I recently wrote about an easy way to set up a grid in Illustrator. While that way is great for setting horizontal rhythm, I follow a different method for creating my baseline grid. This couldn’t be simpler thanks to the Transform Effect.
- Select the Line Segment Tool (\)
- Click anywhere on the canvas
- Enter 1024 for length and make sure the angle is set to 0
- Give the path a sensible color
- Use the Transform Pallet to position the line at the top left corner
Menu > Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform
- Let’s set a 24px baseline grid by entering 24px in
Move > Vertical. Then, enter 32 in the “Copies” input area.
That’s all there is to it. At this point, you can change your baseline via the appearance pallet. I tend to not turn my baseline grid lines into guides because I rarely want to snap to them. If you do want to turn them into guides:
- Select the group of lines
Menu > Object > Expand Appearance
Menu > View > Guides > Make Guides
The only thing missing from this is a more sophisticated baseline text alignment like InDesign has, but this is all you really need for wireframing.