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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.
Okay, here we're going to look at using superscript, and subscript, and when you might want to use them. So first of all, superscript. Common usage of superscript is for ordinal numbers; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, et cetera. Now, when you select your type, and you make it superscript up here, what happens is you are just reducing the size of type. You're reducing it to about 58%. The exact percentage is determined your Advanced Type preferences, and you can change it if you want to.
You can also change the position. So rarely do I find the need to change the position or the size of the superscript, but in the case of the subscript, I find that the default position is a little bit to low, and I've made that less; I've made it 20%. And subscript is used in chemistry; H2O, CO2, H2SO4, et cetera. And again, the character is reduced to a percentage of the full size capitals. Now, the problem with that, and we can sort of see that here, is that you're not just reducing the vertical scale, you're also reducing the horizontal scale, so the characters can tend to look rather spindly when set aside the full size characters.
Therefore, if you are lucky enough to have an OpenType Pro font, you can use OpenType Superior or OpenType Inferior characters as an alternative. Now just compare these, the Superior, and Inferior with the superscript, and subscript, and you can see that these have much more presence to them. They're not reduced in their width, as well as their height. And this choice, if the characters are part of the character set is available to you on the OpenType menu right there: Superior, and Inferior.
It can also be incorporated into a paragraph style, and as we are about to see, into a character style. So another time when you might want to use superscripts would we for a footnote. So I have here in the text a footnote number, and down here we have the footnote. So let's see how we enter the footnote to start with. I'm going to insert my cursor where I want the footnote to go, come to my Type menu, and choose Insert Footnote.
Now, I've already set up the document Footnote Options. Let's just go and take a look at those before we insert the footnote. It's here in the Footnote Options that you determine how you want the footnotes to look; Position, Apply Superscript, Apply Subscript. I want to Apply Superscript, but I also -- and this is important in this case -- I want to apply a Character Style. Now, I've called the Character Style Superior, and that's because I want to specify that I want the Superior rather than Superscript to be applied to the footnote character, because I'm using a pro font; I have the extended character set.
Also as part of your Footnote Options, you can determine whether or not you want a Rule, and the Weight of the Rule, and what sort of space you want between your footnotes. So I've done that. I am now going to come and choose Type, and Insert Footnote. It's going to insert the number at my point in the text, and I can now type in whatever my footnote is. And let's just take a look at that character style. So if we look at the character style, the Superior Character Style, it's in the Basic Character Formats that you choose the Position, and because I'm working with a pro font, I have the option of choosing OpenType Superior, and if we were just to zoom in on that, that's what it looks like as OpenType Superior.
I'm now just going to put a 2 next to it, and I'll select that, and I'll make that Superscript, and there is the difference. Larger in size, but also it doesn't have the same character width, and it's the character width of the OpenType Superior that I prefer. So if you have that option available to you, I suggest you take it. So those are some considerations of working with superscript and subscript. If you're fortunate enough to be working with an OpenType Pro font, you have the option of instead of using Superior and Inferior.
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