is now part of!

Tip of the Week: Applying Seamless Shading to Consecutive Paragraphs

3 0

This InDesign tip on Applying Seamless Shading to Consecutive Paragraphs was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on March 29, 2018.

InDesignSecrets Tip of the Week

Sign up now and every week you’ll get a new tip, keyboard shortcut, and roundups of new articles, plus exclusive deals sent right to your Inbox!

Just scroll down to the bottom of this page, enter your email address, and click Go! We’ll take care of the rest. Now, on with the tip!


More after the jump! Continue reading below
Free and Premium members see fewer ads! Sign up and log-in today.


If you’re using InDesign CC 2015 or later, you can apply shading to paragraphs. However, depending on the font and spacing you use, you may see a gap in shading applied to consecutive paragraphs.

InDesign paragraph shading gap

There are a few ways to fix this.
  • Use a different font or decrease the space between paragraphs.

In the Paragraph Borders and Shading dialog box, do any of the following:

  • Increase the Offsets values.

InDesign paragraph shading offset

  • Set the Top Edge of the shading to align to the Leading.

InDesign paragraph shading top alignment

Add a border. If you don’t want the border to be visible, make its Stroke width zero. Then (and this is the key), select the option to Merge Consecutive Borders and Shading. This is a new option in InDesign CC 2018.1.

InDesign merge consecutive paragraph shading


Editor in Chief of CreativePro and InDesign Magazine. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher.
  • LRS says:

    I love this feature though I’ve had issues when exporting to PDF then applying Accessibility tool features.

    I had a multiple column listing and applied the paragraph shading just to the titles. Not in all cases but in some of the text managed to move below the converted solid shaded box not upon the export to pdf but when I started to use features within the Acrobat Pro DC’s Accessibility Tool.

    Anyone else experience anything similar?

  • Diane says:

    I clicked Clip to Frame but for headings with shading, the top part of the shading gets cut off. How do I fix it. Let me know if you want a photo.

  • sapan says:

    though nice features. what about if it falls top/bottom of margin and i don’t need shading go beyond top/bottom margin. Any tip to fix it without changing text box?

  • >