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If you already know the keyboard shortcuts for Kerning and Tracking, then you're really close to knowing the keyboard shortcuts for Leading. Of course, the Kerning and Tracking keyboard shortcuts are Option and Alt, Option on Mac, Alt on windows and then right and left arrow keys just to change the horizontal space between characters. And then Leading would be Option or Alt Up and Down arrow keys to change the space between lines of type. So let's go ahead and triple click on this paragraph to select it. You can see that currently my Type value is 14 points on 18 points Leading.
And if I want to increase or decrease that amount of space between each line, it is Option or Alt and then Up and Down arrows. So I will use the Down arrow to push the text down and add more space between each line, Option or Alt+Up arrow to tighten the Leading. And you can see it is going up and in the Control panel right now it says 22 points Leading. If you my Down arrow it goes to 24, to 26, to 28 and so forth. So it is jumping up in two-point increments. That's the base default value for your keyboard shortcut there. If you want to go in bigger chunks, the standard operator there is to hold down the Command key on the Mac or the Ctrl key on Windows in addition to your other shortcut there.
So Command+Option or Ctrl+Alt and that will multiply that number by five. So if its base value is two points, it will now become ten points every time I use my Command+Option+Down arrow or Ctrl+Alt+Down arrow and the other direction if I use the Up Arrow. Now if you want to change that increment, you can do that as well. There are two little shortcuts here. If you hold down the make-better key, the Option or Alt key. If you double-click on the Leading icon in the Control panel with that key held down, you bring up the Justification dialog box, kind of a shortcut there. And it brings that up because that's where you can change your Auto Leading value.
By default, InDesign actually doesn't specify a specific numeric amount. It is a relative amount based on the type size. So the default Leading amount is 120% larger than the type size that you are using. In this document, I actually specified a specific number so it is no longer using Auto Leading. If you want to jump to the Preferences where you can control the keyboard increments for your Leading shortcuts, hold down the Option or Alt key and double-click on the Kerning or Tracking icon in the Control panel. That will bring up Preferences set to Units & Increments and right there under Size/Leading the default is 2 points and what that means under Keyboard Increments is every time you use that keyboard shortcut, go up or down by 2 points.
If you want you can change that the 1 point so you are not guessing what the increment is, but completely up to you. And again when you add the Command or Ctrl key to that, you are going to be multiplying that number by 5. So all of these shortcuts work the same way. You are just able to set the initial base amount. Go ahead and click OK and there you have it, a very nice easy way to change the Leading just by using your keyboard.
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