I'm wanting to make layered "cards" for print design (think of a tabbed index card but the tab goes the whole width) they'll be layered on 8 1/2x 11. Each card maybe 6in wide.

The thing I wish I could do is keep the heading (top tab of the card) a fixed height while letting the body vary in height based on content.

I can do it with multiple objects obviously but drop shadows get messed a little up so I'm stuck with manually making each height I need and grouping them.

Is there any way to set the header height but be able to adjust the overall height for each different card I need?

I'm ultimately doing this in indesign but illustrator would be fine too

  • 1
    Screenshot worths 1000 words
    – Ilan
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 16:36
  • 1
    Hi there and welcome to GD - could you show us some screenshots of what you want to achieve and where you are at?
    – benteh
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 16:36
  • Does using the paragraph options for Space After on the header or Space Before on the contents help? I too am having some difficulty envisioning what you are referring to.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 18:13
  • Sorry guys, I was asking on my iPhone so that's why no screenshots, but grouping and shadowing does effectively do what I want. I must have been doing something wrong before. Thanks for the replies
    – user19678
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


If you are working with InDesign CC or CS6, use Auto-size. This is in the Text Frame Options dialog (Ctl/Cmd-B or Object > Text Frame Options...). Set "Auto-Sizing" to "Height Only" as below, then you can keep everything in a single text frame.

Auto Size

For earlier versions of InDesign, grouping the objects doesn't get in the way so much if you apply an Object Style to the group and define the Drop Shadow as part of the Object Style. TypeFi and DTP Tools both make plug-ins for Id CS5 and earlier that allow text frames to expand and contract automatically.

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