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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.
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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