Saturday, January 20, 2007

Separating ads by an 'open' corner

Sometimes I need to separate an item on the page not with one or two lines, but with an 'open' corner - a trim box with only two adjacent sides coloured.

It often comes up when an ad or an announcement goes on a page where editorial material flows around it.

It can be done by inserting two lines - horizontally and vertically - and then positioning them to form a right angle. But they never seem to merge entirely at the tip of the angle, even when you set the coordinates through Metrics Inspector to exactly the same point on the page.

I found that an easier way of achieving the same effect is by using a table. This is how to do it:

- place a table as a fixed object on the page;
- uncheck wrapping;
- click on the table inspector, uncheck header row, set the number of both row and columns to 1.

You now have an object that looks like a rectangular box, but behaves like a table - which is exactly what you want because with an ordinary object you can only set the width, colour and style of the frame all around it, but not for each side separately.

So, to make an 'open' corner for separating an item on the page (an ad, for example), do this:

- select your one row, one column table;
- click on one of the sides so that it highlights in yellow;
- go to the Object Inspector, click on the Stroke drop-down menu and select 'None'. The selected side of the Table will now be invisible on the page;
- do the same with another side of the Table - select, set Stroke to none.

Now you have what will look like an open right angle corner. After placing the ad or other item on the page move your table to go round it.

An additional advantage of using a table in this case is that it is easier to resize and reposition than using two separate lines. And you can copy-paste it to use on other pages of your project or in other documents.

If you've developed a more efficient method, please let me know.


  1. Used your table trick for a front page. Great! But I can't get it to allow me to insert a layout break so I can put header/footer on Page 2 and not on page 1. Any hints?

  2. Oh bother. You can reply by email if you want at


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