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In this installment of Illustrator Insider Training, author Mordy Golding shows how to create type that’s both beautiful and communicative, whether it’s destined for logos, brochures, signs, infographics, or simple documents. This course covers core typography concepts, such as working with Unicode and OpenType fonts, applying character and paragraph settings, managing text with styles and text threads, placing text along a path, and wrapping text around graphics.
In the previous movie, we saw how we could use the Area Type Options dialog box in order to apply columns to a single text frame. Well, there's another option inside of that dialog box, something called Offset have allows us to actually have text have some kind of a buffer space between the actual edge of the frame and where the text begins. Let me explain. I have this document here called inset.ai. I am actually going to go ahead now and select this text frame. I am going to go to the Type menu.
I am going to choose Area Type Options. And in this dialog box here, I'm going to click on the Preview button. Now notice that the text actually starts exactly where the frame begins and ends. The same thing here for the top. Now that's what we expect because again, text always fills up the interior of its frame. However, where it says Offset here, I have a value called Inset Spacing. Right now by default it's set to 0. But I could choose to increase that value, and watch what happens.
When I set it to maybe let's try 12 point, for example, you can almost see like Illustrator creates a margin. So the frame begins right over here, but the text doesn't begin until 12 points in. There is almost some kind of a buffer space that appears around the text. The First Baseline setting here gives me various options for how that first line up here is spaced in regard to the top line right here of the frame. So if for example, I choose Cap Height, it actually treats the top of the capital letters as the space where it starts counting the inset from. Or I could choose the x Height and you could see over here the x Height of the characters.
You can see that the actual capital letters and ascenders now extend beyond that inset line. Or I could choose a Fixed value and then simply set that value right here. And this could be useful when I have maybe one word on a line that's just very large. However, in most cases you are probably just going to choose the Ascent. And I will leave this value here set to 0. So coming back here to the Inset Spacing value, maybe I'll increase this to about 18 point, hit the Tab key, and I'll click OK.
Now, why would this be valuable? Well, let's think about it this way. Right now I have selected my text frame using the Black Arrow, or my Selection tool. And if you look at my Appearance panel, my target is my type. So if I were to change my fill color right now to maybe blue, for example, you can see that all my text turns blue. Let me press Undo for a second here. And I am actually going to switch to my Direct Selection tool. I'm going to deselect the frame. Now I am going to move my cursor here just to the edge where the existing frame is.
You can see here that because I have Smart Guides turned on, Illustrator is letting me know that the path is right here. And if I click to select it, now I have selected just the actual path itself. In fact, if I look at my Appearance panel, I will see that right now my target is the path. Not the entire area type object, but just the path itself. And I have a separate Fill value for it right now, which is set to none. If I would actually change my Fill to that same light-blue color, my text doesn't turn blue; my frame now gets a fill of blue.
So now I have text that is inside of a colored frame. Instead of me having to create two separate elements inside of my document--one box or rectangle that has a fill inside of it and then a separate text frame that sits on top of it-- I now have one object inside of Illustrator that has a fill, but the text that's inside of that has completely separate fill color. And of course I could use my Regular Selection tool here to simply resize my frame so it's about this big right here, and now I get a beautiful box that has some text inside of it.
So by setting an inset value, I've almost created some kind of a margin here where my text now sits inside of this frame. I have used less objects inside of my document so it's more efficient to move these elements around, and more importantly, anytime I resize them, my text reflows, and of course I already have the color background. So this is one great example of how that Inset value can really be helpful here inside of Illustrator.
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