you will need to create guides. Select the Layer drop-down menu and click on "Create Guides". You can now add more columns (as well as rows), so that they're layered on top of the original columns. Guide columns and rows appear in blue. You will need to adjust the number of rows, columns, and margins in your guide to create a square gutter. This will require some basic math if you want to create a layout with a particular text or graphic size. 

5. You can now begin adjusting, layering, and customizing your grid. If you wish to create a baseline grid or document grid, you can activate either by selecting the View drop-down menu. Then, click "Show Guides and Grids", and choose "Show Baseline Grid" or "Show Document Grid". 

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