SmartGrids is an application that allows you to easily configure and preview modular typography grids. You can input parameters like the page size, margins, font size, and leading and SmartGrids will show you all the possible grid configurations.

Unlike the built-in grid creation tools in Adobe InDesign, SmartGrids will automatically align the grid to your body copy. The gridlines can be aligned with the cap-height, ascender, or x-height of the text. It also allows for a baseline shift so that the gridlines don’t align with the baseline of the text but with the descenders.

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Creating cap-height aligned grids in Adobe InDesign is not impossible, but involves a lot of trial and error and manual measuring. This applications allow you to skip the tedious guesswork and manual calculations. SmartGrids will show you all possible grid configurations and output all relevant values which you can then input into your layout software.

The grids follow the style proposed by Josef Müller-Brockamann in his influential 1981 book Grid Systems in Graphic Design. Typographic grids help you structure your layouts in a meaningful and clean way. When working on larger editorial projects they can speed up your workflow significantly.

Preview of a layout and grid created with SmartGrids.