Rules in desktop publishing are usually lines. These lines are different from the lines used in underlined text because they are used for decoration and not for text formatting.
In this example, we have a column of text with a heading. This heading already stands out because it is larger and a darker font that the rest of the text. We can add a rule to add some more style to this heading. We’ll click once on the heading.
Click once on the format button to open the format panel if it isn’t already open.
At the bottom of the panel, we will find the border & rules section. The borders & rules option is currently set to none.
Clicking on the borders & rules selector gives us line options. The line options include solid, dashed and dotted.
For this rule, we’ll select the solid line option. The line color is automatically set to black and one point.
The line in this example appears below the text. We know this because the button with the line appearing below a box is selected.
Looking back at our text, we see that there is a line below the heading text.
For most purposes this line is just fine. We can change the line thickness, and color to make the heading more interesting. In this example, we’ve changed the line thickness to 5 points and the color to blue.
We control the location of the rule with the offset option. The default location is set to 0 points.
We’ll decrease the offset to negative six.
Looking at the heading, we see that the rule is much closer to the text.
We can also increase the offset to place more distance between the line and text. In this example, we’ve increased the offset to ten points.
Rules can be used in paragraph styles to make the task of applying them much easier. To learn more about paragraph styles read my other lessons on using styles in Pages.