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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.
Anytime you are trying to line something up in QuarkXPress, either with another item on the page or just to the page itself, an essential tool are the Rulers and being able to use guides. So, let's have a look at Rulers first. Under the View menu, we can choose Rulers and they show up at the top and on the left side of the document. Now by default, they show up every time you create a new document in QuarkXPress, but in this case, I had turned them off, so we need to turn them back on here. Command+R or Ctrl+R in windows is the shortcut for that.
Now, with the Rulers turned on, we can see, let's say if we grab this blue box here and move it around, it will show us little lines on the horizontal and the vertical rulers of exactly where the edges of the item are. So, it makes it kind of easy to move it to the position you want. So, if I wanted this to be at a quarter- inch here, and a quarter-inch there, if I'm clever, I can just drop it right there. Now, if you have a whole lot of these that you need to do, it makes more sense to use a guide and guides are simply pulled on to the page from the Rulers. In order to use guides, you have to see them, and again, under the View menu there is an option for Guides.
When we turn that on, any guides we have drawn will appear on the page, and the outlines of all the items on the page appear as well. So now, if you want to make a guide that lines up with the top edge of this box, we just click-and-drag it down from the ruler and notice the ruler on the left side, until we get to a quarter-inch. If we wanted to make another one vertical, we could do the same thing. Go to the other ruler and drag out to a quarter-inch. To remove a guide, just drag it right back on to the ruler. So now we have two guides that we can align other items to.
But since you don't always want items to align to guides, that's a feature you can turn on and off. It's also under the View menu, we had guides here, and now we have got Snap to Guides. By default, it is turned on, but you can also turn it off. So now, if we take this red box and drag it up to this guide, it will snap right to it. By default in North America, the unit of measurement in the ruler is set to be inches. To change the unit of measure you just Ctrl-click or right-click on the ruler, and choose Measure, and then choose from one of the units of measurement.
And they don't have to be the same. You can have inches along the top, and picas along the left. Sometimes it's easier to measure from the other end of the page, instead of the upper left-hand corner. If you want to do that, you can just again, Ctrl-click or Right-Click on the ruler, change ruler direction right to left. And notice that now the zero point will go over to the right. Now, if you do this a lot, you may want to change the preferences for all the new documents you create, so that they use the unit of measurement that you like to use the most.
Just like all the other preferences in QuarkXPress, if you change the preferences while a document is open, those preferences only affect that document. Whereas if you close this document and then go to the QuarkXPress Preferences, any changes you make will affect all new documents you create after that. So, if we go to the Measurements portion of the Preferences dialog, you can change the unit of measurement from inches to picas or anything else, and you could even tell it, if when you're working on a spread, whether you want the zero point to be at the upper-left corner of the spread or in the middle between the two pages.
Now a minute ago, we were talking about guides, and while we are in the Preferences dialog, why don't we look at the Guides & Grid section of the Preferences dialog. Up here is Snap Distance. What does that mean? It means how close to a guide do you have to drag an item before it snaps to it. This is a great thing to use, if you found yourself snapping the guides more than you want to and you want to have a little more control over that, you could decrease that distance so the item has to be closer to the guide before it snaps. You can also change the colors of the margin guides, and the guides that you draw down from the rulers. You can also control whether the guides are in front of the items on the page or behind, by default they are in front, which means that if you go to grab one and move it, it will move the guide.
Whereas, if it's behind an item and you try to grab it and there is an item in front of it, you will be moving the item instead. We'll look at the Page Grid at a different movie. So, I'm going to click OK right now and I'll show you what I mean about moving guides, if you click-and-drag on a guide you can move it to any other position where you need it. And that's about it, for Guides & Grids right now. Next, I'm going to go on to the Guide Manager which allows you to control guides in a much more significant fashion.
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