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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.
Sometimes when you are choosing typefaces and sizes for your text, you will find that the text doesn't quite fit the way you like it to. Maybe you could use a little bit of condensing horizontally or stretching vertically, something like that. Now I don't suggest you do that very much unless you are trying to create some kind of bizarre effect, but sometimes it can be useful when you just need to fit something in a little bit better than it is right now. So let's just look at where the controls are for horizontally and vertically scaling text. For example, this little text box down here.
I'm going to zoom in on it so we can see it a little bit better and let's say we wanted to have that text fill out the box a little bit further. All you have to do is select the texture interested in changing. In the Measurements palette is a Character Attributes tab and when you click on it, you will see in the very far left, Scale Text Horizontally and Scale Text Vertically. So if you want to horizontally scale it, you select this button and you can click up and down on these little tickers here. It will increase and decrease its scaling by 10%.
You can also type in a different scaling percentage, say 95%. You want to hit Enter. It's at 95%. There are also keyboard shortcuts for doing this in 1% increments and that's what I use all the time myself, because a lot of times you're just looking at the text and wanting it to fit and visually it's easier to look at the text and adjust it at the same time instead of using the Measurements palette. That keyboard shortcut is Command+Option or Ctrl+Alt on Windows and then the bracket keys which are just on the right of the P key on your keyboard. So, for example, I can expand this text by 1% increments by pressing Command+Option+Right Bracket or make it narrower by 1% increments by pressing Command+Option+Left Bracket and of course you can also scale it vertically if you want by clicking this button and then changing the numbers in here as well.
QuarkXPress also has a number of type styles that you can apply or effects that you can apply to the text to make it look smaller or larger or shift up and down on the baseline. For example, Superior, Subscript, Superscript, those all move the type up and down on the baseline and in some cases, shrink it down. Small Caps is one that's used quite a bit. I use it a lot in the projects that I have, because the fonts that I'm using don't have true Small Caps versions of them. Now ideally, if your font has a Small Cap version, you want to use that.
But you can also apply the Small Cap style to a selection of type and it will do something like this and to me that's ugly and in fact hideous. If we change the scaling back to 100%, that might help a little bit, but it still doesn't look right to me. So what I always do is I change the Preferences for Small Caps so that whenever I apply Small Caps, it looks the way I like it. You adjust those preferences in XPress Preferences or on Windows > Edit > Preference and click on down at the bottom Character.
Now in here, you determine how XPress is going to draw Superscript, Subscript, Small Caps, Superior characters. Under Small Caps, I always change this to 85 and 90 and what that does is it makes the horizontal scaling a little bit thicker than the vertical scaling, and watch what happens to the small caps. Now to me that looks like a much more natural appearance, because the thickness of these letters is similar now whereas before the A was a lot thinner.
So that's just a little tip that I'd like to encourage you to consider, if you are going to be working with small caps on fonts that don't have a true Small Cap included in the family. So let me reiterate. It's usually not the greatest thing to scale your type horizontally or vertically, because the type designer put a lot of effort in making it look exactly perfect. But when you do need to do it, it's nice to know that XPress has that capability down here in the Measurements palette and also through keyboard shortcuts like the ones I described.
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