Balancing text columns in InDesign

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Balancing text columns in InDesign

If you're the kind of person who can't stand unbalanced text, you might recall the days when it took a fair bit of manual adjustment to make text columns line up evenly.

Unbalanced Text Columns

Unbalanced text columns.

Fortunately InDesign CC 2014 (actually it's been in here since CS5) has a nice balance columns checkbox which is found in the Text Frame Options dialogue box. The feature works on multi-column text frames, and to use it you just need to select the frame in question and either go to Object> Text Frame Options, hit the shortcut which is Ctrl/Cmd+B or alternatively just right click on it and select Text Frame Options.

Screenshot of InDesign's balance columns option

Columns are balanced

Check the Balance Columns box and InDesign will attempt to even up the columns of text. Note that it does not automatically align baselines. The result will depend on whether or not there are an even number of lines in the frame. Balance columns can also be saved as part of an object style.

Screenshot of InDesign object style pane

InDesign object style pane

It's a simple but effective feature and very easy to apply.