I am volunteering at a non-profit, and creating a document for an upcoming event. One of the pages will resemble a 'blueprint' like theme that contains instructions for people to follow. I want it to look more or less like this:

grid effect

I want to create that 'grid' like effect, but most of the articles I've found searching around talk about messing with the alignment grid of the document itself. The one I want to create would be:

  • Only visible on that page, nowhere else
  • Not used for alignment purposes at all, I only want the grid-like appearance

In other words, purely an artistic effect, not used for functionality or alignment. What's the best way to achieve this in InDesign?

Thank you!

  • 1
    Hi Scott Crooks, have you tried step and repeat?
    – AndrewH
    Sep 22, 2015 at 18:41
  • Truthfully no, I'm a bit of an InDesign n00b. Does that allow you to create a grid-like appearance? Sep 22, 2015 at 18:53

2 Answers 2


I'd use Adobe Illustrator to create the grid and place it into InDesign as an image.

In Illustrator....

  • Draw a rectangle larger than the InDesign page.
  • Fill it with blue.
  • Choose Edit > Copy
  • Choose Edit > Paste in Front
  • Choose Object > Path > Split Into Grid and add rows and columns to make the grid.
    enter image description here
  • Adjust stroke colors and remove fills.
    enter image description here
  • Save
  • Then go to InDesign and File > Place choosing the image you just created.

While you certainly can set this up in InDesign exclusively, it's just faster and easier in Illustrator. In addition, as a placed image in InDesign it's easier to edit the grid if you should need to in the future. As well as providing the flexibility to use the same .ai file in multiple InDesign files easily.


Draw the background with the rectangle tool (M)

Draw a thin horizontal line with the rectangle tool (M). My document is 10"x10". So I did a line that was 10"W x .05"H.

Select that line with the Selection Tool (V)

Go to Edit -> Step and Repeat. I used 0.2 in vertical. Then select the amount for the count of copies to fill the rest of the document.

I then grouped all of the lines (ctrl + G), pasted them in front and rotated them.


grid in indesign

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