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InDesign: Using Guides

Version: Adobe InDesign 2020. Be aware that different versions of InDesign will vary in appearance and functionality. Full Guide: View/Download


Guides provide a way of measuring and dividing up a page for layout purposes, without directly impacting the look of the document; guides and grids won’t print or be visible in the final product. Because frames and shapes easily snap to guides, setting them up early can insure that the final result has clean margins and consistent spacing. 

In the example below, the guides divide the page into sections with gutters of 1/4th inch, allowing for consistent and even spacing between columns of text, images and shapes. The size of the gutters will vary with the design of the project; if a little text needs to fill a big space, larger margins can help.



By default, InDesign measures in picas, a common unit of measurement for newspaper layouts; one pica is roughly 1/6th inch. Depending on the project, it may be easier to work with a different increment, such as inches or pixels. To change the unit of measurement, right click a ruler and make a selection.

To make a guide: 
  1. Click a ruler (horizontal or vertical), and drag the cursor inwards toward the document. A blue line will appear. If guides aren’t visible, navigate to View > Grids & Guides > Show Guides.
    • To make a horizontal guide, click-and-drag downwards on the ruler at the top of the document window. 
    • To make a vertical guide, click-and-drag to the right on the ruler framing the left-side of the document window.

  2. Drag the guide into place and release the mouse.
Basic Guide controls:
  • To move a guide, click-and-drag it into position. 
  • To manually adjust a guide on the X-axis (for vertical guides) or Y-axis (for horizontal guides), type the appropriate value into the X or Y positioning box in the Options bar.
  • To delete a guide, select it and press the Delete key.
When finished creating guides, navigate to View > Grids & Guides > Lock Guides. Locking the guides insure they are not accidentally selected, moved, or deleted while working on a project. Guides may be unlocked by following the same steps.



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Keywords:Adobe, editing, visual, design, graphic, flyers, brochures, newsletter, flier, book, publishing, layout, guides   Doc ID:99380
Owner:Misty B.Group:Pacific Lutheran University
Created:2020-03-24 11:35 PDTUpdated:2020-03-27 09:50 PDT
Sites:Pacific Lutheran University
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