Confused about InDesign Baseline Grid
So I'm confused about baseline grids. It's the first time I'm using them and here's the scenario. I will be typsetting about 30 odd volumes of pure text, no graphics, a reference work basically, with no columns, just the one major text frame on each page, each volume about 4-500 pages long. I understand that I should use a basline grid, or that has been the feeling I'm getting from reading around about them. So I watched a few videos on Lynda.com and set one up, my question is that when I snap to grid it obviously snaps the lines to the grid but then the 'space after' for each paragraph which I had set seems to be overridden and as a result the gap between each paragraph is too big for my liking. It doesn't look good. I preferred a space after of about 4 mm, but this is bigger than that.
So my first question is: is there any way around this? How can you use a baseline grid while maintaining a space after setting that you have in place?
Do I actually have to use a baseline grid? I can understand it would make things look more consistent and do feel like using it, if it is best practice but not at the cost of communication. Do I have to use it for every paragraph? Or do you think it would be an idea to maybe just use it for the first paragraph on each page?
Anyway, any feedback would be greatly appreciated and if you do respond please do so as though you are talking to a total novice.
Edit: adding screen shots to explain my confusion further.
I've filled it with Arabic placeholder text, in this pic, the snap to baseline is off and I've set it the way I want it with 4 mm space after, I like this much space between each paragraph, I don't see anything wrong with it? The paragraphs on each page are starting at the same height, so what's the problem here?
In this pic, snap to baseline is on and I don't like the large space between each paragraph which it is doing since it is snapping to the grid:
And here are both pages this time showing the baseline off and on respectively for the above two pages:
While making a book it's extremely important to use baseline grid because
- Pages are thin and transparent and you don't want line to show from the page before, and baseline grid avoids this from happening
- 2 pages side to side that the lines are not aligned to each other is unaesthetic to the point of almost unreadable
Here's how you work with baseline grid:
- You decide your document's main font size and leading, as well as the document's margins
- You go to the Indesign preferences and in the guides and grids sector you change the starting point of the baseline grid to the hegiht of your top margin and the "increment every" option to your leading
- On your document right click anywahere and choose "show baseline grid" and on the character window of every single text box you choose "align to baseline grid"
A few things to notice:
- If you increase even 0.00001 point from the set leading, baseline grid will immediately jump 2 rows.
- You can set the "align to baseline grid" to every box by setting an aligned box in the master page
- I'd set the leading in a way the big fonts (titles, etc.) look good aligned as well by jumping 2 or 3 rows.