Tip of the Week: How to Create Unequal Columns
This InDesign tip to create unequal columns and shrink text frames to fit was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on July 7, 2016.
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Ever have to create page designs with multiple unequal columns? InDesign does not allow you to set up unequal column widths in any of the dialog boxes for working with margins, columns, or text frames. But you can work around this problem in a few ways.
Some folks who love designing on grids create a bunch of narrow columns by figuring out the math so the column guides align with all the major and minor column edges.
Then draw out the text frames as you want them, snapping the edges to the column guides.
That works, and it can also help you precisely position other items on the page for a strong overall design. But if you’re not a huge grid fan you might find all the extra lines distracting.
Another approach (if you already know what your desired column widths and gutter space are) is to simply start with a single-column layout and draw the text frames you want.
Then select the text frames and lock them (Command+L/Ctrl+L).
Then choose Layout > Margins and Columns, and in the dialog box, set the number of columns and gutter that you want.
Unlock the column guides by choosing View > Grids & guides > Lock Column Guides.
Then drag the column guides where you want them.
It’s probably also a good idea to re-lock the column guides when you’re done so you don’t accidentally move them later on.
Finally, unlock and delete the text frames on the master page if you don’t want them there.