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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, 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.
In the last chapter we talked about formatting that you can apply to individual characters such as font, size and so on. Now let's get into formatting that you apply to a whole paragraph. I am going to be controlling this paragraph here so I'll zoom in on it so we can see it better and I'll double- click on it to switch to the Type tool. You can see the cursor flashing inside this paragraph and you might be tempted to try and select the entire paragraph before applying your paragraph formatting but you don't need to because any paragraph formatting that you apply such as horizontal alignment or indents is going to apply to the entire paragraph whether you have it all selected or whether the cursor is just flashing in here or even if you select a little bit of text. It doesn't really matter.
InDesign is smart enough to know that it is supposed to apply to the entire paragraph. To change my paragraph formatting I could go to the Window menu, choose Type and Tables, and then choose Paragraph to open the Paragraph panel but that would be a waste of time and screen real estate because all of those features are already up here at the top in the Control panel. Notice that as I said in the last chapter, there are two modes of the Control panel. The Character Mode and the Paragraph Mode. In this case, obviously we want the Paragraph Mode. Let's look at couple of these features. The first set of buttons in the Control panel have to do with horizontal alignment and right now, we have the Justified Mode selected here.
Justified means that the left edge of the text paragraph is going to be flush with the left edge of the column and the right edge is also going to be flush with the right edge of the column, but I could change this to some other horizontal alignment such as Left Align. Here the left edge is flush but the right edge is ragged. There is a lot of other options in here too. I don't need to get in all of them, but I will point out that you could center your paragraph or make it right aligned and so on. In this case I am going to stick with justified. Now the next set of controls here have to do it with indents and in this case, I am going to go into normal mode instead of preview mode so we can really see the edge of the column here.
Otherwise it's really hard to tell what you're doing with your indents. So I'll come up here and change the first field. That's the left indent and if I said that to one pica, you'll see that the entire paragraph gets indented. You can ignore this yellow highlighting that just appeared there. It has to do with your hyphenation and justification and I'll be covering that in a later movie. The key here is that the whole paragraph has been come indented one pica. I can do the same thing on the right edge by changing the right indent to one pica.
Now the whole thing is sort of block indented. The last indent I want to point out is the first line indent. This is really handy for making the first line go farther than the rest of the paragraph. For example I could set this to another one pica and now it's indented even farther. So I know it's exactly two picas in from the edge of the column. The first line indent is the way that you should handle a beginning of a paragraph that you want indented. Don't try and type spaces or a tab to do it. Use the feature, First-Line Left Indent.
Now let me scroll down little bit here and look at this heading. I wish there were little bit of space before the heading between this paragraph and the heading. It might be tempting to come in here and type an extra Return or two but don't do it at all. Let me undo that. I hit Delete to get rid of that. Because there is a fundamental rule of desktop publishing that says never type the same invisible character twice. That means you shouldn't type two spaces in a row or two paragraph returns in a row or even two tabs in a row. But if you can't type two returns in a row then what do you do? How do you get space in here? The key is Space Before and After and that's what these controls are here in the Control panel.
Space Before lets me add a little bit of space above this paragraph. I have my cursor inside my heading here and I'll simply type, let's say P8 for 8 points. Hit Return and you can see it's added space before. If I wanted space after it I could do the same thing over here in the Space After. I'll set that to maybe six points after. Horizontal alignment, indents, spacing, this is just a drop in the bucket. In the next few movies, we'll be looking at creating drop caps, adjusting hyphenation, justification and more.
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