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InDesign Typography
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Working with ligatures


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InDesign Typography

with Nigel French

Video: Working with ligatures

Ligatures are two or more characters fused together to form a single character for aesthetic reasons. I have highlighted them in cyan just so that we can see them more clearly. On the left-hand side we are not using ligatures, and on the right-hand side we are. On the left-hand side we can see that the F and the I collide, and likewise, the F and the lowercase L join in a rather unfortunate way. So that's why the two most common ligatures that we have, as part of our standard character set, are lowercase FI, lowercase FL.
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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. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 only)
      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 only)
      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
  3. 45m 50s
    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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 45m 48s
    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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

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InDesign Typography
8h 20m Intermediate Aug 03, 2012

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
Subjects:
Design Page Layout Typography
Software:
InDesign
Author:
Nigel French

Working with ligatures

Ligatures are two or more characters fused together to form a single character for aesthetic reasons. I have highlighted them in cyan just so that we can see them more clearly. On the left-hand side we are not using ligatures, and on the right-hand side we are. On the left-hand side we can see that the F and the I collide, and likewise, the F and the lowercase L join in a rather unfortunate way. So that's why the two most common ligatures that we have, as part of our standard character set, are lowercase FI, lowercase FL.

We also have FFI and FFL. Should we decide to turn Ligatures on or off, we can do so from the panel menu, of the Control panel, and when I turn them on we can see that fixes the problem right there. Now I'm going to move over and look at this particular instance, where we see this is an alternative to using ligatures. Ligatures in bolder copy are usually a preferable thing with Serif typefaces, but if you are creating some sort of display treatment at large sizes, you may find that using a ligature for the first two characters makes those two characters, the FI, seemingly visually too close together.

And I think we can see that here where it looks like the space between I and the C is too much. Now I can't kern space between the F and the I, or as soon as I do the ligature breaks apart. So instead what I could consider is replacing the I with a dotless I, which is part of our character set. We will find it in the Glyphs panel. It's a little bit hard to find. You will need to do some searching for it, but it is there somewhere, and if we come all the way down to the accented characters, we should see right there we have the dotless I. So you can just double-click to insert that at the point of your cursor.

And then what I have done here is I have just adjusted the kerning between the individual characters, and these now are individual characters, so we have the option of doing that. So a very specific case, but if you do find yourself with some tricky letter spacing, caused by a ligature, perhaps using a dotless I could be a solution. I should also point out that ligatures can be incorporated into any paragraph style through the basic character formats using this check box.

Now for the most part, ligatures are a good idea, and these are the standard OpenType ligatures as well as the FLL, FFL that I have already mentioned. We also have TH and FF. But if you are working with Sans-serif type a ligature may be unnecessary, and that is the case here. Where I have Futura--and Futura is fine without your ligatures turned on-- there is no need for ligatures turned on because the F and the I don't come into collision.

In fact, if you do turn ligatures on, as I have done here, it can look a little bit odd, and rather affected, and rather out of sync with the aesthetics of the font. So while for the most part we'll want ligatures turned on, not necessarily always. And we also have this additional category of ligature called the discretionary ligature, available in some OpenType Pro fonts. Minion Pro is one such font that has several discretionary ligatures. To turn them on we would need to come up to the OpenType menu. Any of the OpenType features that do not have square brackets surrounding them are available for that particular font.

If I turn on discretionary ligatures, that's how it's going to look, if I want to see what my discretionary ligatures are for my font, I can come to my Glyphs panel, and filter my view to just view the discretionary ligatures, and those are the ones available in Minion Pro. So there we see several issues relating to ligatures starting out with their definition, but also times when you may want to not use ligatures, preferring instead to use a dotless I, and times when working with Sans-serif typefaces where ligatures may not be necessary.

And also those special occasion discretionary ligatures, when you have that fancy wedding invitation to design.

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.
 
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