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There is a new feature in QuarkXPress 8 called the Hanging Characters and what it does is it gives you complete control over how and when characters are going to hang outside of their text box. If you'll switch to the Magazine spreads layout in the Petstumes Project, I'll show you how it can be used. I am going to scroll down to the third page, where you have a bunch of text here. Let's turn on the guides, so that we can see the outlines of the text boxes and the columns. I'm going to zoom in to the upper right-hand corner holding down Ctrl+Shift, so that we can work with this text box right here.
When we click on the text box, we notice that this quote mark is indented. It's actually just right on the edge of where all the other text is. But it doesn't look quite right to us, because our eyes, kind of want to see it pushed over outside of the rest of the text. That's what the Hanging Characters feature is for. By having your cursor in the paragraph that you want to change or by selecting multiple paragraphs that you want to change, you can then go to the Style menu, choose Formats and along with all the other advanced paragraph formatting controls is the Hanging Character Set down at the bottom.
Right now, it's set to None. But watch what happens when we select Hanging Punctuation. I'll click the Apply button and watch that quote mark move all the way outside the column of text. Now, that may be what you're after, but if you think it's hanging out a little too far, you could also choose Punctuation Margin Alignment and that will move it optically along the edge of that column, but not quite all the way inside that column of text. To prove it, we'll go back to None and watch. It will move just a little bit in.
Okay, that's where we started and this is where we're going to finish, under Hanging Punctuation. Okay, I like it that way. I'm going to leave it that way. Now, these are just presets that are available right out of the box, with the QuarkXPress. You can also create your own and I'll show you how to do that in just a second. But first, let's have a look at this other column of text and see what we can do with the punctuation that's inside of it. As you can see, we have a little comma here that might look better pushed out over to the right and actually quite a few of those.
So, I'm going to click-and-drag to select these two paragraphs. By the way, Hanging Punctuation is a paragraph attribute, which means you can apply it separately to different paragraphs and you can even attach it to Paragraph style sheets. So once again, we'll go up to the Style menu to Formats and under Hanging Character Set, let's just see what happens if we choose Hanging Punctuation. It not only moved those commas outside the column of text. It also rewrapped everything to make it look better.
So, that in itself could be another use for using Hanging Character Sets, to make narrow columns of text, look better than they would otherwise. Now, let's change it to Punctuation Margin Alignment and see what it does with for example, this quote mark here. So, what it did was it moved it in a little bit, so that optically if you just scan down that column, you're going to see the punctuation basically aligning with rest of the text. So, I'm going to click OK right now and then just very quickly, show you how you can create your own Hanging Character Sets, if you'd like to.
Under the Edit menu, you can just choose Hanging Characters. Unless you're really into typography, it's unlikely that you'd be getting into this dialog box. But if you do, the short version of how it works is this. You have Hanging Character Sets and those Sets include Hanging Character Classes. So, you define a class, you add it to a set, and the set becomes something that appears in the Hanging Character Set's pop-up menu, everywhere you can apply that kind of attribute to a paragraph including the Paragraph Styles dialog.
The granularity and the level of detail that you can go into in creating these Hanging Character Sets is absolutely astounding. You can define specific characters and how far they're hung off the edge of a box, based on which font they're from, what size they are and all the way down to every detail of a font you can imagine. So, if your company uses a particular font in a particular way, you can create a very detailed Hanging Character Set that helps define the visual identity of your publications. But for the average user, I think that one of these two existing sets will make your text look dramatically better than it would have in previous versions of QuarkXPress.
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