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Inserting special characters

From: InDesign CS6 Essential Training

Video: Inserting special characters

Quick, what's the keyboard shortcut to type the Registered Trademark Symbol or how about an Em Dash? If you don't use these characters very often, there's no reason to clutter your head with trying to remember the shortcuts. InDesign has a couple of features that makes inserting special characters a breeze. I'm going to select this text frame on my page, and zoom in to 400% by pressing Command+4 on a Mac, or Ctrl+4 on Windows. I'm going to switch the Type tool and place my cursor right after the word Gallery here by double-clicking, and now I'd like to insert a special character here.

Inserting special characters

Quick, what's the keyboard shortcut to type the Registered Trademark Symbol or how about an Em Dash? If you don't use these characters very often, there's no reason to clutter your head with trying to remember the shortcuts. InDesign has a couple of features that makes inserting special characters a breeze. I'm going to select this text frame on my page, and zoom in to 400% by pressing Command+4 on a Mac, or Ctrl+4 on Windows. I'm going to switch the Type tool and place my cursor right after the word Gallery here by double-clicking, and now I'd like to insert a special character here.

So I'm going to go to the Type menu and look all the way down at the very end where it says Insert Special Character. Inside the Symbol submenu, we'll find many of the characters that people often need. Such as Bullets, Copyrights, Ellipsis, Paragraphs, that's the little pilcrow symbol and then, finally here's the one we were looking for, Registered Trademark. I'll select that and InDesign types it for me. There is lot's of other special characters hiding in there too. Let's say, I don't remember how to type an En Dash.

This little En Dash that I want to use instead of a hyphen when I'm talking about ranges. I'll just delete that, go back to the Type menu and choose Insert Special Character and instead of Symbols, I'm going to choose Hyphens and Dashes, and there it is. There's my En Dash. Now perhaps I don't like the amount of space there is between the 6 and that En Dash. I can place my cursor between them, and add a little bit of space with a special white space character. Down near at the bottom of the Type menu you'll see that there's not only an Insert Special Character menu, but also an Insert White Space menu, and inside this submenu, you'll find all kinds of special spaces.

From the very large Em Space, it's very wide Em Space there, to the sort of medium-sized En Space. But we really want a tiny little space. So I'm going to choose Hair Space. When I do that, InDesign actually places a special width Hair Space in between those two characters. Now there are other ways to add and remove space between characters, such as Kerning and I'm going to be talking about that in the later chapter. But it's great to know that InDesign has the special characters to use, if you want to use them. Of course many of the fonts that you're using, have special characters built into them, Ornaments and Math symbols and so on, but you may not know how to type them.

Fortunately, InDesign has a special feature called the Glyphs panel and I can find that under the Window menu, or the Type menu. Here's the Glyphs panel, and the Glyphs panel shows me every character that's inside my current font. It's really quite incredible. You can just go through and scroll through this list. I'm going to make this even a little bit bigger, so we can really see this characters. You can scroll through this list and see all the different characters that are inside this font, and some of these things I would have no idea how to type, I don't even know what some of these are. Now for this document, I'd like a place a special ornaments just before the P in this word Pittinger.

So I click there and now I'm going to change my font. I can change it right here inside the Glyphs panel if I want to. I'll select that font and replace it with let's say Wingdings. I just had to type a few letters WIN and it guessed that I want Wingdings. Now I'll hit Return or Enter and we can see all the different characters inside the Wingdings font. This one looks nice, so I'll double-click on it and you can see that InDesign places that character right wherever the cursor was. InDesign also places that cursor up here in the Recently Used list and that's kind of cool, because I might want to use that same character over and over again.

I might come up here and click before the E. All of a sudden, all of these characters change because it's back to representing what this font is, wherever the cursor is, the Myriad Pro Font. But it still keeps my Recently Used glyph up here. So I can double-click on it, and it automatically adds it and changes the font. Now Wingdings and symbol fonts like that, and many of the Pro fonts from Adobe have a lot of special characters in there. Check them out, take a little time to go through and just scroll to the Glyphs panel and see what kind of treasures are hiding in there.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6 Essential Training
InDesign CS6 Essential Training

113 video lessons · 80259 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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