Posts in Category "Typography"

InDesign CS4 Styling Priority

Adobe InDesign CS4 contains a couple of powerful enhancements to Paragraph Styles. In addition to Nested Styles, CS4 enables you to apply character level styling on a line-by-line basis within a paragraph, or using GREP to identify and style runs of text. For example, you can use a GREP Style to automatically italicize any URL that appears in your text.

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Making Type Work on Structures

A colleague here at Adobe shared this link with me, and I thought it was cool enough to post here. This is a rather wild example of how to make useful signage on 3-D surfaces.

Eureka Carpark Melbourne

Phinney on Fonts

Adobe’s Tom Phinney has produced a very useful post on his blog describing the three main kinds of font conflicts encountered by InDesign. Highly recommended.

Adventures in GREP

InDesign expert Mike Witherell has a great little article on using GREP in InDesign CS3 on his website.

Why Only Align First Line?

As an addendum to the anchored frame tip, I also wanted to point out the usefulness of another under-used InDesign feature, Only Align First Line to Grid.

As the name implies, it’s meant for those of use who are not gridphobic, and who want some flexibility in how our paragraphs work with a document grid.

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Anchored Frames Productivity Shortcut

InDesign’s anchored frames feature is a life-saver for certain types of publishing jobs. If you’re in a situation where you’re creating the same type of anchored frame over and over again, then here’s a tip that might help your work go much faster and save a lot of production time.

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Real World "Apply Next"

I answered a question the other day that came from the newspaper sector. The answer is worth repeating for the rest of the world, because it involves what I think is an under-used InDesign feature.

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Breaking Ligatures

Anne-Marie ConcepciĆ³n of InDesign Secrets sent me this question:

Interesting that kerning between the letters of a ligature breaks it, but
selecting all the letters in the ligature and tracking them in does not, at least not until it’s a significant amount. Why?

According to our composition engineer:

Neither justification or tracking will break ligatures until a hard-coded distance threshold has been exceeded. Kerning, however, is considered to be an adjustment applied to a particular combination of characters–in some cases represented by a ligatur–directly and specifically, and therefore it gets treated differently.

Tabbed Text Into Tables

There’s a great new productivity feature in InDesign CS3 that you may not have heard about. In InDesign CS3 you can now copy and paste tabbed text across a selection of table cells.

For example, suppose you have last issue’s finished, formatted table:

and now I have this month’s updated content. The formatting of the table remains the same, I just need to replace the text in some of the cells.

One way to do this in CS3 is to link to an external Excel spreadsheet that you import into InDesign and update the link. If you’ve formatted your table using InDesign CS3′s table styles, you’ll retain most of your formatting.

But suppose you don’t have a new spreadsheet. Suppose what you’re handed for the new issue is some tab-delimited text that came from who-knows-where:

All you need to do to replace the content in the old table with your new tab delimited content is copy the tabbed text to the clipboard, select the range of cells to be updated, and then paste into the table using the Paste Without Formatting command (cmd/ctrl + shift + V). By using this command, the text will adopt the formatting of the table cells into which you are pasting it.

The ability to intelligently paste tabbed text into an existing table is a great new productivity feature that can save you a ton of time if you’re regularly updating table data.

The Non-Joiner Character

One of the new features in InDesign CS3 is the addition of the Non-joiner special character. This character is available via both the Type menu and the text contextual menu via the Insert Special Character command.

If you’ve wondered about the purpose of this special character (no, it’s not a zero-width, anti-social, loner*), here it is: the Non-joiner either breaks or prevents the automatic contextual substitution of special letterforms like ligatures and OpenType’s contextual alternates.

So, if it’s the case that you’re setting your type, you need automatic ligatures and contextual alternates, but you want to make an exception at a particular point in your text, you just drop in the Non-joiner, and it will function like a chaperone at a 50′s highschool dance that prevents any undesirable coupling:

In this example, the OpenType font Bickham Script wants to connect the “o” and the “S” with a contextual alternate with a connector. By inserting the Non-joiner, the contextual substitution is prevented. Also note the symbol that’s used to represent the Non-joiner when you turn on “Show Hidden Characters.”


*This joke courtesy of Adobe’s Mike Richman