Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Making your own narrow ruled personal pages

As requested by Mr. Anthony Hill, today's tutorial is going to be all about making your own ruled pages!

Platform: Mac

Software: InDesign CS5.5

Step 1: A small change
To start with, we must do something similar to my previous tutorial on making a personal sized page, except this time we need to make it three times as wide. As you can comfortably fit three personal pages onto an A4, tripping the width of our original file to 285mm will reduce the amount of paper wasted by our final product. Don't forget to include 3mm of bleed for possible movement during printing.

285 x 171 mm. Make sure that your document is set to landscape.
By pressing Cmd 1 you will be able to set your document to "actual size". Don't worry, this isn't really actual size (unless you have a huge screen) it just allows you to see the whole of your document.

This view allows you to see everything you are working on.

Step 2: The top line.
Feel free to use your own measurements for this next bit; I've opted to appropriate mine from the narrow ruled filofax pages I already own. Using the Pen Tool and holding down Shift, draw a straight line horizontally across the page, touching even the edges of your bleed marks.

the pen tool.
Your page so far.
This top line needs to be low enough to allow for the large top margin that is common on mined pages. I make it to be around 23mm from the top. Select your line with the black arrow, and adjust its Y Height on the page using the input box at the top left of your screen (that's where mine lives anyway).

The black arrow.

Est. Y height of your first line.

Step 3: More of the same.
Now comes the fun bit; adding the rest of the lines to your page. To do this we are going to use something called Step and Repeat.

How to find step and Repeat.

Give it a click and a dialogue box should pop up, giving you options on what to do next. We want to have around 30 lines on our page with a vertical spacing of 4.7mm between each. Selecting the preview box will allow you to see what we're going to do before committing to it.

Be sure to remove any value you may have in the horizontal box
Now we have our lines!

Step 4: Saving with crop marks
We've covered this in a previous post but just in case you missed it: File > Export > Save as a Adobe PDF (Print) > Click "Marks and Bleeds" > Select "Crop Marks" > Select "Bleed Marks" > Finally click Export.

Now with Bleed Marks!

Step 5: Our A4 page
Now we need to make the A4 page we are going to print form and import our three page PDF onto it.

We're after an A4 landscape and we're not goingto worry about all the extra bits and bobs. We just want a page.

All we have to do now is place our PDF. To do this we need to go through File > Place > find your file > select your file > then click anywhere on your screen to place the document.

You should have a stripy mess, not dissimilar to this one.

Step 6: Custom cutting marks.
This is where things get creative! So that we know where to cut our three pages, we need to make small marks of our own as guides.

Centre your PDF to the A4 page using the alignment tools, which can be found in the drop down Window menu, or you can use Shift F7.

 Select your PDF align it to your page using the Align Horizontal Centres (highlighted left) and Align Vertical Centres (highlighted right).

Photoshop magic was used to make this image.

Your page should now look like this...

Everything nice and middle-ey...

We need to make some vertical guides this time, using our old friend the Pen Tool. Make 4 of them, as we are going to need 3 pages. Align one to the left hand side of your PDF, one to the right hand side, finally select all your vertical lines and Distribute Horizontal Centres with the Alignment box. Remember to select Align to Selection in the Alignment box, otherwise things might go a bit squiffy. 

The end result should be something like this...

More lines.
Finally (Yes, finally!) we need to cut these lines so that they will not be visible after cutting out. Use the Scissors Tool in order to cut the middle of our two middle lines out.

Scissors Tool (C)

Click the lines just below and above the outside of our PDF page and delete the middle.

The final Result!

Step 7: Double sided printing
This part all depends on your printer. As we have centred our PDF to the A4 page, if you can re-feed your paper into your printer correctly, you should be left with a double sided page which you can window-cut out and hole punch to your hearts content!


Any problems with this tutorial, please let me know. It wasn't the easiest thing to make, which could mean that it's not the easiest thing to follow. Pop any questions you have in the comments and I will respond and edit this post accordingly.

Good luck planer-ers!

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for the tutorial. I have a PC and use MS Word 2010. I could follow the outline but on some steps I need to investigate further. It's just a case of following the principal of the tutorial and converting it to MS Word. Thanks once again.