Borders are essentially frames made up of corners and sides. There are four corners – top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right. We also have four sides – top, bottom, left, and right. When letterpress printer set a border, he would set one piece for each of the four corners, and fill the sides in with many duplicate pieces for the entire length of each edge. The same is true for these digital borders. The numeric keypad on the far right side of your keypad best mimics the layout of the border on a press. The numbers 7 and 9 correspond to the top left and top right corners, and the numbers 1 and 2 represent the lower left and right corners, respectively; 4 is the left side, 6 is the right side, while 8 is the top and 2 is the bottom.

 

That was a lot of words, so hopefully the diagram below will better represent how it all goes.

 

Create a text box to the width and height that your heart desires.

Make the top edge of your border by first typing 7 for the upper left corner. Then, add 8s for the length of the upper edge until you come to where you can only fit one more piece before you’re forced to the next line. Here, add the 9 for the upper right corner.

To fill in the sides, hard return to the next line. Add 6 then space until you come to one space away from the right edge. Insert a 4.

Continue this for the height of the document. (If using Microsoft Word 2010, be sure to set to the style to "No Spacing" or else you'll get double spacing.)

Or, as a short cut…

Click and drag along the row to select it.  Copy. Hard return to the next line and paste. Continue for the height of the document.

To complete the border, add the bottom edge by following the same steps as for the top edge, only using 1 for the left corner, 2 for the straight edge, and 3 for the right corner. To add text, create a new text box and place it inside the border.


Now you have a swanky period border!


* For some borders, like Acorn and Eagle, it may not particularly matter which number you use for which edge or corner you’re making since all of the pieces are essentially the same.  However, you’ll need to follow the frame pattern when creating the line borders.


Click on the type tool, and click and drag out a text box. For the first line, type 7 for your upper left corner. Without hitting the space bar, type as many 8s as you need to complete the top edge of your border. Stop when you have room enough for one more piece, and hit 9 for your upper right corner. Make sure that your type is “solid set” – where the leading is equal to the size of the font. So, if you are using a 24 point font size, make sure the leading is also set to 24 point. Otherwise, bad things will happen. Bad things like huge gaps between each line.

 

With the Type Tool selected, SHIFT+click to create any new text layer within the border.

 

To fill in the sides, hard return to the next line. Add 6 then space until you come to one space away from the right edge. Insert a 4.

Continue this for the height of the document.

Or, as a short cut…


Click and drag along the row to select it.  Copy. Hard return to the next line and paste. Continue for the height of the document.


To complete the border, add the bottom edge by following the same steps as for the top edge, only using 1 for the left corner, 2 for the straight edge, and 3 for the right corner.


 To center your work, select all (CTRL/CMD + A), choose the Move Tool (V), and click on “Align Horizontal Centers.”

Lock the layer.


If working in Photoshop, to add text on a new layer, with the Type Tool selected, be sure to SHIFT+click when placing your type. If you didn’t, Photoshop will try to activate the locked border layer. In InDesign, you needn’t worry about this, and you can drag out a new text box.