Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Not all spaces are born equal and not all spaces are the same width. If you need a space that is a different width to a regular spacebar, then InDesign offers you several different spacing widths. First let me say there is never any reason to have more than one consecutive space. If you want a wider space than a spacebar will give you, you can use an em space, which is equal in width to the size of your type, or an em space, which is half of that width But never do you want to insert your cursor and do that.
I'm going to press W, and I have my hidden characters shown, and we can see right there we have three consecutive spaces, and that's always a bad thing. So when we do, on those relatively rare occasions, want something other than a regular space width we can use the different spacing width options. And if we come to the Type menu > Insert White Space, here is where we can find them. So when might we want to use an em space or an em space.
Now here is one case in point. If I come to the second page of this document. Let's say that I'm designing a footer for a magazine. After the page number, and before the magazine, I need some sort of space. Now this is what it would look like with just a regular spacing width, the second example shows how it looks with an em space, and then finally with an em space. So it's a stylistic thing, but if we want to have a little bit more differentiation between the page number and the Magazine Name, we can use either an em, or for a greater space an em space.
Now we also have this thing called a Flush space, and here is an example of when a Flush space would be useful. Let's say I want to create some sort of banner treatment, offering these services, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Photography. So I'm going to come to this frame above that, and I'm going to start out by making all lines justified, so I'm going to use force justified. Now when I do that we're going to get this very undesirable effect, and it's going to add in all the extra space to the spaces between the words.
So what I need to do is replace those spaces with a Flush space, right there, and that one right there. I'm highlighting the space, coming to Insert White Space, and using Flush space. Let's take a look at some other examples. Here we have a Figure space. A Figure space you might use in tabular information just to make sure that the numbers align exactly beneath each other. And in order to have this work, you need to be using Tabular Lining numbers, or Tabular Oldstyle numbers, so that they're not proportionally spaced but each number occupies the same width, and then between those numbers you can insert a Figure space.
We also have the nonbreaking space, and a nonbreaking space is useful when you have a phrase, or term, that you do not want to be broken by a line-break such as the words San Francisco. So what I can do to prevent that from happening is highlight the space that's already there and come to Insert White space, and what I want is a Nonbreaking space, and that's going to make sure that a line-break is not going to separate those two words.
Frankly, while that is useful, I would achieve that in another way. The end result is exactly the same, but I prefer to apply a No Break. Just because I find that slightly easier we can if we wish associate a keyboard shortcut with this, using the Keyboard Shortcuts option. So although No Break doesn't actually have a keyboard shortcut we could make one, we could also make a No Break Character Styles. So it's just an alternative way of getting the same effect as a Nonbreaking space would give you.
So in summary we have numerous different spacing widths, and we also have flexible spaces, and those are some examples of when you might want to use them.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 50096 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 37438 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 81225 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 10741 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.