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Applying formatting to a paragraph

From: InDesign CS6 Essential Training

Video: Applying formatting to a paragraph

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 have my brochure document opened, and I'm going to zoom in on some of this text. I'll double-click on this headline to place my cursor into it, and now I'm going to go up to the control panel to change my paragraph formatting. Now, I notice that I'm currently in Character formatting mode in the control panel. I can click on this little pilcrow character to switch to Paragraph formatting.

Applying formatting to a paragraph

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 have my brochure document opened, and I'm going to zoom in on some of this text. I'll double-click on this headline to place my cursor into it, and now I'm going to go up to the control panel to change my paragraph formatting. Now, I notice that I'm currently in Character formatting mode in the control panel. I can click on this little pilcrow character to switch to Paragraph formatting.

Now, technically, when you switch from one mode to the other, you're really just switching what's on the left side of the panel, because if your screen is wide enough, you can get both Paragraph and Character formatting along the top of the control panel; it just depends which is on the left. Right now, in Paragraph formatting, I see all of my Paragraph formatting on the left side, all the way up to here, and then, to the right of that, I see my Character formatting, like font, size, and leading. I'm going to focus on the left side, though; the Paragraph formatting. Now, you'll notice that I didn't select the entire paragraph; I just have the cursor flashing in the paragraph.

That's all you need to do when you apply Paragraph formatting. InDesign knows, wherever the cursor is, that's where it's going to apply the formatting. That's very different, obviously, than Character formatting, where you do need to select the characters you want to apply it to. Now, the most basic paragraph formatting is the horizontal alignment. Right now, this is set to left-align, but if I look over in the left side of the control panel, I can change these buttons from Align left, to Align Center. Now that paragraph is centered in the column. Let's change it to Align right.

Now it's set to the right. There are a number of these horizontal alignments, including align towards spine, or away from spine, which is appropriate when you're creating a facing pages document, like a book or a magazine. You can make it go away or toward the spine; the center of that facing pages. I like that. So now I'm going to set some indents. I'm going to scroll down, and place my cursor in this paragraph down here. I can either just click inside of it, or select some of the text; again, it doesn't really matter. There are four kinds of indents that I can apply to a paragraph; first, Left indent. Right now it's set to zero, but I could change this to something larger, like 24 points.

Hit Enter or Return, and you can see the entire paragraph is indented 24 points. I don't want to do that, so I'll undo that with a Command+Z or Control+Z, and what I want to do is indent just the first line. That's this widget down here; the indent first line control. I'll change that from 0 to, let's say, 18 points. You can see that now it adds an indent, but only on the first line. If you're trying to indent your first lines, you should definitely use that feature. Don't type Tab at the beginning, or a bunch of spaces, or something silly like that; use the feature the way it's meant to be used: first-line indent.

Now let me pan over to this text frame, and I'm going to change the space in between paragraphs. For example, I want an additional space between this paragraph, and the one that follows it. 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. So what am I supposed to do if I want space between these paragraphs, and I'm not supposed to add an extra return like that? I'm going to delete that; don't do that.

Well, here's what you should do: select the paragraphs that you want to change, and then, in the control panel, change the space before, or space after; that's these two items up here. I'm going to change space before to 9 points, and then I'll hit Enter, and you can see it actually adds space in between. That's way too much; let's change this something smaller to, let's say, 3 points. I like that. Alignment, indents, spacing; this is just a drop in the bucket.

In the next few movies, we'll look at spanning text across columns, creating Drop Caps, Tabs, and more.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign CS6 Essential Training

113 video lessons · 81193 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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