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InDesign is a typesetting powerhouse offering more typographic options than any other program around. I covered typographic basics in the InDesign Essential Training title, but here are a few other type features that you should definitely know about. First a feature called Balanced Ragged Lines. I am going to zoom in on this text down here, and I can see that the first line is long, the second line is long, the last line is short. It's just not balanced out and it looks a little bit weird. I could fine-tune that manually I suppose using hard returns and soft returns and this and that, but it's much easier to simply select the paragraph, I just placed my cursor in there by double clicking on it, going to the Control panel fly ut menu, way out here over on the right and choosing Balance Ragged Lines. When I do that the whole paragraph gets a little bit more even. It would be a pain to do this one paragraph at a time, so I am going to handle this in the paragraph style instead. I will open the Paragraph Styles panel. I will see that this is called sidebar notes. I have a little plus sign there because of the change that I just made to that paragraph, but in this case I will double click on that to edit the Paragraph Styles Options and then I will jump over here to Indents And Spacing and I will turn on the Balance Ragged Lines option inside the Paragraph Styles Options dialog box.
I click OK and you can see that now all of these paragraphs have been balanced. Let's see a before and after. Command+ Z for before, and Command+Shift+Z for after. On Windows that's Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+ Shift+Z for before and after. Basically undo and redo. Now that's looking much better. Let's go ahead and see if there is anything else we can change on this page. Oh, there is another one. My subheads here are also long first lines, short second line, I don't like that at all. Let's go ahead and change that paragraph style as well, double click on that, turn Balance Ragged Lines on. Now that's looking much better and I think I have one more down here. Now this one, it doesn't have a proper paragraph style applied to it unfortunately, but that's okay. I could just go in here and turn this one on manually, Balance Rugged Lines. That's looking much, much better.
I am going to pan over to that first paragraph again because I saw something else that kind of bothered me and that is that that first baseline in this paragraph was not lining up with the first baseline over here. Some people care about those things. If you want to have a nice, fine-tuned, carefully designed page, you might want to care about those things and as we saw in the Essential Training title, we can handle a lot of that with the Align To Baseline Grid. I place my cursor in that first paragraph on the right here and I can see in the Control panel that Align To Baseline Grid is turned on for this paragraph, but if I come over here and turn it on for this paragraph something unhappy happens.
The first line shows up in just the right place, just where I wanted it, but the other lines skip past the grid and skipping every other line in the baseline grid and that's really annoying. So I want to tell you about a feature called Align First Line To Gird. If you have a paragraph that has Align To Baseline Grid turned on, but you only really need the first line to be aligned to the baseline grid, you don't care so much about the other lines. Well, in that case you can go up to the Control panel flyout menu and choose only Align First Line To Gird. When you do that the first line gets aligned to the grid.
So if we use our guide here, I will pull out a guide, I just snap it right there and we can see that now the first lines are aligning perfectly and the other lines, they are close enough. Okay, one more type feature that I need to show you. Let's pan over here to this other page and I want to point out this equation down here. Let me zoom in on it even closer. That is a chemical equation for Theobromine, which shows up in chocolate. It's one of the things that makes us happy to eat chocolate, but I would like these numbers to be subscript and we saw in the Essential Training title I can do that pretty easily by going back to the Control panel, switching to the Character mode and just clicking on the Subscript Number, but the problem is as you get these really spindly small subscripts. The reason they are spindly and small has to do with preferences. If we go to the InDesign menu on the Mac or the Edit menu on Windows and choose Preferences > Advanced Type, then we will see that Superscripts and Subscripts are all created by changing the size of the current text and doing a baseline shift. That's what Position means, basically 33% of the font size down, just a baseline shift on there.
So I will click OK and I say I just don't like that. I would like a true subscript, the way the font designer builds it. Well, I can get that because this is an OpenType font, I am currently using Adobe Caslon Pro and I know that there are true subscripts built into this face. So instead I am going to turn that off and I am going to go to the Control panel flyout menu and choose from the OpenType submenu and look at this, Superscript/Superior or Subscript/Inferior. This is the one that I want for my really good looking 7 and I will do it the same thing to this 8 as well,. We will get the idea. I won't do it to all of them, it will take too long, but you got the idea that this is a much higher quality subscript character. Now, if you are not using OpenType fonts, if you don't have these built in characters, well then you are stuck. You have to use these spindly small versions, but if you are using OpenType fonts I strongly suggest that you use these built-in characters if the font supports them.
Of course this is only a small percentage of the cool stuff you can do with the type in InDesign. I am going to be covering many more topics relating to text and type styles throughout the rest of this chapter and the next chapter, but if you find you want even more details, checkout Nigel French's InDesign Typography title on the lynda.com Online Training Library.
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