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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.
The paragraph attribute that most directly affects the way long blocks of text in your document look is Hyphenation and Justification. Now, these are two completely separate concepts, but they work together to determine how your text flows from line to line. On this Magazine spreads layout in the Petstumes Project, if you scroll on down to page 3, you'll see a big chunk of text here. To me, it doesn't look quite optimal, because first of all, there are these big gaps in it. So, let's see how we can control that.
I'm going to click into this text box and just drag across to highlight portions of all of the paragraphs. That way we can format all those paragraphs at the same time. Now, while it would be really convenient to be able to control the Hyphenation & Justification Settings from somewhere in the Measurements palette, it's currently not there. But instead, we need to go to the Style menu and choose Formats. That will format the paragraphs. In the Paragraph Attributes box, down here under H&J, we'll see that we have some choices.
Right now, the H&J setting is set for Standard, but there are other options here. Look what we've got, Narrow Measure, No Hyphenation, Titles, Very Narrow Measure and Wide Measure. Now, those are all included by default in QuarkXPress when you install it and you can create your own that will be added to this list. But for now, let's just look at the presets. Narrow Measure means, I've got a narrow column of text. So, please do what you can to make the text look the best in a narrow column. Even further end, we've got Very Narrow.
We also have No Hyphenation as an option, which means don't hyphenate these lines at all. Titles works well on big text in titles and Wide Measure is for very wide columns of text. I'm going to select Very Narrow measure and get it out of the way. Click the Apply button and watch how these paragraphs change. That's a whole lot better than it was before. What it's doing is it's suggesting the spaces between the letters and between the words and it's hyphenating as intelligently as it can to create lines of text that have the minimum number of really big gaps in them.
Now, in this case, we've given in a very difficult task because these columns are very narrow and the text is really rather large. So, if you find that you're commonly running into this kind of problem yourself, you can create your own H&Js. I'm going to click on OK to accept these changes with these paragraphs. If you want to make your own Hyphenation & Justification Settings, you can go to the Edit menu to H&Js and in there you'll see the list of existing H&J settings, which you can then duplicate or create new ones on your own or even append them from existing documents where you've created your own H&J settings.
Let's have a look at one just for a second, so you can see what the options are. We chose Very Narrow Measure, so I'll click Edit and these are the settings you can adjust. How you want it to hyphenate, how you want it to break words, how many hyphens in a row, how far to look for those hyphens and how to space out your characters and the spaces between the words. By adjusting all of these items, you should be able to create a setting that will work the best for your particular column width and your choice of fonts and sizes. But I'm going to cancel out of here, because I don't want to create a new one.
Now, H&Js can be as complex or as simple as you'd like them to be, depending on how much control you want to have over the way your text flows. The included presets in QuarkXPress are going to be useful for just about every situation, but under special circumstances, it's good to know exactly how to change them under H&Js.
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