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Tip of the Week: Applying Seamless Shading to Consecutive Paragraphs

This InDesign tip on Applying Seamless Shading to Consecutive Paragraphs was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on March 29, 2018.

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If you’re using InDesign CC 2015 or later, you can apply shading to paragraphs. However, depending on the font and spacing you use, you may see a gap in shading applied to consecutive paragraphs.

InDesign paragraph shading gap

There are a few ways to fix this.
  • Use a different font or decrease the space between paragraphs.

In the Paragraph Borders and Shading dialog box, do any of the following:

  • Increase the Offsets values.

InDesign paragraph shading offset

  • Set the Top Edge of the shading to align to the Leading.

InDesign paragraph shading top alignment

Add a border. If you don’t want the border to be visible, make its Stroke width zero. Then (and this is the key), select the option to Merge Consecutive Borders and Shading. This is a new option in InDesign CC 2018.1.

InDesign merge consecutive paragraph shading


Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and Author of LinkedIn Learning courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Adobe Dimension.
Mike Rankin

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One Comment on “Tip of the Week: Applying Seamless Shading to Consecutive Paragraphs

  1. I love this feature though I’ve had issues when exporting to PDF then applying Accessibility tool features.

    I had a multiple column listing and applied the paragraph shading just to the titles. Not in all cases but in some of the text managed to move below the converted solid shaded box not upon the export to pdf but when I started to use features within the Acrobat Pro DC’s Accessibility Tool.

    Anyone else experience anything similar?

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