I'm trying to create a "Pull Quote" paragraph style and having issues with spacing. I'd like the paragraph to have "padding" or text indenting around all sides (I realize that padding is the wrong term). Then have a "margin" around the bounding box. Then I'd like to to work with a top and bottom rule.

Rules especially seem to get messed up when changing font size, leading, etc. Is there a way to "anchor" the rules to the top and bottom of the text box?

All of these concepts seem simple but I can't get all 3 to work together properly as a Paragraph Style.

To get a better idea of what I'm looking to do:

InDesign paragraph styling

1 Answer 1


It seems counter-intuitive, but you are not trying to format the text itself. The formatting needs to be applied to the text box that the pull quote is in, so the solution is to use Object Styles rather than paragraph styles.

Access the dialogue box via Window > Styles > Object Styles. As you would with Paragraph or Character styles create a new style and double click to edit it.


InDesign does not have options for padding, you need to set the Inset Spacing for the margins inside the text box...


And then set the Text Wrap Offset for the margins outside the text box...


Remember that these will work in combination - so in my example the inset of 2mm and the wrap of 3mm gives a buffer of 5mm between the pull quote and the text surrounding it. In my opinion anything less than 4mm spacing between pull quotes and body text is too little, it will tend to look crowded once printed. But that's also subject to typeface choices, background vs text frame colour, and so on.


You can also define which Paragraph Style to use within this dialogue box, but the options will need to be set in the Paragraph Styles panel. Depending on your workflow you may find it easier to leave this option blank since any Paragraph Style you choose for the text in the frame will function independently of your Object Styles options.

Also - this is where you want to set the paragraph rules for the lines above and below. This will take a little bit of back and forth, since whatever offset you choose will need to take into account the inset and wrap applied to the text box.


  • I wasn't even aware of Object Styles. This helps so much. Thank you!
    – dmathisen
    Jun 10, 2015 at 14:20
  • 1
    Glad that helps. But remember - Object / Paragraph / Character styles are there to speed up your workflow, not to automate it. Even the most robust styles will need adjustment from time to time.
    – CMD
    Jun 10, 2015 at 15:58
  • Right. I kind of wondered about that. I can apply an object/paragraph/char style to a text box, but then modify it without affecting the style, right? So I can bold or color certain text and only affect the one instance, not the entire saved style.
    – dmathisen
    Jun 10, 2015 at 19:28
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    Absolutely. You can manually modify anything that has a style applied to it and the global settings for that style will not change. But my meaning was really related more to workflow. In my experience even the most highly structured of documents with very well defined styles will need manual adjustment tweaks. And this is for the best - if your work is completely automated and stops you from making decisions you stop paying attention as a designer. Which means you stop being a designer.
    – CMD
    Jun 11, 2015 at 0:07
  • Hah. True. I get what you mean. I'll mix it up :) thanks again!
    – dmathisen
    Jun 11, 2015 at 1:04

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