I'm working on a book design and I'm currently trying to format the blockquotes. I want them to be offset from the rest of the text to create a bit of visual interest, but I cannot seem to do it the way I want.

I want the margin towards the spine to be larger and the margin away from the spine to be smaller, but I still want the text to be aligned justified to the left. I know there's an "Align Away From Spine" option, but that's not what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a way to indent relative to the spine, keeping the alignment the same for all pages.

Is there a way to do this in InDesign?

Edit 1

This is what I would like to do:

enter image description here

The text on top and bottom is normal body text while the paragraphs in the middle are blockquotes. As you can see, all text have the same alignment.

Edit 2

This is a sample page from the design:

enter image description here

(Emphasis done on margins and page edge for clarity.)

As you can see, the text is indented the same amount on both sides, allowing me to outdent things like dropcaps for chapter headings. Right now, the quote is indented by two units on each side, but I'd like to outdent it by two units on the side away from the spine instead.

  • 2
    I'm having hard time figuring out what you want to achieve exactly... If you want to keep same text alignment for all pages, you can't have different inside and outside margin, can you? Could you post an image of what you're trying to do so I (we) can help you?
    – Vinny
    Jul 21, 2017 at 12:02
  • I added an image (or at least a link to one) to show what I mean.
    – Szandor
    Jul 21, 2017 at 14:06
  • That image shows larger outside margins, not larger inner margins. Can you not set up 2 paragraph styles to control the block quote indentations?
    – Scott
    Jul 21, 2017 at 15:02
  • 1
    I don't see a way of doing this automatically either with just paragraph styles. I think you'll just have to have two separate quote styles and two separate block text styles. That won't even work properly, though: paragraphs that span page breaks will have the same style applied to them throughout, so the straddling quote or block of text will be in the wrong style on one of the pages. If you could guarantee that quotes will never straddle pages, you could do it by placing the quotes in anchored frames with an object style applied; but I'm guessing you probably can't guarantee that. Jul 21, 2017 at 16:51
  • 1
    Actually, the block text is easy. All I need to do is to make sure the left and right indentation is the same and set the margins so that the text conforms to the area I want. I'll add a picture to show you.
    – Szandor
    Jul 21, 2017 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


That's a very interesting puzzler.

Just like Janus, I first couldn't think of any other solution than anchored text frames.
After a bit of thinking, I can come up with alternative solution, but that involves quite a lot of manipulation (could probably be scripted though) along with one important limitation: "quotes" paragraphs would keep altogether. Meaning if a long quote starts in the bottom of a page, it will jump to next one.

Here's the tweak:
The idea is to combine table along with Align Towards Spine feature.
Place the "quote" text into a single cell table (using Convert text to table is handy here, but don't catch the paragraph symbol), and apply a paragraph style to the paragraph that holds the table. Let's call it 'behindTable' and set it as Aligned Towards Spine. Add some left AND right indent (since it must work for both even and odd page)

You can create a cell style in order to get rid of inside margins, borders and to apply a paragraph style to the text.

Now, set cell width in order to match your layout. In my example 160mm (maybe someone can come up with a tip to set a fix column/cell width: would be great!) Note that table will overflow the text frame...

See example below:

enter image description here


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