What Is a Gutter in Adobe Indesign?

Tim Youngs
Last updated February 25, 2020
What is an InDesign gutter

The term gutter specifically refers to the spaces found between two page icons in your Pages panel. The gutters in a page layout separate elements from one another. Elements will run together without enough space between text columns or content and become difficult to see or read.

When you work in Adobe InDesign, you can use the gutters to control the layout of your page and create a more consistent and visually pleasing design.

When creating a new InDesign project, you can set the gutter size from the New Document menu. Or you can update or add a gutter to an existing project by selecting Layout > Margins and Columns from the top menu bar.

For the gutter(s) to appear, you will need to set the number of columns to two or more since the gutter is the vertical space between your columns. With two columns, you will have one gutter visible between them. With three columns, you will have two gutters. And so on.

What Is a Gutter in InDesign?

Whenever you are looking to build a more consistent and visually attractive design in Adobe InDesign, you use the gutters to create the page layout and separate elements from one another. It's a tool you can use to control the layout of your pages in Adobe InDesign.

You can easily set the gutter margin size by going to the New Document menu whenever you are starting a new InDesign project on Adobe InDesign and changing the margin setting.

How Big Should You Set the Gutter Size in Adobe Indesign?

While most of this is really up to your specific design style, it's advised that the gutter margin widths closely relate to the leading value of the body text. If you want to have uniform spacing, it's best to set the gutters to the same value or a marginal multiple of the leading value or font size of the body text.

For example, the gutters could be set to 1.5 or even 2 of the leading text. An excellent rule of thumb to bear in mind is, "the wider your columns, the bigger your gutters should be."

Where Can You Find Gutters on a Page?

In a bound book, gutters can be found on the inner margins of the leaves or the adjacent inner margins of the facing pages when the book is open.

What Is a column gutter?

It should be noted that gutters can be considered or referred to as margins in typography. However, horizontal or exterior margins aren't gutters. That being said, a column gutter separates vertical blocks of content that are positioned on your pages. The column gutters are the vertical whitespaces or the thin vertical lines (rules).

Do Gutters Exist in Word Documents?

Yes. Gutters aren't only a preserve of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Adobe InDesign. Gutters exist in Word documents too. They are used to add extra spaces to the side margins, inside margins, or side margins of any document you intend to bind.

These are known as gutter margins, and they are what you use to ensure that your text isn't obscured by the binding process.

What's a Gutter in a Word Article?

Whenever you are creating an InDesign document or a word document and would like to leave some spaces for finishing options such as binding, stapling or simple folding, you use gutters to create that additional margin or white space.

Therefore, the gutter in a Word article is the extra margin created as part of the document setup or page layout and is intended to allow space for finishing processes such as binding.

How to Do Gutters in InDesign

To do gutters in InDesign, you must start by changing the margins and column guides. The steps are as follows:

  • Open your page panel (Window > Pages)
  • Click on the thumbnails of the pages that are to be changed
  • Select Layout > Margins and Columns
  • Enter the desired values for the Bottom, Top, Left, and Right margins
  • Enter the number of columns and gutters (space between columns)

What Is a Gutter in Indesign Quizlet?

In the InDesign Quizlet, the gutter is the space in between columns or the bleed that extends to the edge of the page or sheet after trimming.

Final Thoughts on Gutter Indesign

Gutters are used in Indesign to separate content on adjoining pages. If you are a book designer, you are probably more than familiar with gutters and how everything works.

Ultimately, the gutter margin helps ensure that the binding obscures none of the text. It is the same concept for graphic design in Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop defaults to a 20px gutter, but the gutter margin can be changed if needed. So, if you have a document with four columns and each need at least 10 pixels of space between them, you can accomplish this with gutter spacing.