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Combining alignments

From: InDesign Typography

Video: Combining alignments

In this movie, I'm looking at some examples of when we might want to combine different alignments, and here I have a cooking recipe which combines right-aligned text with left-aligned text. And how do we achieve this? The Holy Grail of the side-by-side paragraph, there are various tips and work-arounds that you can use to get your paragraphs side by side. I think this is probably the easiest way, and that is to take this text and put it in its own separate text frame which I have done here, and then anchor that text frame to a specific point in the main body of the text, the reason for that being so that if the text is edited, then that anchored text frame will change its position relative to its anchored point. So, how do we achieve that? Well, I have on a separate layer the starting version, and the starting version is basically exactly the same text but without the text frames being positioned and without them being anchored.

Combining alignments

In this movie, I'm looking at some examples of when we might want to combine different alignments, and here I have a cooking recipe which combines right-aligned text with left-aligned text. And how do we achieve this? The Holy Grail of the side-by-side paragraph, there are various tips and work-arounds that you can use to get your paragraphs side by side. I think this is probably the easiest way, and that is to take this text and put it in its own separate text frame which I have done here, and then anchor that text frame to a specific point in the main body of the text, the reason for that being so that if the text is edited, then that anchored text frame will change its position relative to its anchored point. So, how do we achieve that? Well, I have on a separate layer the starting version, and the starting version is basically exactly the same text but without the text frames being positioned and without them being anchored.

So, I'm going to turn on my Guides, I'm going to draw down a guide to the baseline of that first line of this paragraph in the main text frame. And then, I'm going to position this relative to it on that baseline, and now the way we do this has changed since InDesign CS5.5. So, if you're working with 5.5 and above, things are easier. All we need to do is get that blue square on the text frame and drag that where we want to anchor it to. Job done! Now, if we are working with something earlier than InDesign CS5.5, we can still do it, we just have to work a bit harder, and here's how we do it.

We cut it, insert our cursor where we want the anchored object to go, and then paste it, and things get a little weird for a while. So then we select that Anchored text frame, and we come to the Object menu and to Anchored Object and to Options where we say we don't want it to be an Inline or Above Line, we want it to be a Custom Anchored Object. We define its Reference Point which in this case wants to be the top right-hand corner of that frame. I turn on my Preview, so we can see what's happening.

And now things look a whole lot better already, and then we need to define its Offset position. So the Y, it's vertical position, currently it's relative to the baseline, but I actually want it relative to the cap height. So, when I do that, it now moves up a bit, and then I want the X Offset to be whatever is my Gutter value, my Gutter value is 12 points, and I want to move to the left so that's 12 points, like so.

Now, once you have got one right, it's still a good idea to then turn this into an Object Style, and I have made an Object Style, you make an Object Style simply by choosing New Object Style with the example that you are basing the Object Style on. Select it, and I'm going to call this anchor1, I'll make sure that that is applied to that frame, and I'll click OK, and I can now come and select this frame. I'm doing it the old way for this one.

So, I'm going to cut it, I am going to paste it as before. But now since we set up the Object Style, all I need to do is just click on that to apply that Object Style, and it takes on exactly the right position relative to its insertion point. So, that's a way we can combine left- aligned text with right-aligned text. Just one other point relating to this, and since I have used Object Styles, I could now if I wanted to--let's say I want to move this text over there, like so--and I would like the anchored frames to move over to the right-hand side.

So, I can move one of them over, like so, and we now see that I have a plus symbol next to that Object Style name, indicating an override. I want to incorporate that override into the style definition. So I'm going to right-click on that, and choose Redefine Style, and then the other one moves over to the right as well. It doesn't look very good in this case because it's right aligned, it's moving away from this text rather than moving towards it. So, there's no harmony between those two text frames, but that's how you would do that if you wanted to update an Object Style's specification.

So, that's one example of combining alignments. Let's now move on to the next page, and I'll come and turn Layer1 back on. And in this instance, I'm using what is commonly referred to as movie credit alignment where we have right-aligned text, the text in the bold combined with left-aligned text so that we get this very strong vertical core between the two and they're both aligned to that point. We could do this using tabs, but frankly, the easier way of doing it is to use a table, and that's what I'm going to do. So, I have the text down here.

If I press W to turn on my Guides and hidden characters, we can see that there is a tab character inserted between the name of the actor and the character that they're playing. So, I am going to select all of that text, Command or Ctrl+A, and then come to the Table menu where I will do this, Convert Text to Table, and it's just going to put in a table, like so, and it's going to use that tab character that was in there to determine what becomes the information for each table cell.

Now, all I need to do is come and select the left-hand column, and I need to make sure that, that is right aligned, and the text in the right-hand column is already left aligned, don't need to make any changes there. I will need to select this table, and presumably, I don't want it to look like a table, so I'll come and make sure that I have all of my table borders selected by clicking on this proxy thing up here so that it's all in blue, and then I'll change the weight to 0.

So there's no stroke on any of the table cells or on the table border. So just to finish this up, I would now like a little bit of padding between the two pieces of information, and this I can achieve with a Cell Inset. So, I'm going to come to my Table menu and to my Cell Options, and then to Text where I can specify my Cell Inset. So currently, that's set to 4 points. I'm going to break the chain, I don't want to change the Top and Bottom Inset, but just the Left and Right Inset, and I'm going to increase that to let's say we want that to be 8 points for both.

Then we turn on the Preview, and we can see that's just going to push those two pieces of text away from each other, and now I can press W to hide my guides, and there's my result. Okay. One more example of mixing our alignments, and this is useful if ever you are creating a page folio for a book or a magazine or some other sort of publication where you want three bits of information all on the same line. So, we have the page number on the left, we have the web address in the middle, and then in this case we have the date of publication on the right-hand side or into the spine. So here's how we can do this.

I am going to turn on my guides, and then with my text frame, I'm going to draw text frame from guide to guide, and I'm going to right-click and insert my page number at that point. I'm going to select all and then make the type a little bit bigger. Now I'm going to press my Tab key, type in my web address, and then this time I'm going to press Shift+Tab which is going to give me this special character which is a Right Indent Tab. We can also find the same option under our Insert Special Character > Other > Right Indent Tab.

But Shift+Tab is the keyboard shortcut that we want, and I'll type in the date. Right now, the key is how do we get this bit information centered? I'll switch back to my Selection tool, and with my text frame selected, I can see these handles which mark its center point. I'm just going to drag out a guide to those handles. Now, I'll select the text, I'll come to Type > Tabs. And what I want is a Center Tab, which is that one right there, and I want to click it right on that guide, and it's going to move that bit of information that occurs after the tab, centering it on that point.

So, there we can apply three different alignments on the same line of copy. So, they're just some of the many different ways in which you can combine your alignments. I hope that's given you some ideas for how you can apply that in your own work.

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This video is part of

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InDesign Typography

107 video lessons · 20282 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Customizing the workspace for type
      2m 18s
  2. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 only)
      3m 59s
    3. Understanding text flow methods
      6m 25s
    4. Understanding text threads
      3m 40s
    5. Understanding Smart Text Reflow
      2m 27s
    6. Mocking up pages with placeholder text
      5m 47s
    7. Placing multiple text files
      3m 50s
    8. Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 only)
      4m 1s
    9. Copying and pasting vs. placing
      2m 25s
    10. Cleaning up text with Find/Change
      5m 46s
    11. Using the Story Editor
      3m 41s
    12. Spanning columns
      5m 14s
  3. 45m 50s
    1. Choosing your type
      6m 46s
    2. Understanding text essentials
      6m 37s
    3. Scaling type
      2m 27s
    4. Using italic and oblique type
      4m 33s
    5. Working with condensed and extended type
      4m 26s
    6. Setting type in all caps
      3m 46s
    7. Setting type in small caps
      4m 21s
    8. Underlining type
      4m 11s
    9. Using superscript and subscript
      4m 35s
    10. Applying baseline shift
      4m 8s
  4. 16m 6s
    1. Understanding type anatomy
      3m 25s
    2. Exploring serif and sans serif
      2m 48s
    3. Comparing points, picas, and ems
      8m 34s
    4. What's in a name?
      1m 19s
  5. 16m 27s
    1. Setting leading
      4m 56s
    2. Avoiding auto-leading
      4m 12s
    3. Leading shortcuts and preferences
      4m 7s
    4. Using autoleading with inline graphics
      3m 12s
  6. 21m 25s
    1. Defining kerning and tracking
      2m 5s
    2. Understanding kerning methods
      5m 10s
    3. When and how to kern
      5m 53s
    4. When and how to track
      8m 17s
  7. 45m 48s
    1. Working with quotes, primes, and apostrophes
      8m 16s
    2. Using dashes
      5m 24s
    3. Using ellipses
      2m 56s
    4. Working with accents and special characters
      4m 1s
    5. Using space characters
      4m 15s
    6. Working with ligatures
      4m 29s
    7. Setting fractions
      3m 56s
    8. Using lining and proportional numerals
      2m 49s
    9. Using alternates, swashes, and ornaments
      5m 2s
    10. Working with optical sizes
      4m 40s
  8. 57m 20s
    1. Understanding alignment
      3m 47s
    2. Working with left-aligned type
      3m 24s
    3. Working with justified type
      7m 5s
    4. Using Optical Margin Alignment
      3m 39s
    5. Determining column width
      4m 53s
    6. Working with center alignment
      5m 36s
    7. Working with right alignment
      1m 22s
    8. Aligning to or away from the spine
      1m 50s
    9. Understanding the Paragraph Composer and Single-line Composer
      3m 44s
    10. Combining alignments
      9m 20s
    11. Using hanging punctuation
      2m 13s
    12. Working with vertical alignment
      10m 27s
  9. 14m 9s
    1. Using first-line indents
      2m 26s
    2. Using indent alternatives
      2m 3s
    3. Working with left and right indents
      4m 0s
    4. Using last-line indents and outdents
      1m 26s
    5. Using paragraph spacing
      4m 14s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. Setting hyphenation
      6m 14s
    2. Working with line breaks and discretionary hyphens
      4m 48s
    3. Balancing ragged lines
      1m 36s
    4. Using the No Break feature and non-breaking characters
      2m 52s
    5. Using frame, column, and page breaks
      3m 42s
    6. Defining Keep Options
      4m 7s
  11. 37m 53s
    1. Understanding tabs
      8m 58s
    2. Considerations for table text
      3m 55s
    3. Table tips and tricks
      11m 55s
    4. Creating a bulleted list
      6m 50s
    5. Creating a numbered list
      3m 46s
    6. Creating a multi-level numbered list
      2m 29s
  12. 23m 12s
    1. Understanding drop caps
      11m 3s
    2. Navigating tricky drop caps
      5m 14s
    3. Using a nested character style with a drop cap
      3m 59s
    4. Other uses of drop caps
      2m 56s
  13. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding paragraph and character styles
      7m 13s
    2. Creating, applying, and editing styles
      7m 3s
    3. Removing overrides
      4m 58s
    4. Creating and applying character styles
      5m 4s
    5. Creating and applying nested styles
      12m 30s
    6. Using GREP styles (regular expressions)
      4m 8s
    7. Creating and applying sequential styles
      6m 19s
    8. Using paragraph rules creatively
      11m 48s
    9. Mapping Word styles
      6m 12s
    10. Working with anchored objects and object styles
      6m 24s
  14. 25m 30s
    1. Applying a text wrap
      6m 7s
    2. Making items ignore a text wrap
      1m 46s
    3. Using text wraps for flexible layouts
      3m 2s
    4. Working with difficult text wraps
      8m 39s
    5. Inverting text wraps
      2m 7s
    6. Setting text wrap preferences
      3m 49s
  15. 29m 33s
    1. Choosing a page size and setting margins
      6m 33s
    2. Setting up columns
      2m 53s
    3. Dividing a page into rows
      3m 27s
    4. Setting up a baseline grid
      5m 40s
    5. Handling baseline grid problems
      3m 37s
    6. Baseline grid tricks
      7m 23s
  16. 12m 19s
    1. Looking at screen documents
      4m 2s
    2. Setting size, leading, and line length onscreen
      3m 13s
    3. Exploring typefaces designed for the screen
      3m 36s
    4. Accessibility: Contrast and color
      1m 28s
  17. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

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