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QuarkXPress has always been the perfect tool for creating and publishing documents. In QuarkXPress 8 Essential Training, Jay Nelson—the publisher of Design Tools Monthly and a QuarkXPress expert—covers all the tools and features in this updated version of the program, from basic page layout to Flash integration and web page creation. Throughout this comprehensive training, Jay shows what's needed to produce professional-quality projects that integrate text, pictures, graphics, and tables. He also offers real-world page layout techniques that designers can apply to their own projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now let's talk about leading. Leading is essentially the space between the lines of type. It's called leading, because in the old days of hot metal type setting, to increase the distance between lines of type, you would actually add a physical stripe of lead, and that would be the leading. But in the digital world, it really just refers to the distance from baseline to baseline of text in a paragraph. So let's look at this one right here. As we go down to the Measurements palette and look at Paragraph Attributes, we see that here the leading is set to Auto.
Now Auto, by default, is 120 % of the size of the type. So for example, if you had 10-point type, you would have 12-point leading, which means 12 points from baseline to baseline. Many times leaving it on Auto is the easiest way to deal with leading. But if you want to adjust it to something specific, you can type in any number here or use these arrows and click on them to increase or decrease the leading in the paragraph. QuarkXPress offers a third way of adjusting leading in a paragraph.
Besides auto and absolute numbers, you can enter a relative amount, which means it will add that much leading in addition to the point size of the type. So for example, if I type in +2, no matter what size type I make this paragraph be, the leading is going to be two points more than that. So if I make it 10 point, it will be 12-point leading. But if I make it 20 point, it will be 22-point leading and that can be useful in some circumstances, for example, when you are trying to work out a design.
Now you probably find yourself adjusting leading on paragraph so often that it will be helpful to remember some keyboard shortcuts to do it. In QuarkXPress, if you hold down Command+Shift and press the Quote key on your keyboard, you can increase the leading by one point at a time. On Windows that's Ctrl+Shift+Quote. To decrease it, you just choose the key right next to it, the semicolon. So Command+Shift+Semicolon decreases by one point or Ctrl+Shift+Semicolon on Windows will do that as well. If you want to increase or decrease the leading in a tenth of a point increments, just add the Option or Alt key and you will see the leading change by a tenth of a point.
In some versions of QuarkXPress 8, I have noticed that the Command+Option+Shift+Quote Marks don't increase by a tenth of a point. I'm trying it now. It is not working. But the semicolon does reduce it by a tenth of a point. So with any luck, they will fix that at some point. When you are formatting paragraphs in text boxes such as this, it can be important to show where one paragraph begins and another paragraph ends. The way we did it in this box was to use indents at the beginning of each paragraph. But another common way to do it is to add space above or below a paragraph.
In QuarkXPress, it's really easy to do that. So let's do a little trick here. I'm going to select all the paragraphs, again, by dragging over some portion of each one. I'm going to change the indent back to 0 so that all the paragraphs are just one after the other and now I'm going to add space below each paragraph, so the reader will more easily see when one paragraph ends and another begins. You can try that in the Paragraph Attributes tab at the Measurements palette right in this area here. If I mouse over this guy, it says Space Before Paragraph and this one says Space After Paragraph.
So I'm going to put space after the paragraphs and notice how they just kind of drop down below each other now. I can also add space above the paragraphs. In certain circumstances, space above is more appropriate and in others, space below is more appropriate. Now the final kind of paragraph alignment I want to talk about is the vertical alignment within a text box. To do that, let's just look at this text box right here. I'll get the Item tool. Let's take this text box in the upper right-hand corner and duplicate it off to the side so we can play with it.
The quickest way to do that is to click on the box and then hold down the Option or Alt key and drag over to the side. That will duplicate it. Now, I'm going to increase the height of the text box to show you that this text is in this text box aligned to the top of the text box. If I go down to the Measurements palette and click on the Text tab of the Measurements palette, these icons on the left allow you to adjust the way the text is aligned within the box. Right now, it's aligned to the top of the box. What if we align it to the bottom? There it is, bounced to the bottom, center and Justified.
The Justified option is particularly handy when you know you have the text in the box and you know you are going to be resizing the box and you just want the text to fill it. Obviously, if you care about the leading of the type, that's not going to work for you. But if you don't, then being able to drag the box to any height that you want is a very flexible design option. In text-heavy publications or other designs, the way the paragraphs are formatted often will determine the overall look of the piece itself. So being able to easily control the indents, the space before and after, the leading of the text, and the alignment of the text within the box is an essential part of your design arsenal.
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