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Designing the Adobe InDesign Way

By Andy Gardiner
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  1. Free Chapter
    Chapter 2: Working with Text in InDesign
About this book
Adobe InDesign is the leading desktop publishing and layout software for producing brochures, magazines, flyers, books, posters, and a wide range of digital documents. It allows you to rapidly draft your documents with precise control over typography, images, positioning, alignment, color, and other interactive features. However, InDesign’s interface, tools, and workflows can be a bit challenging to get to grips with. This cookbook will assist you in building unparalleled InDesign workflows with tried and tested recipes. With Designing the Adobe InDesign Way, you’ll learn how to add and edit content, create color swatches, and use features such as tables, all while applying software best practices and techniques to ensure that your work is fast, efficient, and easily maintained. Additionally, you’ll explore advanced InDesign features such as text styles, parent pages, tables of contents, and pre-flighting. Finally, you’ll take a closer look at the many export options in InDesign and ways to truly maximize its capabilities. By the end of this book, you’ll be well equipped to draft and design your own projects while ensuring your work is compatible with industry standards for print and digital documents.
Publication date:
August 2023
Publisher
Packt
Pages
564
ISBN
9781801074438

 

Working with Text in InDesign

In this chapter, we will look at working with text in InDesign. You will learn how to create text frames in InDesign and use the built-in placeholder text, before going on to adjust the character formatting. We will change the font face and size, alter line spacing, and apply features such as superscript and subscript, as well as apply and customize underlines and strikethroughs.

We will then go on to apply paragraph formatting options, which—as the name suggests—apply to whole paragraphs of text, including aligning text within the frame, applying space after paragraphs, using drop caps, and even applying shading and borders to individual paragraphs.

Later in the chapter, we will go into using glyphs and special characters, which can come in useful for things such as accessing international characters, and then we will take a look at bulleted and numbered lists. Finally, we will look at threading multiple text frames together into a single story.

When you are laying out pages in InDesign, accurate formatting of your text is vital. It’s an area that sometimes gets rushed, but done properly, it can ensure the document is easy to read, help to reinforce your brand identity, and assist in communicating information in ways that make it easier to consume.

The recipes we will cover in this chapter are listed here:

  • Creating text frames and adding placeholder text
  • Inserting special characters
  • Working with glyphs
  • Adjusting character formatting
  • Applying superscript and subscript
  • Using and formatting underlines and strikethroughs
  • Applying a baseline shift
  • Making paragraph formatting changes
  • Applying shading and borders to paragraphs
  • Working with bullets and numbering
  • Threading text frames
  • Using text frame options
 

Technical requirements

To complete this chapter, you will need a PC or Mac, with a copy of Adobe InDesign installed. An active internet connection is also recommended, as without it some features will not work. You should be comfortable navigating the InDesign interface as covered in Chapter 1—being able to open and close panels, for example.

 

Creating text frames and adding placeholder text

When you work within InDesign, everything sits inside a frame. In this recipe, we will look at how to create text frames in InDesign for including type within your documents. You will learn how to add placeholder text (sometimes known as lorem ipsum text), in order to give you some dummy content to work on.

We will then look at how to reposition your text frames, as well as how to resize the frames independently of the text and together with the text.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1.

How to do it…

In order to create text frames, add placeholder text, and then reposition and resize your text frames, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Type tool from the toolbar, marked as A in Figure 2.1.
  2. With the Type tool selected, simply click and drag (while holding the mousing button down) to create a rectangular shape on the page, at whatever size you stipulate. If you wish to create a perfect square rather than a rectangle, simply hold down the Shift key at the same time, and let go of the mouse before releasing the Shift key:
Figure 2.1: The InDesign toolbar

Figure 2.1: The InDesign toolbar

Tip

If you hold down the space bar during the frame creation process while still holding down the mouse button, you can temporarily move the mouse to reposition the frame. If you then release the space bar, you can continue creating your frame again.

  1. When you create a new text frame, the cursor can be seen blinking at the top left of the frame, and if you type on the keyboard, you will see the text appear in the frame; however, we want to generate placeholder text automatically. To automatically generate placeholder text in the frame, either go to the Type menu and select Fill with Placeholder Text or you can right-click on the text frame with the mouse and select Fill with Placeholder text from the pop-up menu that appears.
  2. Having created a text frame and added placeholder text you may now wish to reposition the text frame within your document. To do this, you will need to select the Selection tool, marked as B in Figure 2.1. Using this tool, you can now click on the text frame and drag it around within the document to the place you want it. In this instance, we will drag it so that the text frame touches the top and left margins, as shown in Figure 2.2:
Figure 2.2: Repositioning a text frame so that it is aligned with the top and left margins

Figure 2.2: Repositioning a text frame so that it is aligned with the top and left margins

  1. Having repositioned the frame so that it aligns with the top and left margins, we will now resize it so that it also aligns with the bottom and right margins. To resize a text frame, select the frame with the Selection tool, and then move the cursor to hover over the bottom right-hand corner of the frame. As you do this, you should see the cursor change to two little arrows (shown by A in Figure 2.3). When you see the two little arrows, click and hold down the mouse button, then drag the corner of the frame down to align it with the bottom and right-hand margins before releasing the mouse button.

While we have resized the object from the bottom-right corner, it is worth noting that you can resize objects in this way from any of the corners of the object, as well as from halfway through the four sides of the object:

Figure 2.3: A text frame selected and ready to be resized

Figure 2.3: A text frame selected and ready to be resized

 

Inserting special characters

Occasionally, you might want to quickly insert characters such as copyright symbols or trademark symbols, which can’t always be done easily through the keyboard. Special characters are a way of achieving this quickly and easily; in this recipe, we will show you how.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. You will also need to add a text frame containing some text, as shown in the previous Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe.

How to do it…

In order to insert special characters, follow these steps:

  1. Place the cursor where you want to apply the special character within your text. I am going to apply a registered trademark symbol after the name of the Highlander company, so I would put the cursor immediately after the company name.
  2. Now, go to the Type menu and navigate to the Insert Special Character option. This will open another menu, where you should select Symbols, which in turn expands to show you the different symbol options, as shown in Figure 2.4. Click Registered Trademark Symbol to generate a registered trademark symbol within the text (subject to the current font containing that character within it):
Figure 2.4: Applying special characters such as copyright, trademark, and registered trademark symbols

Figure 2.4: Applying special characters such as copyright, trademark, and registered trademark symbols

Note

Special characters also come in useful for generating page numbering, as shown in the Generating page numbers in parent pages recipe, which can be found in Chapter 6, and when creating story jumps, the recipe for which can be found in Chapter 9.

 

Working with glyphs

Glyphs are the individual symbols that together make up the content of a font face. They generally represent a single character (although can sometimes represent more than one character—for example, with ligatures), and the InDesign Glyphs panel gives you a useful window through which to both see and access characters that you may not typically find on your keyboard.

One common use of glyphs I encounter is for accessing international character sets—for example, when writing people’s names that contain characters you generally won’t find on a standard British or North American keyboard.

In this recipe, we will look at adding glyphs to your text frames as well as creating reusable glyph sets, which make it quick and easy to find the glyphs you commonly use when you are working.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. You will also need to create a text frame containing some text, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe.

How to do it…

In order to use glyphs in your content, follow these steps:

  1. Start by opening the Glyphs panel, which can be found under the Window menu under the Type and Tables section.
  2. The Glyphs panel is where you can see all the glyphs within the fonts that you have installed. Here, you can switch to different fonts (marked as A in Figure 2.5), and then choose to show the entire font or a particular subset from the dropdown (marked as B in Figure 2.5) such as math symbols or currency symbols.

It is worth noting that if you are trying to find a specific glyph, you can also search by name, Unicode value, or character/glyph ID using the search bar (marked as C in Figure 2.5):

Figure 2.5: The Glyphs panel in InDesign

Figure 2.5: The Glyphs panel in InDesign

  1. With our cursor in the place where we would like to insert our glyph, double-click on a glyph within the Glyphs panel, and it will be inserted at that position.
  2. This allows us to easily insert a single glyph, but you might want to reuse a small group of glyphs on a regular basis, so let’s have a look now at how to do that using glyph sets.
  3. A glyph set is a reusable collection of glyphs, and it can be a good time saver when it comes to finding and using glyphs. To create a glyph set, click the Glyphs panel menu icon (marked as D in Figure 2.5) to open the Glyphs panel menu, and then select New Glyph Set. A small pop-up box will appear for creating your new glyph set; here, you can give your set a name and control how new glyphs will be added to the set, with the options being:
    • Insert at Front: Adds them at the top of the glyph set
    • Append at End: Adds them at the end of the glyph set
    • Unicode Order: Inserts them in the order they appear within the font
  4. With our glyph set created, we now need to add some glyphs to it. To do this, simply find a glyph you like within the panel and right-click on it with the mouse. You will see a pop-up menu appear (marked as A in Figure 2.6) containing an Add to Glyph Set option, and you can then choose the glyph set you created earlier. Add a few glyphs to your glyph set, such as é, ç, or è, or, if you prefer, choose others:
Figure 2.6: The Glyphs panel menu

Figure 2.6: The Glyphs panel menu

  1. If you are unable to right-click with the mouse, you can always select a glyph and then add it to the glyph set from the panel menu, marked as D in Figure 2.5.
  2. Having created a glyph set and added some glyphs to it, we now need to view the glyph set rather than the whole font. This can be done from the dropdown marked as B in Figure 2.5. To view just the glyphs in your glyph set, scroll to the top of the list in the dropdown and choose your glyph set. To then go back to viewing the whole font—for example, to add more glyphs to the set—select Entire Font.
  3. If you decide you want to delete a glyph set, just go to the panel menu and select Delete Glyph Set, then the name of the glyph set you wish to delete:
Figure 2.7: Glyphs panel docked for quick and easy access

Figure 2.7: Glyphs panel docked for quick and easy access

Tip

I find keeping the Glyphs panel docked on the right as a small icon (shown in Figure 2.7) can be a quick and easy way to access it without taking up much space at all. Just one click on the icon expands it, and another click hides it again. For more details, see the Opening and repositioning panels recipe in Chapter 1.

 

Adjusting character formatting

Once you have some text on the page, it is important to know how to format it. In this recipe, you will learn how to change the font face, adjust the font size, and alter the spacing between lines (known as leading), as well as change the spacing between characters (known as kerning and tracking).

We will also learn a few hidden tricks in InDesign when it comes to changing numbers, some of which work in other Creative Cloud tools.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. You will also need to add a text frame containing some placeholder text, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe.

How to do it…

In order to format your text using a variety of character formatting options, follow these steps:

  1. Using the Type tool, click and drag to select some text within your text frame. With this text selected, look at the Control panel, shown as item A in Figure 2.8. If you don’t see the Control panel at all, you can open it by clicking Control in the Window menu:
Figure 2.8: The InDesign interface showing the Control panel

Figure 2.8: The InDesign interface showing the Control panel

The InDesign Control panel has two views, Character and Paragraph, and you can toggle between these using either of the two small icons marked as B in Figure 2.8. Switch to Character view now so that the top icon is highlighted, as seen in Figure 2.8.

  1. Next, we will click the arrow next to the current font family marked as A in Figure 2.9. This will bring up the font options, where you can choose an alternative font family from a scrollable list. Depending on the font files installed, you may be able to expand the font family using the small arrow next to the font family name (marked as B in Figure 2.9). This will allow you to access variations of some fonts, such as Regular, Bold, or Italic. Select the font you wish to use now:
Figure 2.9: The font selection dropdown in InDesign

Figure 2.9: The font selection dropdown in InDesign

  1. If you can’t see the name of the font you want, you can always search for it in the Adobe Fonts library. This is a library of over 2,500 font families, which you can access as part of your InDesign subscription. To do this, click the Find More tab (marked as C in Figure 2.9) and you will see a list of Adobe fonts. To use one of these, click the cloud icon to the right of the font name, marked as A in Figure 2.10. When you click back on the Fonts tab, the font you activated should show up (occasionally, it can take a few seconds to synchronize):
Figure 2.10: Find More fonts dialog

Figure 2.10: Find More fonts dialog

  1. You can also search for a font by name; simply start typing the name in the search bar (marked as B in Figure 2.10), and all fonts with that text in the name will be listed.

Note

If you want to add your own font files to InDesign, you can copy the files into the Fonts folder in the InDesign installation directory, and they will show up when you restart InDesign.

  1. If you work with a limited number of fonts (for example, to comply with brand guidelines), you might prefer to only see those fonts when opening the font selection dropdown. To do this, you can mark fonts as favorites by clicking the star icon, which shows up to the right of the font name when you hover over a font (marked as C in Figure 2.10), and then filtering to only show these favorites by clicking the Filter by favorites icon (marked as D in Figure 2.10).
  2. Having now chosen the font you want to work with, we can change the font size. This can be done by clicking the dropdown for font size (marked as A in Figure 2.11), which is positioned to the right of the font family dropdown. You can choose from the preset sizes or just type a number straight into the font size box itself. My personal favorite method is clicking the font size box and then using the up and down keys on the keyboard to adjust the size 1 pt at a time. If you hold down the Shift key while using the arrows, it changes the size in 10-pt increments instead:
Figure 2.11: Character settings on the InDesign Control panel

Figure 2.11: Character settings on the InDesign Control panel

Tip

When you are working in number boxes in Adobe tools, such as the font size box, many of them let you do sums. For example, typing 2 + 3 and hitting Return will set the size to 5 pt. You can use the +, -, *, and / characters for doing plus, minus, multiply, and divide calculations.

  1. The next setting we want to adjust is the Leading setting, marked as B in Figure 2.11. Leading is the space between the lines in paragraphs; by default, it is set to Auto, which means as the font size changes, so does the leading. When set to Auto, the leading is always set to 120% of the font size, and this will be a good setting for most of your text. However, in this instance, we want to space the lines out further though, without changing the font size. To do this, just increase the leading value either by selecting a new value from the dropdown or by using any of the other methods for changing numbers that are shown in step 6.
  2. Having chosen a font face and adjusted the size and leading, we now want to turn the text into capitals. You have two Caps options available in the Control panel:
    • The first is the All Caps button marked as C in Figure 2.11; this will turn all the selected letters into uppercase letters.
    • The second option is the Small Caps button marked as D in Figure 2.11.

In this instance, we are going to apply the All Caps method to the first three words (marked as A in Figure 2.12) by selecting them and clicking the Small Caps button, then on a new line apply small caps to some text (marked as B in Figure 2.12), again by selecting it and hitting the Small Caps button. Your content should now look something like that shown in Figure 2.12:

Figure 2.12: Text frame with the first line in all caps, then the second line in small caps

Figure 2.12: Text frame with the first line in all caps, then the second line in small caps

If small caps are available within the font face, InDesign will use these, but if not, InDesign will simulate small caps. You can control what scale InDesign uses for simulating small caps in the Preferences panel (Ctrl + K (PC)/Cmd + K (Mac)), under Advanced Type, marked as A in Figure 2.13:

Figure 2.13: Advanced Type preferences in InDesign

Figure 2.13: Advanced Type preferences in InDesign

  1. Having set the first three lines to All Caps, we now want to adjust the spacing between the second and third letters on that line. To do this, we will use the Kerning property, which is used to adjust the spacing between two individual characters. Click to place the cursor in between the second and third letters of the first line, then click into the Kerning box, marked as A in Figure 2.14. Use the up and down arrows on the keyboard to increase or decrease the kerning. In our case, we will set the value to 20.

As with the other number boxes, you can use the Shift key to move in larger increments, type numbers directly into the box, or select a value from the dropdown.

Note

In the Kerning and Tracking dropdown, you will see options for Metric and Optical, which are automatic kerning options, based on either the font design (metric) or the character shapes (optical). We are using manual kerning (and tracking) here, which is based on a percentage of the current font size being used.

  1. Moving on to the second line, we are now going to set the spacing between the characters for the whole of the second line using Tracking. Select the whole line and click into the Tracking box, marked as B in Figure 2.14. Again, use the arrows to adjust the spacing until the second line is extended to the width of the frame, as shown by C in Figure 2.14:
Figure 2.14: Controlling kerning and tracking in InDesign

Figure 2.14: Controlling kerning and tracking in InDesign

 

Applying superscript and subscript

Whether you are adding in a trademark or copyright symbol, putting ordinals on dates, creating chemical formulae, or producing mathematical equations, Superscript and Subscript can be useful tools to get your text looking the way you want.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, you need a document open containing a text frame that you wish to adjust. If you don’t already have this, you can create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. You can then add a text frame, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe. Finally, you will need the Control panel set to show character formatting rather than paragraph formatting options, as shown in step 1 of the Adjusting character formatting recipe.

How to do it…

In order to use superscript and subscript to fine-tune your text, follow these steps:

  1. In your text frame, add the following text: The 1st of January.
  2. We are going to start by superscripting st in 1st, so select st and then click the Superscript icon (marked as A in Figure 2.15). This will cause st to reduce in size and be positioned higher up relative to the other text:
Figure 2.15: Superscript and Subscript options

Figure 2.15: Superscript and Subscript options

  1. On the next line in the text frame, we will add the following text: Water is H2O.
  2. Now, select the number 2 in H2O and click the Subscript button (marked as B in Figure 2.15) to apply subscript to this, resulting in the number 2 dropping lower down.
 

Using and formatting underlines and strikethroughs

Underlines and strikethroughs can be a great way to draw attention to content in a paragraph, but why stick to the default formatting? In this recipe, we will show you how to apply underlines and strikethroughs, and then subsequently change the formatting to match your exact needs. You will even learn a neat little trick using underlines to create a highlighter pen effect.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. You will also need to add a text frame containing some placeholder text, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe. Finally, you will need the Control panel set to show character formatting rather than paragraph formatting options, as shown in step 1 of the Adjusting character formatting recipe.

How to do it…

In order to use and format underlines and strikethroughs on your text, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text that you would like to apply your underline to and click the Underline button marked as A in Figure 2.16. The text will now have a thin black line below it, as marked by B in Figure 2.16:
Figure 2.16: Underline and strikethrough options in InDesign

Figure 2.16: Underline and strikethrough options in InDesign

  1. We now want to change the formatting of the underline, so with the text still selected, hold down Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) and click the Underline button again. This will bring up the Underline Options dialog box (shown in Figure 2.17):
Figure 2.17: Underline Options dialog box

Figure 2.17: Underline Options dialog box

  1. Before adjusting any settings, make sure to check the Preview checkbox within the dialog box, and now you can adjust any of the following settings and see the changes live on the document:
    • Weight: This determines the thickness of the underline or strikethrough line
    • Type: Lets you choose from a list of preset underline or strikethrough styles
    • Offset: A bit like the Baseline Shift property (see the next recipe), this applies an adjustment to the strikethrough or underline relative to the baseline of the text it is applied to
    • Colour: The color of the underline or strikethrough
    • Tint: Increase the lightness of the chosen color by increasing the white content
    • Gap Colour: If you choose a type that includes gaps, this lets you apply a color to those gaps
    • Gap Tint: Increase the lightness of the gap color by increasing the white content

In this instance, we will change the Colour setting to blue and adjust the Weight setting to 2 pt to make the line a little thicker.

Tip

If you would like to create a highlighter pen effect, simply apply an underline, switch the Colour setting to yellow, make the Offset value a negative number until the line is vertically in the middle of the text, and then increase the Weight value until it is the same height as the text. You can simply adjust the offset to fine-tune the positioning. See the text marked as E in Figure 2.16.

  1. Next, we will apply a strikethrough. Select the text that you would like to apply your strikethrough to and click the Strikethrough button (marked as C in Figure 2.16). The text will now have a thin black line through the middle of it, as marked by D in Figure 2.16.
  2. We now want to change the formatting of the strikethrough, so with the text still selected, hold down Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) and click the Strikethrough button again, which will bring up the Strikethrough Options dialog box, which will look very similar to the Underline Options dialog box.
  3. Again, you will need to check the Preview checkbox in the dialog box to see any changes, and you can then adjust the settings for the strikethrough in the dialog box.

On rare occasions, I come across somebody who, for a variety of reasons, can’t Alt-/Option-click on the buttons to bring up the Underline Options and Strikethrough Options dialog boxes. If you encounter this, you can also open the Options dialog box from the drop-down menu at the top right of the InDesign program window, as marked by A in Figure 2.18:

Figure 2.18: Alternative method of accessing strikethrough and underline options

Figure 2.18: Alternative method of accessing strikethrough and underline options

 

Applying a baseline shift

Sometimes you just want to quickly move a few characters, or even a word or two, up or down relative to the rest of the text. It might be special characters such as copyright or trademark symbols that don’t quite sit where you’d like, or maybe your bullets need a bit of tweaking, or it could just be things such as fractions that you’d like to smarten up a bit.

When working in InDesign, your text all sits on an invisible line called the baseline, and this baseline can be moved up and down. Using InDesign’s Baseline Shift feature, you can easily move the baseline for one or more characters, in effect moving the characters up or down relative to the rest of the text in that frame. In this recipe, we are going to look at how you can achieve this.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, you need a document open containing a text frame that you wish to adjust. If you don’t already have this, you can create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. You can then add a text frame containing some placeholder text, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe.

Add a copyright symbol to your content, as shown in the Inserting special characters recipe in this chapter. You will need the Control panel set to show character formatting rather than paragraph formatting options, as shown in step 1 of the Adjusting character formatting recipe.

How to do it…

In order to use Baseline Shift to fine-tune your text, follow these steps:

  1. Select the copyright symbol that you added to your text.
  2. Click into the Baseline Shift box (marked as A in Figure 2.19) and use the up arrow on the keypad to increase the baseline shift value. You will see the copyright symbol is now moving up relative to the rest of the text:
Figure 2.19: Baseline Shift option on the Control panel

Figure 2.19: Baseline Shift option on the Control panel

Having increased the baseline shift value and pushed the character up relative to the other text, we are now going to reverse this.

  1. When selecting characters that have a baseline shift applied, you must select them on the original line the text was written on, and not the line it is now positioned on (as shown in Figure 2.20). Do this now with the text you selected in step 1 and set the baseline shift back to 0:
Figure 2.20: Example of text with baseline shift applied and baseline selected

Figure 2.20: Example of text with baseline shift applied and baseline selected

 

Making paragraph formatting changes

When it comes to working with paragraphs of text in InDesign, there are a number of formatting options that apply to whole paragraphs rather than individual characters. These options allow you to align your text in a particular way, configure spacing between different paragraphs, create interesting effects with drop caps, and even turn hyphenation on and off. In this recipe, we will have a look at applying these paragraph formatting options.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. You will also need to add a text frame large enough to contain a few paragraphs of text, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe. Finally, you will need the Control panel set to show paragraph formatting rather than character formatting options, as shown in step 1 of the Adjusting character formatting recipe.

How to do it…

In order to use the paragraph formatting options in InDesign, follow these steps:

  1. Select some text in one of the paragraphs within your text frame. You don’t need to precisely select the whole paragraph, as the paragraph formatting tools will affect any paragraph that you have selected even a single character within.
  2. With your text selected, you should see an option on the left of the Control panel to set the horizontal alignment of the text. On the top row, you have the option to align the paragraph to the left (A in Figure 2.21), center (B in Figure 2.21), or right (C in Figure 2.21). Alternatively, you can justify your text with the last line aligned left (D in Figure 2.21), with the last line center-aligned (E in Figure 2.21), or with all lines together (F in Figure 2.21). In our case, we will align the text to the left (A in Figure 2.21):

Note

Justify is when InDesign attempts to align the text to reach both sides of the frame; as a result, there are no ragged edges to the lines, which all line up.

Figure 2.21: Justification options in InDesign

Figure 2.21: Justification options in InDesign

In addition to the preceding options, there are two more justification options that you should be aware of, albeit you may not use them as frequently: one aligns toward the spine (marked as A in Figure 2.22), and the other aligns away from the spine (marked as B in Figure 2.22). These become more relevant when you are working on documents with facing pages, such as magazine layouts, where the spine is the black line between the left- and right-hand pages.

In Figure 2.22, you can see a document with two text frames, both aligned toward the spine. Note how the alignment behaves the opposite on the left-hand page to the right-hand page:

Figure 2.22: An example of two frames with text aligned toward the spine

Figure 2.22: An example of two frames with text aligned toward the spine

  1. Having aligned our text to the left, we now want to indent the second paragraph slightly by 10 mm. To do this, select part of that paragraph and type 10 mm in the Left Indent box (marked as A in Figure 2.23).

In addition to the Left Indent option, you will see other indent options available here: First Line Indent (marked as B in Figure 2.23), Right Indent (marked as C in Figure 2.23), and Last Line Right Indent (marked as D in Figure 2.23):

Figure 2.23: Paragraph indent options in InDesign

Figure 2.23: Paragraph indent options in InDesign

  1. When working with multiple paragraphs of text, putting a little space either after or before your paragraphs can make it easier for the reader, not to mention visually more appealing. To do this, select all your text and apply 3 mm to the Space After option (marked as A in Figure 2.24). This will add space after each paragraph—in this case, 3 mm.

If you prefer to add space before each paragraph, simply use the Space Before option, marked as B in Figure 2.24, instead.

In Figure 2.24, you can see a text frame on the left-hand page with 3 mm of space applied after each paragraph. On the right-hand page, the exact same text is shown with no space applied after each paragraph, for comparison:

Figure 2.24: Space Before and Space After options in InDesign

Figure 2.24: Space Before and Space After options in InDesign

  1. Having now formatted our text with some space after each paragraph, we want to apply a decorative effect called drop caps. Click into the paragraph that you would like to apply drop caps to, and then select the number of letters you would like to use (marked as A in Figure 2.25) and the number of lines you would like them to drop over (marked as B in Figure 2.25). In our case, we will drop two letters over three lines, as shown in Figure 2.25:
Figure 2.25: Applying drop caps in InDesign

Figure 2.25: Applying drop caps in InDesign

Note

Drop caps have been used for a very long time, with numerous examples dating back as far as the 15th century and even earlier.

  1. Having applied our alignment, indents, space after, and drop caps, we want to finish off by controlling hyphenation on the text. Hyphenation is when longer words are effectively split in the middle and part of the word pushed onto the next line. In InDesign, you can turn hyphenation off or on by simply selecting your text and then deselecting or selecting the Hyphenate checkbox on the Control panel (marked as A in Figure 2.26):
Figure 2.26: Disabling hyphenation in InDesign

Figure 2.26: Disabling hyphenation in InDesign

Tip

When working on a document in InDesign, switch to the Type tool, and with no text selected, disable the Hyphenation checkbox (marked as A in Figure 2.26). You will now find hyphenation is automatically disabled for all new text frames within that document. If you switch to the Type tool and deselect the Hyphenation checkbox in InDesign when no document is open, it is now disabled by default for every new document you create going forward. This method of setting default properties in InDesign also works for a wide range of other properties, from Font Face and Swatches to Paragraph Styles and Character Styles.

 

Applying shading and borders to paragraphs

A more recent feature in InDesign is the ability to apply shading and borders to paragraphs, and it can be a useful option for everything from creating cut-out coupon effects to simply highlighting a single paragraph of text within your story. In this recipe, we will look at how to apply borders and shading, as well as how to customize the settings to ensure you can make the most of the feature.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. You will also need to add a text frame large enough to contain a few paragraphs of text, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe. Finally, you will need the Control panel set to show paragraph formatting rather than character formatting options, as shown in step 1 of the Adjusting character formatting recipe.

How to do it…

In order to use the paragraph shading and borders options in InDesign, follow these steps:

  1. Select some text within one of your paragraphs. Then, in the Control panel, check the Shading box, marked as A in Figure 2.27:
Figure 2.27: Paragraph shading and border options on the Control panel

Figure 2.27: Paragraph shading and border options on the Control panel

  1. By default, the shading is applied as a shade of gray, but let’s customize this. With the paragraph still selected, simply hold Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) down and click on the small icon to the right of the word Shading on the Control panel (marked as D in Figure 2.27). This will bring up the Paragraph Borders and Shading dialog box shown in Figure 2.28.

There are a range of options here that may be of interest (if you want to see changes happen as you make them, remember to enable the Preview checkbox, found at the bottom of the shading options dialog box):

  • Colour: Sets the color for the shading. We will set this to Cyan.
  • Tint: Allows you to lighten the color by increasing the white content. We will set this to 20%.
  • Corner Size and Shape: Lets you change the shape of the corner and set the size for each corner. To change corners individually, click the small link symbol (marked as A in Figure 2.28); to change them all together again, click the link symbol again. Set them to 0.
  • Offsets: This allows you to push the shading out beyond the edge of the text. You can either change the sides individually or all together, by clicking the link symbol in the middle of the Offsets group, just as we did previously with the Corner Size and Shape options. Change these to 2 mm.
  • To the right of the offsets are options for Top Edge, Bottom Edge, and Width. These allow you to fine-tune what the shading is being applied relative to. We won’t adjust these at this time.
  • The Clip To Frame option allows you to prevent shading from extending beyond the edge of the frame. We will enable this here.
  • Do not Print or Export does exactly what it says, preventing the shading from being printed or included when you export documents:
Figure 2.28: Paragraph shading options in InDesign

Figure 2.28: Paragraph shading options in InDesign

Note

If you can’t edit the settings by Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) and clicking on the icon, you can also access these from the drop-down menu at the top right of the InDesign interface, as shown previously at the end of the Using and formatting underlines and strikethroughs recipe.

  1. Having applied your shading if you wish to disable it, simply uncheck the shading checkbox. In this instance, we will do this in order to look at borders more clearly.
  2. Next, select part of a paragraph and click the Border button on the Control panel (marked as B in Figure 2.27. This will apply a thin 1 pt black border around the selected paragraph.
  3. Next, we want to customize our paragraph border, so hold down the Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) key and click the icon to the right of the word Border on the Control panel (marked as C in Figure 2.27). This will bring up the paragraph border options, which can be seen in Figure 2.29:
Figure 2.29: Paragraph Border and Shading options

Figure 2.29: Paragraph Border and Shading options

The border options are more extensive than the shading options, and in addition to the properties listed in step 2 also include the following options:

  • Top, Bottom, Left, Right: These let you control the stroke width on the different sides. As with the Corner Size and Shape options in step 2, the link icon allows you to control whether all 4 numbers change together or individually. We will set this to 4 pt.
  • Type: Lets you choose the type of border from a range of preset border types. We will choose Dashed (3 and 2).
  • Gap Color and Gap Tint: If you have applied a border type with gaps, such as a dashed line, these properties allow you to set a color and tint (lightness) for the gap. We will leave this unchanged.
  • Cap: This property allows you to control the look of the dash ends. We will select Rounded.
  • Join: Allows you to control the look of the corners where the sides join. We will choose Rounded.

The final two options toward the bottom of the dialog box are:

  • Display Border if Paragraph Splits Across Frames/Columns: Turning this on will result in frames that split across multiple frames or columns having a border on all four sides. If it is off, the border will not be shown at the point where the frame splits.
  • Merge Consecutive Borders and Shading with same Settings: If this is selected border and shading effects will be merged together, where consecutive paragraphs have the exact same border and shading settings. An example of this can be seen in Figure 2.30:
Figure 2.30: Paragraph borders merged across two paragraphs

Figure 2.30: Paragraph borders merged across two paragraphs

 

Working with bullets and numbering

Using bulleted and numbered lists can be a great way to organize your content and present it in a way that is often easier to interpret and understand. As an added benefit, it often results in a cleaner and less crowded layout that is aesthetically more pleasing.

In this section, we are going to look at how to apply bullet points and numbering to your content. We will look at customizing the formatting of these lists, creating custom bullet points, switching to different numbered list types, fine-tuning the positioning of the bullets and numbers, restarting and continuing numbering, and even converting a numbered list into editable numbers.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. During this exercise, you will also need to be able to create text frames and add placeholder text, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe.

How to do it…

In order to use bulleted and numbered lists, follow these steps:

  1. Start by creating a text frame and typing in some content that we can use for our lists. I have typed a list of fruit, as shown in Figure 2.31:
Figure 2.31: Text ready to be converted into lists

Figure 2.31: Text ready to be converted into lists

  1. Next, select the first three lines of text and click on the Bulleted list icon, marked as A in Figure 2.32. If you don’t see the list icons, just make sure you are looking at the paragraph formatting options and not the character formatting options (switching between the two is covered in the Adjusting character formatting recipe from the first chapter).

You will see these items are now indented, and a bullet point is added in front of each item (as marked by B in Figure 2.32):

Figure 2.32: Bullets applied in InDesign

Figure 2.32: Bullets applied in InDesign

  1. Next, we will select the last three lines of the text (marked as A in Figure 2.33) and click on the Numbered list icon (marked as B in Figure 2.33). These items will now be indented and a number added in front of each of the selected items:
Figure 2.33: Numbered list applied in InDesign

Figure 2.33: Numbered list applied in InDesign

  1. The bullets and numbers that are generated pick up basic formatting such as font face or size from the first character of the paragraph they are applied to, but this can be customized. To do this, select the text that has the bullets applied (in this case, the first three lines), and while holding down the Alt (PC)/Option (Mac) key, click once again on the Bulleted list icon. This will bring up the Bullets and Numbering dialog box (shown in Figure 2.34), showing the bulleted list formatting options:
Figure 2.34: Bullets and Numbering dialog box showing bulleted list options

Figure 2.34: Bullets and Numbering dialog box showing bulleted list options

Let’s review the options:

Note

If you wish to see changes live on the page as you make them, remember to check the Preview checkbox at the bottom of the dialog box.

  • List Type (A in Figure 2.34): This will default to Bullets as that’s what we have applied here, but it can be changed to either Numbers or None if you wish to change the list type. We will leave it set at Bullets.
  • Bullet Character (B in Figure 2.34): Here, you can quickly choose from previously used bullet characters. We will ignore this on this occasion as we haven’t previously used bullets.
  • Add (C in Figure 2.34): Click to use characters from your fonts as bullets.

When clicked, an Add Bullets popup appears (shown in Figure 2.35), and you can select characters from any of your fonts. You can change the font family (marked as A in Figure 2.35), and I would recommend checking the Remember Font with Bullet checkbox (marked as B in Figure 2.35) to ensure the bullet character isn’t affected if you change the font face used for the bullet items. When you have chosen a character, click OK (marked as C in Figure 2.35) to add that character and close the box, or click Add (marked as D in Figure 2.35) if you would like to continue selecting additional characters before closing the box:

Figure 2.35: Add Bullets dialog box

Figure 2.35: Add Bullets dialog box

  • Text After (D back in Figure 2.34): Lets you control what comes immediately after the bullet points, which by default is a tab character, but you can change this if you wish. We will leave this unchanged.
  • Character Style (E in Figure 2.34): Allows you to apply a character style to your bullets (these are covered in Chapter 8, Formatting with Paragraph and Character Styles). We will leave this unchanged too.

Finally, under the Bullet or Number Position section (F in Figure 2.34), you can fine-tune the bullet position. We won’t adjust these settings in this instance, but they include the following:

  • Alignment: Allows you to align the bullets to the left, center, or right of the bullet area.
  • Left Indent: Controls how far the bullets are indented from the left.
  • First Line Indent: Allows you to adjust the indent on the first line. If you have a single bullet point that contains multiple lines of text, it can be useful to increase the left indent value and also reduce the first line indent value so that the bullet character itself isn’t directly in line with the subsequent lines of text.
  • Tab Position: Adjusts the space between the bullets and the content of the list.
  1. Having formatted the bulleted list, we can now format the numbered list. Select the last three lines that we applied the numbered list to in step 3, and while holding down the Alt (PC)/Option (Mac) key, click once again on the Numbered List Icon (marked as B in Figure 2.33). This will bring up the Bullets and Numbering dialog box seen in Figure 2.36, this time showing the numbered list options:
Figure 2.36: Bullets and Numbering dialog box with numbered list options

Figure 2.36: Bullets and Numbering dialog box with numbered list options

The dialog box now contains the following options:

  • List Type (A in Figure 2.36): As seen in the previous step, except this will now default to Numbers; we will leave this unchanged.
  • List (B in Figure 2.36): Allows you to create a defined list that can be identified by name to distinguish it from other lists. This can be useful for continuing numbering across multiple stories or across documents within a book. We will leave this set to [Default].
  • Level (C in Figure 2.36): Lists can have multiple levels. Enabling this feature gives you more advanced control over the continuation and restarting of numbering at different levels (see the Note information box at the end of this recipe).
  • Under the Numbering Style section (D in Figure 2.36), you will see settings for the following:
    • Format: Select from a range of predefined numbering types, including numbers, letters, Roman numerals, and more.
    • Number: Here, you can customize the appearance of the number. We will leave this set to the default setting.
    • Character Style: Allows you to apply a character style to your list (these are covered in Chapter 8, Formatting with Paragraph and Character Styles). We will leave this set to [None].
    • Mode: Allows you to either continue your numbering or restart at a defined number. We won’t change this setting.
  • The Bullet or Number Position options (E in Figure 2.36) are all exactly the same as discussed previously in step 4, and there is no need to change these in this instance.

Having created both numbered and bulleted lists, we will next look at how to replace the bulleted list with numbers, which continue across both parts of the list.

  1. Select the text that was previously formatted with bullets and click the Numbered List icon (marked as B in Figure 2.33). While this changes it into a numbered list, the numbers have reset back to 1 for the second part of the list (as shown in Figure 2.37):
Figure 2.37: Numbered list with numbering restarting

Figure 2.37: Numbered list with numbering restarting

In order to have the numbering continue from the previous part of the list, place the cursor on the first line of the second part of the list then right-click, bringing up the options shown in Figure 2.37. The fifth option listed is Continue Numbering, and you should select this. If you change your mind and wish to have the numbering restart at 1 here, simply repeat this process, and you will find the option that previously said Continue Numbering now says Restart Numbering instead, as the numbering is already being continued.

Note

The Continue Numbering and Restart Numbering options can also be accessed through the Type menu under Bulleted and Numbered Lists.

There’s more…

For more advanced customization of lists, including working with multi-level lists, please see the following article: https://www.highlander.co.uk/blog/advanced-lists-in-indesign.

 

Threading text frames

In some documents, you might only require a few lines of text—for example, with single-page flyers—but there are many other documents where you have many pages of content such as magazines, books, large reports, tender documents, and so on. In such documents, it can be really useful to thread your text frames together into a single story. This enables all the frames in the story to function as one, allowing text to flow from one frame to another seamlessly as though it were in a single frame.

In this recipe, we are going to learn how to thread text frames together, view text threads to check the order of flow, add frames to a story, remove frames from a story without losing the text, and change the flow of the story, as well as thread text using the semi-auto and auto flow modifiers.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages and facing pages enabled, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. Facing pages are not required for threading text frames, but they will make it easier for us to demonstrate how text threads can run across multiple pages. During this exercise, you will also need to be able to create text frames and add placeholder text, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe.

How to do it…

In order to work with text threading in InDesign, follow these steps:

  1. Scroll down to a double-page spread, and on the left-hand page, create a text frame that fills the page, then fill it with placeholder text. Now, make the frame shorter by dragging up from the handle at the bottom of the frame (marked as A in Figure 2.38) to roughly the halfway point, and you will notice there is a small box at the bottom right of the frame that turns red (marked as B in Figure 2.38). This is the out port for the frame; when it goes red, it means you have what is called overset text. Overset text is text that still exists; it hasn’t been deleted, but it isn’t visible because there is no space currently available to display it within the text frame at its current size.
  2. Next, add a new text frame at the top of the right-hand page in which we can continue our story. Switch to the Selection tool and select the text frame we created in step 1. Now, click once on the out port for that frame (marked as B in Figure 2.38), which happens to be red as we currently have overset text, and you will notice the cursor changes at this point. Move your cursor over to the right-hand page and click into the new frame you just created at the top of the right-hand page:
Figure 2.38: Text frame with overset text before threading

Figure 2.38: Text frame with overset text before threading

Note

When threading text frames, be sure to just click once on the out port, then click into the new frame. I often see people try to click and drag the out port across onto the new frame, which doesn’t work.

I am using facing pages (as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1) in order to make this easier to show here, but that isn’t necessary for this to work. You could just as easily thread 2 frames together that are 20 or 30 pages apart.

  1. Having done this, you will see the text that was previously overset now appears over in the second frame, but you may not immediately see the actual text threads (a line between the two frames, marked as A in Figure 2.39). Go to the View menu, and toward the bottom, you will see a flyout menu called Extras. Within this menu, select Show Text Threads. If the option here says Hide Text Threads, it means they are already enabled and you don’t need to select it:
Figure 2.39: Two frames threaded with Show Text Threads enabled

Figure 2.39: Two frames threaded with Show Text Threads enabled

If you don’t immediately see the threads, one reason might be you don’t have any of the frames in the story selected. Simply switch to the Selection tool and click on one of the frames, and you should then see the threads.

If you still aren’t seeing the threads, one other reason for this could be you are working in Preview mode rather than Normal mode, in which case you should switch to Normal mode (which is what you should generally use when working), as shown in the Change the screen mode recipe in Chapter 1.

  1. Having added an existing frame to the story, we would now like to create a third frame as part of the story, as shown in Figure 2.40. Switch to the Selection tool and select the top-right frame that we created in step 2. Now, click once on the out port, which may or may not be red, and then click and drag on the document exactly where you would like the new frame to be created. This new frame will be automatically included in the story:
Figure 2.40: Adding a new frame at the end of a story

Figure 2.40: Adding a new frame at the end of a story

  1. Having threaded together three frames, create a fourth frame below the first frame on the left-hand page.
  2. We now want to insert this frame into the middle of the story, and it makes the most sense to do so after the top-left frame but before the right-hand frames in this instance. This would result in the story flowing down the left-hand page before then continuing down the right-hand page.

To insert the new frame into the middle of the story, select the frame that you would like to insert it after—in this case, the frame at the top of our left-hand page—and click the out port of that frame (marked as B in Figure 2.38). Your cursor will now change, and you should click into the new frame, which will cause InDesign to insert the frame at that point in the story, continuing the rest of the story afterward.

In Figure 2.41, I have added the bottom-left frame to the story, causing the threads to update and include the bottom-left frame in the middle of the story:

Figure 2.41: Inserting a text frame into the middle of an existing story

Figure 2.41: Inserting a text frame into the middle of an existing story

  1. Having now threaded four frames over two pages, we might decide we would like the second page to be an independent story from the first page. To achieve this, we need to first break the thread at the end of page 1. To do this, select the last frame you want in the first story, and then double-click the out port of that frame. This breaks the threading at that point, with any text beyond that being brought into that second frame as overset text.
  2. You now have a story on page 1 with two frames, and a second story on page 2 with two frames; however, all the text is currently in the first story, with nothing in the second. To correct this, we will place the cursor at the end of the first story, and on the keyboard hit Ctrl (PC)/Cmd (Mac) + Shift + End. This is a useful shortcut that selects all text from that point through to the end of the story, including overset text. Having selected the text, you can select Cut from the Edit menu to cut it out, and then click into the new story and select Paste from the Edit menu to copy the text into the new frames.

In order to reverse this, let’s now thread our second and third frames back together by clicking the out port in frame 2 and clicking into frame 3.

Advanced quick tip

Would you like to remove a single frame from a story and have it retain its own text, while automatically reflowing the other frames? If so, go to the Window menu, and under Utilities open the Scripts panel. In the Scripts panel, expand the Application section, then expand the Samples section, followed by the JavaScript section. Select the frame you want to separate out and now double-click the BreakFrame.jsx extension listed in the panel. Job done.

  1. One thing you might want to do when working with stories is completely remove a single frame from a thread while retaining its content within the story. In this case, we will remove the top-right frame from the story. Simply select it and hit Delete, and you will find that while the frame is deleted, the text remains as part of the story.

Having done this, let’s now delete all but the first frame.

  1. When threading frames, sometimes you might want to thread multiple frames together without having to select each frame and click on the out port to individually thread them. To do this, select the frame and click the out port ready to thread your text. Now, hold down the Alt (PC)/Option (Mac) key while creating your new frame. When you let go of the mouse button, you will find not only has the text threaded into the new frame, but you can carry straight on and do more frames, and as long as you keep holding down the Alt (PC)/Option (Mac) key, it will let you keep creating new frames, all of which are threaded.

Tip

Would you like to unthread a whole story? Simply select a frame in the story and go to the Window menu, then under Utilities, open the Scripts panel. In the Scripts panel, expand the Application section, then expand the Samples section, followed by the JavaScript section. Select a frame in the story, and now double-click the SplitStory.jsx extension listed in the panel.

 

Using text frame options

The text frame options can be a useful feature when working with text in InDesign. You can use them to format your text into multiple columns within a frame, apply inset spacing around the edge of a frame, align your text vertically within a frame, and lots more.

In this recipe, we will look at some of the more useful features of this dialog box, along with some practical examples of how these are applied.

Getting ready

In order to complete this recipe, simply open InDesign on your system and create a new document with 12 pages, as shown in the Creating a new document recipe in Chapter 1. During this exercise, you will need to be able to create text frames and add placeholder text, as shown in the Creating text frames and adding placeholder text recipe.

How to do it…

In order to use text frame options, follow these steps:

  1. Let’s start by adding a large text frame and filling it with placeholder text. Select the frame, then under the Object menu, choose Text Frame Options. You can also access the feature by right-clicking on the text frame and then choosing Text Frame Options. This will bring up the Text Frame Options dialog box, as seen in Figure 2.42:
Figure 2.42: Text Frame Options dialog box

Figure 2.42: Text Frame Options dialog box

  1. In the Columns dropdown (marked as A in Figure 2.42), you have a choice of three options:
    • Fixed Number: Lets you decide the number (marked as B in Figure 2.42) of columns to use
    • Fixed Width: Lets you set the width (marked as C in Figure 2.42) value of columns, and InDesign automatically adjusts the text frame width to compensate
    • Flexible Width: Allows you to set a maximum width (marked as D in Figure 2.42) value for your columns, and InDesign will add as many equally sized columns as possible without exceeding this width on each column

There is also a Gutter option here (marked as E in Figure 2.42) that allows you to control the space between the columns (we won’t be using this, but it’s worth knowing).

In our case, we will choose Fixed Number and set the number value to 2, and then click OK. This will result in the text frame having two columns of equal width.

  1. Next, we will delete a bit of text from the second column, and you will notice the columns automatically become unbalanced, with the first column being full while the second column is now half empty, as shown in Figure 2.43. To resolve this, bring up the Text Frame options again, as shown in step 1, and click the Balance Columns checkbox (marked as A in Figure 2.43), and InDesign will attempt to balance out the columns to a similar length, as seen in Figure 2.44:
Figure 2.43: Balancing columns in Text Frame Options

Figure 2.43: Balancing columns in Text Frame Options

  1. When working on multiple-column layouts, you might want to add column rules into the gutter separating the columns. In the Text Frame Options dialog box, you will see down the left-hand side there are five options to choose from, and with our text frame set to two columns, we will now click on the second of these options, which is Column Rules (marked as A in Figure 2.44), and this will bring up the Column Rules options.

Column rules are decorative dividing lines that can be inserted between the columns, and if you choose to use these, you can format them to the style you prefer. You can turn column rules on and off with the checkbox at the top of the dialog box (marked as B in Figure 2.44):

Figure 2.44: The Column Rules options within the Text Frame Options dialog box

Figure 2.44: The Column Rules options within the Text Frame Options dialog box

The settings available when creating column rules will include the following:

  • Rule Length |Start and End: How far from the top and bottom of the column the rule starts and ends (marked as C in Figure 2.44)
  • Horizontal position | Offset: Allows you to move the column rule from left to right in relation to the column gap (marked as D in Figure 2.44)
  • Stroke Weight: How thick the column rule is going to be (marked as E in Figure 2.44)
  • Type: The type of line used for the column rule; you can choose here from a range of decorative presets (marked as F in Figure 2.44)
  • Colour: Lets you set the color of the line (marked as G in Figure 2.44)
  • Tint: Lets you adjust the lightness of the color by changing the white content (marked as H in Figure 2.44)
  • The Overprint box is for creating effects within print and can be left disabled when creating standard column rules

In our case, we will leave the column rules with all default settings except for Type, which we will change to a Dashed (3 and 2) line.

  1. Another useful feature of the Text Frame Options feature is the inset spacing. Let’s create another small text frame, but this time give the frame a background color. To do this, simply select the frame with the Selection tool, and then click the Fill box on the Control panel (marked as A in Figure 2.45) and change the Colour value to Cyan:
Figure 2.45: Changing the frame fill color

Figure 2.45: Changing the frame fill color

  1. Now, right-click on the text frame and open Text Frame Options (or, if you prefer, do so from the Object menu). In the General section, you will see an Inset Spacing option with entry boxes for Top, Bottom, Left, and Right. All four are linked by default, so changing one will change the others. If you wish to unlink them, you can click the small link symbol (marked as A in Figure 2.46); in this instance, we won’t do so. We will increase the indent value (marked as B in Figure 2.46) to 6 mm, and you should now have an area of padding around the edge of your frame (marked as C in Figure 2.46).

If you don’t see the changes immediately, just check that the Preview checkbox is checked (marked as D in Figure 2.46):

Figure 2.46: Changing inset spacing in Text Frame Options

Figure 2.46: Changing inset spacing in Text Frame Options

 

See also

In this chapter, we have looked at working with text in InDesign; however, if you are regularly formatting text, I would strongly advise learning to use paragraph and character styles as this will save you a significant amount of time. They are covered in Chapter 9, Formatting with Paragraph and Character Styles.

About the Author
  • Andy Gardiner

    Andy Gardiner is an Adobe Certified Instructor and CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer, delivering regular courses on the Adobe CC software for UK based Highlander. Based in York he delivers classes live online as well as at clients offices, and over the years has taught thousands of students from well known organizations. Andy started working with design tools in the early 90s when he first used one of the early versions of QuarkXPress, before moving on to use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, and gradually amassing a total of 20 Adobe Certified Expert certifications. When he's not teaching Andy is also actively involved in grassroots football coaching and can often be seen dragging goals around on a cold winter morning

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