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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
You're going to love this tip. Actually, there's three tips in this video. Three ways that you can violate the laws of nature, and get your text to extend outside of a text frame. Number one, let's zoom into this text. How can we get this drop cap open quote to go outside of the frame? You have to add another character in front of the first character in the line. This will work for any first character in a paragraph.
In this case, it happens to be a drop cap, and in this case it happens to be a quote, but it could be any first character. It doesn't have to be a quote drop cap, it could be any drop cap. Click in front of the drop cap and add a space. What happens is your space becomes dropped. That's what I have invisible showing, so you can see this. And so you have to come up to the drop cap controls and change it to two characters. And now that you have two characters starting a line, you click in between them, as my cursor is right now, and you kern it in.
I'm going to use the Option or the Alt key on a PC, Option+left arrow. And you can see it if I switch to, character at negative 280 now. Keep going. Now that that second character has something to kern into, now it can actually kern all the way out. Look at that. And it'll stop there. Can't kern more than that. But now, that's how you get something hanging outside of the text, and it is, you know, part of the text flow. It'll float with it but it'll stay outside.
Method number two, call this the brute force method. And I have used this a few times. Say that you have a numbered list, and one of the numbers has extra characters and you don't like how it looks. It might be 444 like that or even just 44. I don't like it that the decimal points aren't aligning. Now, what I could do is, I could redo the entire style so that all of these are indented, and then all the decimal points line up. Oy, what a pain. If I am at the end of the job and this is number 933 on a numbered list and everything else is perfect, and the printer is waiting for the PDF, then this is what I might resort to.
We are going to do some surgery on the text frame itself. I'm going to add four points surrounding this, so I'm going to zoom even closer. You're going to add two points right above the line that you want to jut out into space and two points right below the line, and you want to make the spaces as close to each other as possible. And when your Pen tool shows a plus symbol, click. That means you're adding a point. Move it down a little bit, make sure it shows a plus. Don't put it right on top when it shows the minus, you're going to get rid of that point.
There's another one. And then come down here and do the same thing, two. One, waiting for the plus, there it is, two. Then, Direct Selection tool and select the two inside points. So I got one, and I'm going to hold down the Shift key, get the other one. And then, with your cursor over the path in between, drag to the left. It might not be perfect the first time you do it. As you can see, it's not quite working yet. But now, we can adjust the points individually.
And sort of cheat it enough to get 44 to start moving to the left. Sometimes, it'll take longer than others. It really depends on the amount of leading that you've set. And all other sorts of page composition things that's happening behind the scenes. But, fiddle it for a little but and you'll finally be able to get the text to violate the frame. Watch what happens when I select the frame with the Selection tool. In its little computer brain, InDesign is considering this to be a text inset. It's not a text inset. There's no text inset on here.
And this is a little violation of the text inset. That interesting? Now this, of course, is something you do at the very end when you don't need to edit the text anymore. Because as soon as you start editing text, things get all screwy, see? The third way to get text to violate the boundaries of the text frame is to use a one celled table. So, let's say that we wanted this subhead to sort of scooch off to the left a little bit. How could we do that? In the paragraph above it, I'm going to insert a table.
I go to Table, Insert Table. Make sure it's one row, one column. And then we're going to modify this a bit. I don't want any strokes, so I'm going to change it to Zero Stroke. I don't want any text inset, so I'm going to go to my Table panel, and say that the Text Inset is Zero all the way around. And I'm going to take this and cut it and paste it into my table. Get rid of that paragraph symbol.
I don't need that anymore. And now I'm going to select the paragraph that that one cell table is in. And the easiest way to do that is to click in the paragraph above where the table is and then use your arrow key to move the cursor down one. And then when it's right in front of the table, hold down the Shift key and then tap the right arrow once and then twice. See what's happening here, is it's selecting the table and the ending paragraph return. And that's critical for the next step, which is to change the alignments of this table, from whatever it is, right now it's left-aligned, to right-aligned.
When you change it to a right-aligned, then you can drag the right side of that column. And the more you drag it, the more outside the left edge the text hangs, because it is a right-aligned table. Now, if we look at that with Preview mode, that looks pretty neat. Now, just remember that a cell of a table cannot break across a column or across a frame. So, as long as you're just dealing with short paragraphs or single lines, that method works perfectly. So there you have it, three ways to violate the laws of nature, and break out of a frames boundaries.
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