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Quick Tip: Create a Highlighted Text Effect With Adobe InDesign

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What You'll Be Creating

Sometimes, using an InDesign highlight effect for text gives a stronger emphasis and style to your design. In this quick tip, we are going to achieve that effect by using Paragraph Rules in Adobe InDesign. 

If you want to learn InDesign in more depth, try our new, free InDesign course for beginners with Daniel Walter Scott. It'll teach you everything you need to know. If you enjoy this video content, don't forget to visit and subscribe to the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel for more!

What You'll Learn in This InDesign Highlight Text Effect Tutorial

Learning how to highlight text with an InDesign effect is pretty simple. Here's a breakdown of the steps you'll take from beginning to end in this guide:

  • How to insert text
  • How to remove hyphenation in InDesign
  • How to create new paragraphs
  • How to change the text color to white
  • How to open Paragraph Rules in InDesign
  • How to set up Paragraph Rules in InDesign

It's all pretty simple if you follow the steps! Are you ready? Then let's get started with creating an InDesign highlighted text effect.


1. How to Insert Text

Create a new document at any size you want. Then insert the text that you are going to highlight. The font I used is Calibri. Change the font size to 48 pt.

InDesign Text Effects Tutorial Insert TextInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Insert TextInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Insert Text

2. How to Remove Hyphenation in InDesign

It's not good to have a short text with hyphenation. To fix this, click the text frame and then open the Paragraph panel (Command-Shift-T). Remove the tick mark before Hyphenate on the panel to remove hyphenation in InDesign.

Remove Hyphenation in InDesignRemove Hyphenation in InDesignRemove Hyphenation in InDesign

3. How to Create New Paragraphs

In order to make the InDesign highlight text effect later on, make each line in the text frame into a new paragraph. The process is pretty simple: at the beginning of each line, except the first line, press Backspace to remove the space that links the previous line.

InDesign Text Effects Tutorial Create New ParagraphsInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Create New ParagraphsInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Create New Paragraphs

Press Enter to put the sentence after the cursor into a new paragraph. Repeat the same process for the next line.

InDesign Text Effects Tutorial Create New ParagraphsInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Create New ParagraphsInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Create New Paragraphs

The text structure looks the same as the previous step, but this time the text has three paragraphs. You can check it by using Type > Show Hidden Characters (Command-Option-I). You will see a character like a reversed P which indicates the end of the paragraph. It means that the line below the character is a new paragraph. The # character means the end of the text.

InDesign Text Effects Tutorial Create New ParapgraphsInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Create New ParapgraphsInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Create New Parapgraphs

4. How to Change the Text Color to White

Change the text color to white to make it easier to adjust the Paragraph Rules later. Double-click the text frame and then select the whole paragraph (Command-A). Open the Color panel (F6), click the "T" icon on the panel, and click the Fill icon which is represented by the square. Set all the color values to zero to turn the text color white. Press Escape when you're finished changing the color.

InDesign Text Effects Tutorial Change Text ColorInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Change Text ColorInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Change Text Color

5. How to Open Paragraph Rules in InDesign

Make sure the text frame is selected, and open the Paragraph panel (Command-Option-T). Click on the small icon in the top-right corner of the panel, and then choose Paragraph Rules (Command-Option-J) in InDesign.

How to Highlight in InDesign Tutorial Paragraph Rules InDesignHow to Highlight in InDesign Tutorial Paragraph Rules InDesignHow to Highlight in InDesign Tutorial Paragraph Rules InDesign

6. How to Set Up Paragraph Rules in InDesign

Activate Preview to see the live result of the adjustments, and then set up the paragraph as follows. Choose Rule Below, and activate the Rule On box, Weight: 50 pt, Color: Black, Width: Text, Offset: -13 mm, Left Indent: -3 mm, Right Indent -4 mm.

Press OK when you are finished with the setup. That's it! You have created the InDesign highlight for the text effect!

InDesign Text Effects Tutorial Paragraph Rules InDesignInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Paragraph Rules InDesignInDesign Text Effects Tutorial Paragraph Rules InDesign

Now You Know How to Highlight in InDesign!

Thanks for trying out this InDesign text effect tutorial! You now know how easy it is to learn how to highlight in InDesign with an effect. You can use this InDesign highlight text effect technique for short text-like titles, quotations, and captions in your layout design to give them more style and emphasis. Experiment with the text size and Paragraph Rules options for different variations.

If you need top professional InDesign graphic templates and premium fonts for your projects, don't forget to visit Envato Elements. You'll find thousands of digital assets, available with unlimited downloads!

You can also experiment with the new skills you'll pick up from these tutorials! They're all as easy to follow as this one, so they're great practice for learning more about InDesign:

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