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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
I have my flower catalog open here, I'm going to click on this text frame in the lower-right corner of this page, zoom into 200% with Command+2, or Ctrl+2 on Windows, and open up the text frame Options dialog box from the Object menu. I can see that this has some Inset here, 2 millimeters Inset on all four sides. I can even see a little visual of that by this thin blue line that's kind of Inset from the text frame side. But now I want all this text to be centered in the text frame. Now I could go in and adjust the Top Inset Spacing to push it down, down, down until it looks centered, but that's just going to be too much trial and error.
I'd rather have one quick fix for centering all this text, and I can get that by using the Vertical Justification control inside the text frame Options dialog box. Right now, the Align pop-up menu is set to Top, which means that the first line is going to start at the top of the frame. That's typically how text frames work. But if I'd change this to Center, then suddenly all the text gets centered in the text frame vertically. I can see that without closing the dialog box, because the Preview checkbox is turned on here. There is other controls in here as well, such as Bottom.
When it's set to Bottom, then the last line of the text frame bottoms out of the bottom minus the Bottom Text Inset. It bottoms all the way to that Text Inset line, and then all the other text kind of grows up from there. So if I added another line of text in here, it would push up from the bottom, instead of pushing further down. There is one last option in here, Justify, that I want to point out, but I'm not going to do that in this text frame, I'm going to click OK, scroll over here, and then do it to this text frame here. This text frame has a bunch of space at the bottom, and I'd like to get rid of that space.
So I'm going to press Command+B or Ctrl+B on Windows, open up the text frame Options dialog box, and change the Vertical Justification to Justify. Now when you change this to Justify, it tries to make every column justified from the top of the text frame to the bottom. So in this first column, it had to just add a little bit of space in between each line, and on the second column, it had to add a bunch of space in between each line. That's right, Vertical Justification, when it's set to Justify, it'll actually override the amount of space that goes from one baseline to the next, and force it to push all the way to the bottom.
Now if you ask me that looks pretty ugly, but some people like that sort of things, so it's good for you to know about, you can change this to Justify. Now fortunately there is one more thing you can do. I'm going to set this back to top, so we can see that there is a lot of space here, and in an earlier movie, we looked at the Balance Column feature. So I'm going to first turn on Balance Columns, and now you can see that both of the columns are balanced out, because InDesign added some extra space at the bottom of the text frame here automatically for me. Now, that it's balanced out, I'm going to change to Justify, and now it's added equivalent amount of space in each column so that they bottom out and it looks not so bad.
It still is not great, I don't like having this extra spacing here in between every line, but it's not quite as bad. So there is one more thing I'm going to do, and that is to change my Paragraph Spacing Limit. Right now, it's set to 0, which means that I'm letting InDesign add zero amount of space in between each paragraph to justify this text. But if I up this to something like 10 millimeters, then I'm telling InDesign to go ahead and add up to 10 millimeters of space in between each paragraph, so that you don't have to add as much space in between each line.
To me that looks a little bit better, but again it's up to you. You have some control here by adjusting the Paragraph Spacing Limit to tell InDesign how much space you're going to let it put in between each paragraph. All right! I'm going to click OK here, and I'll scroll up a little bit, and I want to control this text frame up here, this headline that's above the story. I'm going to open the text frame Options dialog box one more time, and I want to point out another way that I can control how far down this text is going to sit inside this text frame. In this case, I'm not going to use the Inset Spacing, not going to use Vertical Justification.
I'm going to use my Baseline Options. And when I click Baseline Options at the top of the text frame Options dialog box, I see that the dialog box completely changes, I'm looking at a new tab inside this dialog box. And I'm going to control this with First Baseline Offset. The First Baseline Offset lets you control where the first baseline of text falls in a text frame. So in this case, you can see that the first baseline that is the bottom of the text in this headline is going to be placed in such a way, so that the top of the ascenders hits the top of the frames.
I have various options here though to control that. For example, I could change it to Cap Height, and because Preview is turned on it updates automatically. And now the ascenders actually stickup above the text frame, but the Cap Height, the height of a capital letter is pushed up against to the top of the text frame. Let's look at a couple of other options here. x Height means the height of a lowercase letter. The x Height of the font is built into the font itself, the font designer specifies that. And now I can set that that is going be to be at the top of the text frame, but the ones I like are Leading and Fixed.
Leading means whatever the Leading is of this document, and we'll be talking about Leading in a later chapter. But every character has its own Leading, and whatever the overriding Leading of this line is, it's going to be used for the amount of space from the top of the frame to that first baseline. I find that very useful, but the other one I find really useful is Fixed, because Fixed means I get to specify exactly how much space I want from the baseline to the top of the frame. And I specify that here in this Min field, the Minimum field here.
Right now, it's set to 0, which means that there is zero space between the top of the frame and the baseline, but if I increase this to oh say 5 millimeters, and hit Tab, now I know exactly where that baseline is. It's exactly 5 millimeters from the top of the frame. So that's incredibly helpful when I'm trying to be extremely precise about the position of every item on my page. Okay, there are several other features inside the text frame Options dialog box including the Baseline Grid feature here, and this Ignore Text Wrap feature here, but those are a little bit more complex, so I'm going to cover those in later chapters.
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