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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
Were looking at a paragraph from a document that has something wrong with it for many people. For me it dosent bother me. But it bothers a lot of my clients and a lot of publications that I've worked with. And that is the fact that this paragraph has a very short last line. You may encounter this, and you would probably want to fix this by using soft returns or tracking the whole thing in. And those are two of the worst ways you can fix this problem. Only because it's a lot of manual work, and you're completely ignoring InDesign's powerful typesetting engine.
Instead, let me urge you to create a few different variations of styles that would either tighten up the paragraph of loosen it up enough, or change the number of hyphens in a row. For example, I've created a few that we can take a look at If we click inside here, we can see this is body. And I've added, by the way, this frame containing line numbers, just so we can see what happens when I apply a different style. So I have a style here called Body Tight. And if I click that, then look at how nice it just brought up that last line and it went from 14 lines to 13 lines.
So let me undo so you can see that happen again. Watch the rag on the right. So instead of just kerning in a whole bunch of text at the bottom, I can just apply the body type style, which makes it slightly tighter throughout the entire thing. What did I change here in body type? Lets edit this style and take a look at. I just changed justification settings. So I said that I want the desired amount of word spacing, the space in between the words, not 100%, which is the default, but 90%. So this is what the type designer said, that they want a certain amount of space in between words, and I said, you know what, I want a little bit less.
The same thing for letter spacing. Usually letter spacing is 000, meaning its the same amount of letter spacing throughout the entire paragraph. But I said I want it a little tighter. But before you can make the desired letter spacing smaller, you have to make the minimum smaller still so that there is room to move. That's the only thing that I've changed, I didn't mess around with lift scaling I didn't change anything with tracking, I just changed a little bit the desired amount of word spacing and letter spacing. That's all. And then I have another one that does the same kind of thing, except it makes it looser.
Let's go back to Body, and now we'll choose Body Loose. And that also solved the problem, just by adding some air. Let's edit that style and take a look at what I did. Under Justification, I increased the desired word spacing to 110%, and the desired letter spacing to 2%. Again, I had to, increase the maximum to 5. And to compare it with the regular body style this is what the regular body looks like, these are the defaults 80, 100, 133 and then straight across 0's. I think this is an excellent practice to keep up with for all of your important documents.
Instead of spending hours trying to track or kerning or manipulate text into breaking where you want, let indesigns paragraph composer do that work for you. And you give it a little help by createing a few diffrent variations. Are the most common styles that you are wrestling with, like body for example and here's a similar case that I run into a lot, is that a client will give me there file and I'll see let me turn on invisibles I see these soft returns all over the place. And we ask the client, why do we have softer trains? And they said, because we don't like hyphens in this paragraph for whatever reason.
They're trying to force no hyphens. Why not just create a variation of this style that doesn't have hyphens? So here we have body, and let's take a look at what the settings are for hyphenation in body. That they have to at least have six letters, three before, three after, and there's no limit on the number of hyphens. Well, let's make a variation where if somebody doesn't like how hyphenation's working, it has fewer hyphens or no hyphens at all. So here in body no hyphen, I've just turned it off. And let's apply that. So click in here, Body no Hyphenation. Or let's go back to Body.
And I'm going to drag this down here. And I'll show you how I created these as a copy body. And I'll rename this to body fewer hyphens. And we'll edit this with preview turned on. Down here under hyphenation and we'll say, hyphenation limit we want one hyphen in a row. Nothing changed yet. And we want it to go toward better spacing and fewer hyphens. And the number of letters that have to come in the word have to be at least 5 and 5. Let's do that, so we don't have any really long words.
Now you're going to get much better results if you're just manipulating the number of hyphens, when you're working with fully-justified text. When you're working with left justified, unless you have some really long words, this isn't going to make a huge amount of difference. But I think you get the overall idea, that if you find yourself doing a lot of things like applying a lot of no breaks or softer turns. Or kerning stuff in to manipulate how lines are breaking. Why not just create a few variations of the style and try applying those styles instead?
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