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Baseline shift is an often misunderstood and misused feature. Rarely would you want to do anything other than select a single character, and baseline shift it above or below its current position. For example, you'd not want to do this: select a whole line, and then baseline shift it up or below its current position. The reason you wouldn't want to do that is because, while visually you may have shifted the type up, technically its position remains where it ever was, so you're just going to confuse yourself.
If you do need to adjust the spacing between paragraphs, then we have leading, and we also have inter-paragraph spacing: the space before and space after, which we will be dealing with in coming movies. So I'm going to make sure that the baseline shift for this is returned to 0. There is the option for baseline shift. Now, here is how you might want to use baseline shift. I have surrounded the word Baseline, which is in all uppercase, with parentheses. Now, because it's in all uppercase, visually the parentheses do not really surround the letters.
The letters have no descenders. So optically it looks like the parentheses are a little bit too low, so that's when I might want to add a little bit of baseline shift, and I can do that right here using the control panel, or I can do it with the keyboard shortcut. The keyboard shortcut for baseline shift is Option+Shift and Alt+Shift, and the up arrow to go up, or down arrow to go down. How much you go up or down is determined in your Units and Increments preferences.
So I'm going to just take a quick look at that first, and I've got it set to 1 point. In fact, I might want to make that a little bit less; half a point. So now Option+Shift, Alt+Shift, and up arrow, and I'll just nudge that up a bit, and I note that I've gone to 4.5 points. I could do to the same with this one, but it might actually be easier just to select that, and type in 4.5. So there we now visually have the parentheses surrounding the text.
The same is often true of telephone numbers, especially if you're using the default numbering style, and in this case, we are using the default numbering style Tabular Lining figures, where all of the figures are at the cap height. The parentheses may not visually surround the numerals, and you might want to just shift them up a fraction. This might be something useful to do on a business card. Obviously, you wouldn't want to labor too hard over this for continuous reading copy. But there we now have the parentheses surrounding the numerals.
Another case for a baseline shift, where we are using some sort of fancy drop cap feature. Now, you might expect this kind of problem to be addressed by the feature in the drop caps called Scale for Descenders, but in fact, it's not. We have character collision going on here, and Scale for Descenders, while it might work with some characters, is not working with this F. So here we need a bit of baseline shift.
I'm going to select that character, and I'm going to use the keyboard shortcut again, Shift+Option or Shift+Alt, and the up arrow, and we are just going to nudge that up to about there. And a third possible usage would be to create some sort of visual representation of the word that you're working with. So it's the visual equivalent of an onomatopoeia. So maybe I'll select this character, and I'll just nudge it up fraction, like that, so the word now looks like what it is.
A fourth use of baseline shift, and one I am not going to address here, but will be addressing in a later a movie, is when you're putting type on a circle. It's a very specialized use of baseline shift, but when we come to work with type on a path, we'll see how it can improve the look of type around a circle.
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