Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
This chapter is about controlling your text through the use of breaks, be they word breaks, page breaks, column breaks, frame breaks, or indeed making sure that words do not break. And we are going to begin with a discussion of hyphenation. Now hyphenation is an often misunderstood feature when you mention hyphenation people often instinctively respond, no don't want to use hyphenation. But I would say that if you use hyphenation and use it well, you will get better word spacing, and that's what I aim to prove with this movie.
On the left-hand page, we have a body of text with no hyphenation, on the right-hand side, the exact same text with hyphenation and optical margin alignment. You can see that we have some yellow highlighting, this yellow highlighting is pointing out where we have H & J violations, i.e. where we have bad spacing. And you can see, as we move through this document that there is going to be more of that yellow highlighting on the left-hand side than there is on the right. So I am just going to move through the document by pressing Option+Page Down, or Alt+Page Down.
So clearly the spacing in the text without hyphenation is worse than in the text with hyphenation. I think we're so used to reading hyphens that if they are set well we don't even notice them. And they are the lesser of the evils when compared with bad word spacing. We want to make sure that type density, or type color, is even throughout document and hyphenation is going to help that. Let's take a look at how this text has been hyphenated because at its most basic we apply hyphenation simply by checking this check box.
But we need to go further, we need to be more rigid and more controlled about how hyphenation is being applied. And we can do that through the Hyphenation dialog box, of course it can also be applied as part of a paragraph style. So I am going to go to the Paragraph Style definition and come to the Hyphenation settings. And I like to be a bit more restrictive with my hyphenation so that I allow it to happen but I don't want to see too much of it. So I increase this from the default value of five to six, and I say that I want three characters before and after a hyphen.
I make the hyphen limit one, the hyphenation zone is irrelevant for the type of text that I'm using because I am also using the paragraph composer that makes the hyphenation zone irrelevant. Hyphenate capitalized words sometimes I will have this checked sometimes not, it really depends upon the nature of the text I am working with and how many capitalized words there are likely to be. But I always will have these two unchecked. I don't want hyphenation break across a column or a hyphenation break to occur in the last word of the paragraph.
So those are my preferred settings, let's now have a look at a few other aspects relating to hyphenation. Hyphens get a very bad name, but when we look at them closely, they can be quite beautiful characters. And here I have four examples of interesting hyphens, clearly they are magnified to a large point size. But a hyphen is often more than just a simple dash. This example indicates the difference of changing the hyphenation limit, what we definitely want to avoid is multiple hyphens in a row.
And in this text on the left-hand side, if I look in the hyphenation dialog box we can see that with a hyphenation limit set to three, this kind of problem can occur, and we definitely want to avoid this stepladder effect occurring on the right-hand side of our text. Simply by changing the Hyphen Limit to 1, we avoid the problem. I mentioned earlier the feature of the hyphenation zone and how it doesn't have any effect when working with text that has the Adobe paragraph composer applied to it, which in my case is all of my text, I prefer to work with the Paragraph Composer as opposed to the single-line composer.
But when you all working with the single-line composer, you can affect the amount of hyphenation with the hyphenation zone. Now it's a bit counterintuitive, but the higher the value of the hyphenation zone the fewer hyphens you will have. So here on the left-hand side I have the hyphenation zone set to zero, and we have one, two, three, four hyphens within this body of text. Here I have the hyphenation zone set to 3 picas as indicated by the blue shading.
I have just added that there to indicate the size of the hyphenation zone. And with a 3 pica hyphenation zone we are down to two hyphens. Now if I were to come and increase the hyphenation zone, let's say I make it 6 picas, I will uncheck my preview and then check it again. You can see that that is enough to effectively eradicate all hyphens from this document. So a little bit counterintuitive there, but that's how it works. The higher the value of the hyphenation zone, the fewer hyphens you will get.
And lastly this is an interesting point, but one that bears making, it doesn't come up very often. But there are differences in the way UK English and American English hyphenate. So the key point I want to make here is make sure that you have the appropriate language dictionary applied to your text. And here is a particular case in point the word Ingenious is hyphenate this way when the US dictionary is applied to it. And this way with the UK dictionary just to prove that point if I highlight that text and then come to the character formats and in change this from English, USA to English, UK. And you can see it's going to look like that.
So just make sure that the appropriate language dictionary is applied to your text and of course that can be applied through your Paragraph Styles as part of the advanced character formats, that is where you set the language dictionary, and it is the language dictionary that InDesign uses to know how hyphenate the words. So, there is my plea for the humble hyphen, don't overlook the importance of hyphenation, when it comes to achieving good word spacing.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
117 Video lessons · 43172 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 54433 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 14641 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 82953 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.