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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
There's only so much text that can fit on each line. But we often want to cram as much text on each line as possible. For example, I'll zoom in on this text and let's take a look at this word California. I'll double-click on it to switch to the Type tool and then I'll double-click again just to select it. The whole word California might not fit onto that line. So one solution is to break the word at the end with a hyphen. Now this paragraph down here has no hyphens. And you will notice that the spacing is a little bit less even. Also, look at the very end.
There is a little tiny word right at the end what I call a runt. It would be nice to get rid of that if we could. Perhaps if we hyphenated this paragraph, it would pull that up. Let's try it out. To hyphenate a paragraph, simply places the cursor anywhere inside of it and then go to the Control panel and turn on the Hyphenate checkbox. Now that's looking much better. But sometimes you want more control over just whether or not the paragraph is hyphenated or not. So if you want to control your hyphenation, go over to the Control panel menu and choose Hyphenation.
Let's move the Hyphenation Settings dialog box out of the way a little bit here so we can see what we're doing. This let's us fine-tune what will and will not get hyphenated. By default, you can change these values to be more conservative or more liberal with your hyphenation. For example, some people only want one hyphen in a row. They don't want two lines ending with hyphens. But if you want to give it a little more space, go ahead and bump that up,=. Maybe two hyphens is okay. This paragraph is set up so that you have to have four letters before a hyphen.
If you want to be a little bit more liberal with that, how about we set to 2 after and 2 fefore? You also have these controls down here letting you control whether capitalized words will hyphenate. Whether you'll allow words to hyphenate across a column. For example from one page to the next. And whether you will allow it the last word on the paragraph to hyphenate. I tend not to allow any of those things to hyphenate. But again it's up to you. I'll click OK and you'll see that now words are hyphenating that weren't hyphenating before. For example, this word excursion.
Before this setting required four letters before the hyphen. We changed it to 2, allowing that word to hyphenate. Now there is something about that hyphen there that's bothering me. It's the fact that it's inset slightly. Well technically, it isn't inset, but it looks inset. Visually the hyphen is very light. So when you are looking at the edge of a column, it looks like it kind of dips in right there. I don't like that. So I would like to use something called hanging punctuation. Hanging punctuation will push any light punctuation like a hyphen out into the margin very slightly so that I have a more even line on the left and right side of my column.
To turn on hanging punctuation, I'm going to go to the Type menu and choose Story. They don't call it hanging punctuation in InDesign. They call it Optical Margin Alignment. That's because it doesn't really only apply to punctuation. It applies to all the characters. Let's go ahead and turn that on and you can see that all the lines get adjusted very slightly. The hyphen gets pushed out into the margin, which might look strange at first. But believe me, it really makes a much nicer, cleaner line on the columns. Believe it or not, InDesign has even more hyphenation controls.
But those are more advanced topics that I'll cover in a later title. But as you can see, even these tools provide a huge amount of control over your hyphens.
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