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InDesign CS6 Essential Training
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Applying basic character styling


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InDesign CS6 Essential Training

with David Blatner

Video: Applying basic character styling

It's easy to get text into InDesign; just click in any text frame with the Type tool, and start typing. But how do you format that text? How do you make it pretty? Well, let's take a tour through your options for text formatting. I am going to zoom in on this text frame, so we can format this text in here. The first thing I need to do, of course, is select the text that I want to format. So I'll double-click to switch to the Type tool, and then drag over this text, or you could triple click to select the entire line. If you're familiar with Illustrator, or Photoshop, or some of the other Creative Suite applications, you might be tempted to go to the Window menu, and go looking for the Character panel.
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  1. 1m 23s
    1. What is InDesign?
      1m 23s
  2. 2m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 38s
  3. 21m 19s
    1. Getting started
      3m 33s
    2. Adding or editing text
      3m 23s
    3. Adding or replacing graphics
      4m 31s
    4. Moving objects around
      4m 55s
    5. Printing and creating a PDF
      4m 57s
  4. 26m 6s
    1. Exploring the application window
      6m 25s
    2. Navigating and magnifying pages and objects
      6m 24s
    3. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 35s
    4. Working with panels
      3m 58s
    5. Setting the view quality of artwork
      2m 31s
    6. Adjusting view and preview settings
      4m 13s
  5. 27m 52s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 39s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      4m 2s
    3. Saving for CS4 and CS5 with IDML
      2m 24s
    4. Setting the margin and column guides
      4m 29s
    5. Putting ruler guides on the page
      5m 7s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 11s
  6. 23m 37s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      4m 32s
    2. Changing page size
      4m 38s
    3. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 18s
    4. Overriding master page items
      2m 43s
    5. Adding page numbering
      2m 22s
    6. Changing page numbering with sections
      4m 4s
  7. 52m 47s
    1. Understanding text frames
      3m 38s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 48s
    3. Inserting special characters
      4m 1s
    4. Importing text
      3m 47s
    5. Threading text frames
      3m 12s
    6. Setting text frame columns
      4m 31s
    7. Setting text inset and vertical justification options
      3m 48s
    8. Allowing text frames to grow and shrink
      4m 5s
    9. Putting text on a path
      5m 50s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      5m 10s
    11. Checking spelling
      5m 12s
    12. Using Find/Change
      4m 45s
  8. 28m 19s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 20s
    2. Using the Links panel
      7m 17s
    3. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 10s
    4. Fitting graphics to the frame
      5m 1s
    5. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 31s
  9. 35m 49s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 2s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      5m 6s
    3. Colorizing images
      1m 59s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 4s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      3m 33s
    6. Using other transparency effects
      5m 15s
    7. Copying and formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      5m 59s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 51s
  10. 18m 34s
    1. Creating color swatches
      4m 33s
    2. Understanding the danger and power of unnamed colors
      5m 46s
    3. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 53s
    4. Applying gradients
      4m 22s
  11. 15m 27s
    1. Editing frame and path shapes
      5m 8s
    2. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      4m 8s
    3. Making polygons and starbursts
      1m 59s
    4. Creating text outlines
      4m 12s
  12. 37m 56s
    1. Positioning objects with the Gap tool
      3m 54s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 5s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      5m 27s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 33s
    5. Grouping and locking objects
      3m 10s
    6. Nesting objects
      3m 23s
    7. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 20s
    8. Understanding text wrap
      5m 51s
    9. Using anchored objects
      6m 13s
  13. 26m 16s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 37s
    2. Collecting, conveying, and placing content
      8m 58s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 22s
    4. Scaling objects
      4m 21s
    5. Skewing objects
      1m 8s
    6. Mirroring objects
      3m 50s
  14. 24m 19s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 31s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 28s
    3. Changing case
      3m 23s
    4. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      5m 3s
    5. Using Find Font
      3m 54s
  15. 32m 51s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 4s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      2m 10s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      1m 52s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 26s
    5. Setting tabs
      7m 36s
    6. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 23s
    7. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 10s
    8. Numbering paragraphs
      6m 10s
  16. 19m 47s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 10s
    2. Using character styles
      4m 45s
    3. Editing and redefining styles
      2m 20s
    4. Using object styles
      2m 47s
    5. Applying styles with Quick Apply
      3m 45s
  17. 39m 59s
    1. Creating a table
      4m 29s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      4m 36s
    3. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      3m 0s
    4. Formatting a table
      4m 32s
    5. Formatting cells
      6m 2s
    6. Applying table styles
      5m 33s
    7. Placing graphics in cells
      3m 1s
    8. Importing Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 46s
  18. 16m 45s
    1. Building a multi-document book
      7m 27s
    2. Creating "continued on..." jump lines
      3m 51s
    3. Constructing a table of contents (TOC)
      5m 27s
  19. 23m 8s
    1. Exporting EPUBs
      6m 12s
    2. Creating an interactive PDF
      12m 49s
    3. Building a Flash SWF
      4m 7s
  20. 28m 1s
    1. Checking a document with the Preflight panel
      5m 26s
    2. Packaging for output
      3m 34s
    3. Using the Print dialog box
      4m 52s
    4. Printing a small booklet
      2m 46s
    5. Exporting a PDF
      7m 56s
    6. Exporting text
      3m 27s
  21. 1m 25s
    1. Next steps
      1m 25s

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InDesign CS6 Essential Training
8h 24m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

InDesign is an essential tool for design firms, ad agencies, magazines, newspapers, book publishers, and freelance designers around the world. This course presents the core features and techniques that make this powerful page layout application fun and easy to use. Author David Blatner shows how to navigate and customize the workspace, manage documents and pages, work with text frames and graphics, export and print finished documents, explore creating interactive documents, and much more. He also covers popular topics such as EPUBs and long documents and includes advice on working with overset text, unnamed colors, and other troublesome issues that may arise for first-time designers.

Topics include:
  • Getting started in just 30 minutes: the quick start guide to InDesign
  • Understanding your workspace
  • Creating and setting up new documents
  • Creating and applying master pages
  • Entering and editing text
  • Placing graphics
  • Working with color and gradients
  • Editing frame and path shapes
  • Working with layers, objects, and groups
  • Rotating and scaling objects
  • Applying character and paragraph formatting
  • Using styles
  • Creating and formatting tables
  • Exporting to EPUB and interactive PDF
  • Packaging, printing, and exporting your final document
Subjects:
Design Page Layout
Software:
InDesign
Author:
David Blatner

Applying basic character styling

It's easy to get text into InDesign; just click in any text frame with the Type tool, and start typing. But how do you format that text? How do you make it pretty? Well, let's take a tour through your options for text formatting. I am going to zoom in on this text frame, so we can format this text in here. The first thing I need to do, of course, is select the text that I want to format. So I'll double-click to switch to the Type tool, and then drag over this text, or you could triple click to select the entire line. If you're familiar with Illustrator, or Photoshop, or some of the other Creative Suite applications, you might be tempted to go to the Window menu, and go looking for the Character panel.

You can, in fact, find one of those down here in the Type & Tables submenu. There it is: Character, but I'm not going to choose it, because I don't need to. I already have all the features I need right in front of my face. That's right; it's up here in the control panel. When you use the Type tool to select text on your page, the control panel changes to show you all the formatting you need. Now technically, the control panel has two different modes; there's the character mode, which you get when you have that little A selected on the left side, or the paragraph formatting modes, which you get when you select that little pilcrow button.

That's the name of that character, if you didn't know; that's a pilcrow. I'll be talking about paragraph formatting in the next chapter, but for right now, I am going to stick with character formatting, so I am going to make sure that A is selected. The first item I see in the control panel here is the font. I can change the font easily by simply clicking in this pop-up menu, and choosing a different one. For example, I'll choose American Typewriter. I'm just using a font randomly here. Or you can actually select that font name, and type something else. For example, I'll type m, y, and it guesses that I want Myriad Pro.

To apply that font, just press Return or Enter. Next, you can choose a font style in the second pop-up menu. Here we see a list of all the styles in this font family. I am going to choose Bold. In InDesign, there is a lot of redundancy; that is, there's many ways to do the same thing. So I also want to point out that you can change the font formatting by going to the Type menu. Here is the same thing: the Font menu, but in this case, to change the style, I look in submenus. So I could choose Myriad Pro, and then you see another little submenu pop out, and I can choose a different value; for example, Semibold.

By the way, I just want to point out that in InDesign CS6, this Font menu has actually changed a little bit, both in the control panel, and also here in the menu bar. We now see a list of all the most recently used fonts; all the fonts I used since I last launched InDesign. They're all up here at the top of the list, so I can get to them quickly. Now let's change the size of this font. That's the third item in the control panel. I can choose something out of the pop-up menu, or type something myself. For example, I'll type 16 points. Now, you know how much I like keyboard shortcuts, so I can't help but give you a little keyboard shortcut here.

The keyboard shortcut for jumping to the first field in the control panel is Command+6, or Control+6 on Windows. That jumps right up to that font field. I could actually type a different font if I want. For example, I'll type p,a, r, and in it guesses that I want Party. Hit Return, and it changes it to that font. Or you can use the Tab key to move from one field to the next in the control panel. So I'll press Command+6, I'll choose a different font -- let's go back to Myriad Pro -- and then I'll tab to the style, tab to the size, let's make this a little bit smaller, and then tab to the next field, which is leading.

Leading is the amount of space from the baseline of the text -- that is, the line that this text is sitting on -- to the previous line. That's the definition of leading. Because this text is actually at the top of the text frame, leading has no effect, but for the rest of this paragraph, it does. So I am going to select some other text in this paragraph down here, and change its leading to show you. I'll change this to 18 points, and you'll see the leading changes, but only for the text that I changed. That's because, in InDesign, leading is a character attribute, not a paragraph attribute.

This can cause some real consternation when you're laying out your pages, because you have to remember to select the entire paragraph, or else you will get uneven leading throughout that paragraph. This can cause some real problems when you are laying out your document, because you have to select the entire paragraph to change the leading, not just some of the text. That's different than it works in QuarkXPress, and many other programs. Fortunately, you can change InDesign to work the way you'd expect: to apply leading to the entire paragraph. Let me show you how. I'm going to undo that with a Command+Z, or Control+Z on Windows, and I am going to go to the Preferences dialog box.

In Windows, that's under the Edit menu, but here on the Mac, it's under the InDesign menu, and you choose Preferences > Type. There is a checkbox in here called Apply Leading to Entire Paragraphs, and I am going to turn that on. I like to think that checkbox should be called, make it work the way you'd expect InDesign to work. I'll click OK, and I'm going to apply leading again. I'll change this to, let's say, 14 points, and you can see it changes it for the entire paragraph, no matter what is selected in the paragraph. That's the way I like to work.

Now that we've looked at how to change the spacing between lines of text, let's look at how you can change the spacing between individual characters. I am going to come back here, and triple click on this headline to select the whole line, and I'm going to come up to the control panel, and look at these two fields. The first one is kerning. Kerning lets you adjust the amount of space between two letters on a line. The second one is tracking. Tracking is the same as kerning, but it goes across a range of text, not just two characters at a time.

Technically, they're both doing the same thing: adjusting the amount of space between characters, but you usually use kerning just for two characters at a time, and tracking for a whole bunch. The first thing I am going to do here is change my kerning from Metrics to Optical. Optical kerning is a very clever technology in InDesign which actually looks at the shape of the characters, and it adjusts the spacing between them very subtly, so you get more even spacing throughout. It doesn't work for all fonts, and all sizes, but in most cases, it actually gives you a better result than what you normally get with a font.

You can actually see what optical is doing by clicking in between characters. Here, I'll click between the R and the O, and I can see in the kerning field that it's applying -7 kerning. Between the O and the U, it's doing -6; between the U and the X, it hasn't done anything. It's just zero. So optical kerning is changing the amount of space between each one individually. Now, let's say I wanted to make the whole line tighter; apply maybe -5 or -10 to the entire line. I'll do that by selecting the line, and then changing tracking.

Here I'm going to choose -10, and you can see that all the characters got -10 together. Now, I am throwing these numbers around, like -5, -10; what do those mean? Minus ten one-thousandth of an em, and the em is determined by the size of the font itself. In this case, it's a 15 point font, so 1 em is one thousandth of 15 points. So you are dealing with very small values here. Of course, font, size, kerning: these are all just the beginning when it comes to formatting text.

In the next movie, we are going to dive deeper, and explore more advanced character styling.

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