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Box-outs and Sidebars

Box-outs and Sidebars

Most commercial magazines make extensive use of text boxes called box-outs and sidebars that are separate from the main body of text but supply relevant, supplementary information. Newspapers, for example, often use them to hold statistics or noteworthy quotations. Box-outs are dotted around the page, while sidebars, as their name suggests, usually run vertically down one side of the page.

A good place to create a sidebar would be on the first page of the newsletter, where it could be used to hold a list of contents. To make sure the sidebar stands out from the main text, it can be given a background and border. One approach would be to create a shaded and/or bordered rectangle on the first page master, while creating the text box part of the sidebar on the document page itself. This way, it’s easy to edit the text without accidentally moving or changing the background, and it’s also easier to adjust the spacing between the edges of the sidebar and the left and right indents of the text.

In the case of a contents list, it’s likely you’ll want numbers running down one side, and the text captions running down the other (see Figure 8). Just as with word processor documents, this is done by moving the first line indent and hanging indent markers on the Ruler (if the Ruler isn’t visible, make it so using the Ruler option under the View menu. A tab can then be used between the page number and its text caption.

Another text box, this time with a border, can be used to create a standout piece of text that fits neatly into a sidebar. Control-click and choose Format Shape to access the relevant options including Fill and Line for color and border and Text Box to set vertical alignment—i.e., whether the text is centered in the box or closer to either the top or the bottom edges.

Figure 8 Use the Ruler, indents, and tabs to make a neat table of contents.

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