Learn about the paragraph options in design software.
- [Instructor] It's now time for us to take a look at the paragraph level properties that we can change. And I've switched here into InDesign, and I've got a document that has some threaded text, that's the way to refer to text that goes along boxes, and in fact, you can see if I turn that on, if I show the actual text threads that are here, so I'll just go to Extras and show text threads there, you can see how they link up, like so. Those arrows pointing from the outflow port, which is this thing, the bottom right hand corners to the inport, which is the thing at the top left here of all of these frames.
Okay, I'll turn that extra back off again, actually, so we don't need it. It's just a distraction, for the moment. And in InDesign if I just double click here to start editing the text like so, you do get type controls up here in the control strip, or some people call it the options bar. But just to avoid any confusion or unnecessary distractions, I'm going to use the paragraph panel here, as well. So the first paragraph level property we can change is its alignment.
Now at the moment this text is all left aligned. But if I change this to center, just in this top left paragraph just here, you can see how now that all becomes centered, like so. And if I click align right, then it becomes aligned to the right hand edge. I'll just set that back to left. You can sometimes hear this referred to as ragged right, and it's talking about the right edge jumping in and out, like so, as it does just down there.
So the next option we have is justification. And there are a few justification options available. If I click on the first one of those, it's called justification hanging left. And that means that the lines are all made so they stretch across the entire frame, but whatever's left over at the bottom, sits on the left hand side. And you can also have it to the center and to the right, as well, if that makes sense for you. The final option in terms of justification, is forced justification, or justify all lines, as it's referred to here.
And I urge you to think really carefully before doing that. It can be impactful over short distances, but you've really got to concentrate on getting that right. It can be very, very tricky, indeed. And in fact, over a long text, it doesn't do you any favors, at all. And in all of the cases with justification, you'll need to work with your hyphenation. You would never turn hyphenation off, which is something else you can do here with justified text.
In fact, if I do that with forced justification, and do that, you can see how there are big gaps appearing in the text here. And they're known as rivers, in typographic speak. You'll also see here that I don't have to select all of a paragraph to apply any of these things, because paragraph level changes can be made just by simply clicking in the paragraph. If I click at the top here and change that to centered, like so, if I want to. So the next options we have relate to indents.
And again, if I stick with this top left paragraph here and set it back to ragged left, just for the moment. So I've got indentation just here, this first control. If I just dial that up just a little bit, you'll see it indents that paragraph. And I've also got a first line indent. And where this is going to be useful, is if I've got things like lists, bulleted lists typically use first line indent and indentation quite heavily. You can also indent across on the right, using this control here.
And you have a last line indent, as well, should you need that. Then we've got spacing before and after. Now spacing before is typically used in what's called an inflow subheading. So if there was a subheading introduced somewhere here, like in this particular area here, you would want it to have some spacing before the subheading so that it was obvious that you were interrupting the flow at that particular point, and also a little bit of space after, as well.
Space after is what you generally use on paragraphs. Now at the moment, I've got one of the typographic crimes, which we'll deal with in a bit, in here. I've got an extra line that's been typed in. I'm just going to delete those lines as I'm speaking to get rid of them, because that isn't really the best way to space out your paragraphs. If I just select all of this for a second, or pretty much most of it, I'll change the space after here. Now I'm in control of the amount of spacing, and I'm not introducing any redundant characters, at all.
And that is the best way to space things out. If you're not having any spacing, then it's typical to indent the first line. And you might fine novels that have that, as well. And that's a way that you can easily distinguish between paragraphs like so. And there's nothing to stop you, technically, using just a tiny bit of both, if it helps to make the flow easier for the reader. Then another feature that you've got here is a drop cap. And so that's the capital that drops over several lines.
I'm just going to remove any indentation here from this line. Oops, went a little bit too far, and InDesign telling me off just there for doing that. So I'll just bring that down to zero, manually, like so. And now I'll introduce a drop cap. and I want it to go over three lines, so I'll dial that up like so. And now it's doing that, and that's another way to distinguish a particular photograph. Not usual to have it throughout the whole text, but quite often, if you're doing a book, at the beginning of chapters.
And you can also specify a number of characters there, but bear in mind, that might makes for awkward breaks of a word just there. So drop caps is still a useful feature, though not used terribly much today. And there you are, those are the basics of your paragraph alignment. In the next movie, we're going to take a look at how we go about selecting type.
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