InDesign Typography
Illustration by John Hersey

Using dashes


From:

InDesign Typography

with Nigel French

Video: Using dashes

- Okay, we're talking about small, fiddly things, and this movie is about dashes, hyphens, en dashes and em dashes. Those are their relative widths, and these are the shortcuts that you use to get them. When would we need to use en dashes and em dashes? Hypens are obvious, we need those for compound words. We don't need to insert a hyphen to break a word at the end of a line. Those hyphens are automatically inserted if we have hyphenation turned on. Let's look, first of all, at the usage of an em dash.
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  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Customizing the workspace for type
      2m 18s
  2. 9m 25s
    1. What is Typekit? (CC 2014.1)
      1m 56s
    2. Choosing and syncing fonts (CC 2014.1)
      3m 6s
    3. Syncing problems (CC 2014.1)
      1m 43s
    4. Typekit resources (CC 2014.1)
      1m 5s
    5. Using the Font menu (CC 2014.1)
      1m 35s
  3. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 and later)
      3m 59s
    3. Understanding text flow methods
      6m 25s
    4. Understanding text threads
      3m 40s
    5. Understanding Smart Text Reflow
      2m 27s
    6. Mocking up pages with placeholder text
      5m 47s
    7. Placing multiple text files
      3m 50s
    8. Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 and later)
      4m 1s
    9. Copying and pasting vs. placing
      2m 25s
    10. Cleaning up text with Find/Change
      5m 46s
    11. Using the Story Editor
      3m 41s
    12. Spanning columns
      5m 14s
  4. 48m 34s
    1. Choosing your type
      6m 46s
    2. Understanding text essentials
      6m 37s
    3. Scaling type
      2m 27s
    4. Using italic and oblique type
      4m 33s
    5. Working with condensed and extended type
      4m 26s
    6. Setting type in all caps
      3m 46s
    7. Setting type in small caps
      4m 21s
    8. Underlining type
      4m 11s
    9. Using superscript and subscript
      4m 35s
    10. Applying baseline shift
      4m 8s
    11. Combining typefaces (CC 2014.1)
      2m 44s
  5. 16m 6s
    1. Understanding type anatomy
      3m 25s
    2. Exploring serif and sans serif
      2m 48s
    3. Comparing points, picas, and ems
      8m 34s
    4. What's in a name?
      1m 19s
  6. 16m 27s
    1. Setting leading
      4m 56s
    2. Avoiding auto-leading
      4m 12s
    3. Leading shortcuts and preferences
      4m 7s
    4. Using autoleading with inline graphics
      3m 12s
  7. 21m 25s
    1. Defining kerning and tracking
      2m 5s
    2. Understanding kerning methods
      5m 10s
    3. When and how to kern
      5m 53s
    4. When and how to track
      8m 17s
  8. 48m 42s
    1. Working with quotes, primes, and apostrophes
      8m 16s
    2. Using dashes
      5m 24s
    3. Using ellipses
      2m 56s
    4. Working with accents and special characters
      4m 1s
    5. Using space characters
      4m 15s
    6. Working with ligatures
      4m 29s
    7. Setting fractions
      3m 56s
    8. Using lining and proportional numerals
      2m 49s
    9. Using alternates, swashes, and ornaments
      5m 2s
    10. Working with optical sizes
      4m 40s
    11. Stylistic sets (CC 2014.1)
      2m 54s
  9. 57m 20s
    1. Understanding alignment
      3m 47s
    2. Working with left-aligned type
      3m 24s
    3. Working with justified type
      7m 5s
    4. Using Optical Margin Alignment
      3m 39s
    5. Determining column width
      4m 53s
    6. Working with center alignment
      5m 36s
    7. Working with right alignment
      1m 22s
    8. Aligning to or away from the spine
      1m 50s
    9. Understanding the Paragraph Composer and Single-line Composer
      3m 44s
    10. Combining alignments
      9m 20s
    11. Using hanging punctuation
      2m 13s
    12. Working with vertical alignment
      10m 27s
  10. 14m 9s
    1. Using first-line indents
      2m 26s
    2. Using indent alternatives
      2m 3s
    3. Working with left and right indents
      4m 0s
    4. Using last-line indents and outdents
      1m 26s
    5. Using paragraph spacing
      4m 14s
  11. 23m 19s
    1. Setting hyphenation
      6m 14s
    2. Working with line breaks and discretionary hyphens
      4m 48s
    3. Balancing ragged lines
      1m 36s
    4. Using the No Break feature and non-breaking characters
      2m 52s
    5. Using frame, column, and page breaks
      3m 42s
    6. Defining Keep Options
      4m 7s
  12. 37m 53s
    1. Understanding tabs
      8m 58s
    2. Considerations for table text
      3m 55s
    3. Table tips and tricks
      11m 55s
    4. Creating a bulleted list
      6m 50s
    5. Creating a numbered list
      3m 46s
    6. Creating a multi-level numbered list
      2m 29s
  13. 23m 12s
    1. Understanding drop caps
      11m 3s
    2. Navigating tricky drop caps
      5m 14s
    3. Using a nested character style with a drop cap
      3m 59s
    4. Other uses of drop caps
      2m 56s
  14. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding paragraph and character styles
      7m 13s
    2. Creating, applying, and editing styles
      7m 3s
    3. Removing overrides
      4m 58s
    4. Creating and applying character styles
      5m 4s
    5. Creating and applying nested styles
      12m 30s
    6. Using GREP styles (regular expressions)
      4m 8s
    7. Creating and applying sequential styles
      6m 19s
    8. Using paragraph rules creatively
      11m 48s
    9. Mapping Word styles
      6m 12s
    10. Working with anchored objects and object styles
      6m 24s
  15. 25m 30s
    1. Applying a text wrap
      6m 7s
    2. Making items ignore a text wrap
      1m 46s
    3. Using text wraps for flexible layouts
      3m 2s
    4. Working with difficult text wraps
      8m 39s
    5. Inverting text wraps
      2m 7s
    6. Setting text wrap preferences
      3m 49s
  16. 29m 33s
    1. Choosing a page size and setting margins
      6m 33s
    2. Setting up columns
      2m 53s
    3. Dividing a page into rows
      3m 27s
    4. Setting up a baseline grid
      5m 40s
    5. Handling baseline grid problems
      3m 37s
    6. Baseline grid tricks
      7m 23s
  17. 44m 26s
    1. Working with type outlines (CC 2014.1)
      6m 50s
    2. Creating an interlocking effect (CC 2014.1)
      3m 31s
    3. Fusing letterforms (CC 2014.1)
      7m 15s
    4. Type and gradients (CC 2014.1)
      4m 57s
    5. Type and transparency (CC 2014.1)
      1m 50s
    6. Type on a path: Circles (CC 2014.1)
      4m 48s
    7. Type on a path: Calligram (CC 2014.1)
      6m 16s
    8. Vertical type (CC 2014.1)
      2m 58s
    9. Type and image: Gradient (CC 2014.1)
      1m 38s
    10. Type and image: "See-through" type (CC 2014.1)
      1m 8s
    11. Type and image: "Disappearing" type (CC 2014.1)
      3m 15s
  18. 12m 19s
    1. Looking at screen documents
      4m 2s
    2. Setting size, leading, and line length onscreen
      3m 13s
    3. Exploring typefaces designed for the screen
      3m 36s
    4. Accessibility: Contrast and color
      1m 28s
  19. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign Typography
9h 20m Intermediate Aug 03, 2012 Updated Nov 12, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Explore the numerous type options, type-related features, and type-specific preferences of Adobe InDesign. Using practical, real-world examples, instructor and designer Nigel French dissects the anatomy of a typeface and defines the vocabulary of typography. The course moves from the micro to the macro level, addressing issues such as choosing page size, determining the size of margins, adjusting number columns, and achieving a clean look with baseline grids. This course takes you from laying out a page to delving into the hows and whys of typography.

Topics include:
  • Understanding text threads and text flow methods in InDesign
  • Using Copy and Paste vs. Place
  • Choosing and combining typefaces
  • Understanding leading and how it relates to type size and column width
  • Comparing points, picas, and ems
  • Learning the proper use of white space and break characters
  • Understanding the finer points of kerning and tracking
  • Working with punctuation, special characters, ornaments, and ligatures
  • Aligning text
  • Applying global formatting with paragraph, character, and object styles
  • Refining spacing with indents
  • Creating drop caps
  • Avoiding common problems associated with justified type and text wraps
  • Setting up margins and columns
Subject:
Design
Software:
InDesign
Author:
Nigel French

Using dashes

- Okay, we're talking about small, fiddly things, and this movie is about dashes, hyphens, en dashes and em dashes. Those are their relative widths, and these are the shortcuts that you use to get them. When would we need to use en dashes and em dashes? Hypens are obvious, we need those for compound words. We don't need to insert a hyphen to break a word at the end of a line. Those hyphens are automatically inserted if we have hyphenation turned on. Let's look, first of all, at the usage of an em dash.

You still, even in this day and age, occasionally see people typing a double dash for an em dash, a holdover of the typewriter days, when there was no such thing as an em dash on a standard typewriter keyboard. You also see people doing stuff like this, where you just have a single hyphen surrounded by spaces, or maybe even not surrounded by spaces, where they want an em dash or a parenthetical dash. That's their correct usage. Of course, you can check a usage manual, like the Chicago Manual of Style, to give you more information, but they're used to offset a phrase.

When you use them, you need to be consistent about how you use them. Do you put spaces around them? Do you not put spaces around them? If you put spaces around them, how big is the space? This is how I like to do them. I'm just going to turn on my hidden characters and my guides, so we can see that here, around my em dashes, I have these funny hidden characters. These are actually thin spaces. I prefer to use thin spaces because I think a full space is just too much, and without any space, the em dash can sometimes get dangerously close to the preceding or the following character.

This last example here doesn't have the thin spaces in, and that's what I'm going to. I'm going to put it in, and I can right-click, come down to Insert White Space, Thin Space. So I can do it that way, or I can also use the keyboard shortcut, which is command + shift + option, or control + shift + alt, and the m key, to insert a thin space. If you are working with a body of text that needs to have all the spaces around the dashes switched to thin spaces, then you can do that with Find and Change, and, in fact, there is a saved query in Find and Change that will convert a dash, not to an em dash but to an en dash, half the width.

We'll come onto en dashes in a moment. Let's say I did want to do a multiple change for a double hyphen, and change it to an em dash. Then I also wanted some spaces around that em dash. I can insert my cursor before that token and then come down to White Space and say Thin Space, and then insert the cursor after there, come down to White Space, Thin Space again. Then I would run Change All. Of course, there aren't any to change now, but if there were, that would fix them.

When you do a multiple Find and Change using this technique, it is possible to introduce some unnecessary spaces into your text. I suggest that, after you've done this, you follow it up with this Find and Change routine, which is Multiple Space to Single Space. That will just get rid of any extra spaces that may have been mistakenly introduced. Okay, so a little bit more about em dashes. Now, technically speaking, when you want a parenthetical dash, you need an em dash.

Control + shift, or command + shift, and the hyphen will get you that. As you can see, them em dash is very long. Some people feel it is too long. And some people prefer, instead, to use en dashes, just as a stylistic preference. That is entirely up to you. But, whatever you do, make it consistent. That's the most important thing. Whatever style of dash you go with, make sure you are consistent. But it should be an em dash or an en dash, definitely don't do this.

Another way you could do it, if you wanted to get really fiddly, is, you can use em dashes, but if you feel they are just a little bit too wide, you can change their horizontal width, which is that command right there. And, of course, you can automate this through Find, Change, so it's not a question of manually going and changing each one. All right, so we've talked about em dashes. Now let's talk about en dashes. The en dash, half of the width of the em dash.

An en dash is used when you need to signify passage of time. Basic rule of thumb is, if you speak the phrase and you use the word "to," that should be an en dash. On the left, we see a hyphen used. Technically, it should be an en dash. To get that, we use the keyboard shortcut option or alt and hyphen. Alternatively, you can come to the Type menu, Insert Special Character. Or you can right-click, Insert Special Character, Hyphens and Dashes, En Dash. There we have the story of the hyphen, the en dash, and the em dash.

Just make sure you use whichever is appropriate.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign Typography .


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The exercise files provided aren't working in my version of InDesign (CS4, CS5, or CS5.5). What should I use?
This course was recorded using InDesign CS6. For InDesign users working with CS4, CS5, or CS5.5, IDML files are provided.
Q: Where can I learn more about graphic design?
A: Discover more about this topic by visiting graphic design on lynda.com.
Q: This course was updated on 11/12/2014. What changed?
A: We added 18 new movies, primarily in the "Using Typekit" and "Type Treatments and Effects" chapters. These movies describe new and enhanced typography features in the latest release of InDesign CC, and are indicated by the "(CC 2014.1)" tag in their names.
 
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