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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.
If you have a look at the pages of a professional magazine or book, you'll often see that the baselines always line up across columns and across boxes. If you look at this document, you'll say, they don't. One of the reasons production professionals use grids like this is because if you've got a group of people working on a publication, people come and go, people have different ideas of how things should be. But you want to have a standard that everyone adheres to. By setting up grids, you can make sure that every item on every page aligns the way the designer intended.
In QuarkXpress there are two levels of grids. There is a Page Grid, like the one you see here in the big block of text and there is a Text Box Grid like you see in this little text box right here. At the moment, our text isn't lining up to the grids, but we'll fix that in a minute. Let's look at how you make a Page Grid. Page grids are set up on the master page. To get to the master page that this layout page is based on, I'll just click this little icon down here and that will toggle us to the master page. On the mater page, you can go to the Page menu and choose Master Guides & Grid, and in this area right here, you set up your grid.
You can work with a particular Font Size and Leading, or you can use a Scaling percentage. You can control where the Baseline Position is, you can read this information from an existing font, you can offset the first line this way, and this handy bit of information tells you how many lines are going to fit within the margins. If you want to, you can create the grid based on how many lines you need to fit within the margin, by clicking this button here and adjusting these numbers. Fortunately, there is a Preview button down here, so that as you make changes up here, you can see the changes occur on the page.
Or if you prefer to base your grid on the settings within an existing style sheet, you can click this Load Settings button, choose the Style Sheet hereafter and it will populate all these fields with the numbers from that style sheet. But I'm going to cancel out of here and go back to our Layout page, so that we can have a look at the Text Box Grid. This text box has grid settings that are different from the ones on the rest of the page. If I Ctrl-click or right-click onto this text box, there is an option called Grid Settings, and you could also get to this through the Item menu.
When the dialog opens, you can see that it looks just like we saw on the master page. The same kind of controls and a Preview button. If we move this out of the way, we can see that when we make changes here, let's just change it by one and see what happens. The grid lines get further apart from each other. Those pink lines represent the baselines of the text. But when we look at Display Settings we can actually choose to look at the Topline, the Centerline, the Baseline and even the Bottomline of the text. That way you can line things up anyway you need to.
And that's why this feature is called Design Grids and not just Baseline Grids. You can base your Design Grid on any combination of these four lines. But let's cancel out of this, because we like the grid that's already on it. So how do you lock the text to the grid? Well, locking to a grid is an attribute of a paragraph. So selecting some part of this paragraph, or just having my cursor within it, I can choose Style > Formats. Command+Shift+F or Ctrl+Shift+F on Windows and it brings up the familiar box here. Notice that now, there is an area down here called Lock to Grid and you can choose whether you want the text to align the Textbox Grid or the Page Grid.
Or you want the Text Box Grid and when we click Apply, you can see that it's snapped to the grid. So I'll click OK and then if we really like what we did here, we can even apply that to the style sheet. That way every time you use the style sheet, it locks to whichever grid you've decided you want to lock to. We'll click OK. Now, there is one other level of grid control that's extremely handy and that's these Grid Styles down here. Grid Styles function much like Item Styles, in that they apply to an item.
In this case a Text Box. If the Grid Styles palette isn't showing for you here, you can just go to the Window menu and choose Grid Styles. And the way they work is just like an Item Style. You select an item of any kind, say this one. Click on the Style in the Styles palette and now that grid is assigned to that item. If you go and change this style, it will affect all of the items that have that style assigned to it. Design Grids and Grid Styles can save a tremendous amount of time in laying out a publication if you set them up ahead of time.
But as you've seen, you can also create those grids based on the design you've already made. The number of controls within each of the Design Grid features may seem daunting, but that level of control is what gives this feature such power. And remember, you only have to use the basic features to get consistency throughout your publication.
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