InDesign Secrets: Using compositional highlighting to detect problems

Published by | Thursday, February 16th, 2012

In this week’s free InDesign Secrets movie, Anne-Marie Concepcion reveals the useful mysteries of compositional highlighting in InDesign. As exotic as compositional highlighting may sound, my guess is you’re quite familiar with the Substituted Fonts indicator that shows pink when your document has missing fonts, and not-so familiar with the four other highlights you can turn on to reveal potential problem areas in your document. As InDesign lists them in the Composition panel, these four lesser-know highlight options are:

Keep Violations—Lets you know where InDesign has had to violate any keep settings you’ve applied to your paragraphs (like “keep the heading with the next two body sentences”).

H&J Violations—Reveals wherever your hypenation or justification tolerances have been breached.

Custom Tracking/Kerning—Shows you where someone has hand-set kerning rather than rewriting text.

Substituted Glyphs—Reveals wherever you have used alternates for standard glyphs.

Each of these highlighting options are represented by a different color wherever they appear in your document. You can find them by opening the Preferences panel (Ctrl-K or ⌘-K), and then choosing the Composition panel where you can turn on the check boxes. Since InDesign automatically chooses what color will appear for each compositional highlight, and there’s no color-key to help you discern what color is designated to each highlight, I’ve taken the liberty of creating the following image to help you. (Note that Keep Violations occurs so rarely, not even an InDesign goddess like Anne-Marie could force one to happen, so I left that one color-free.)

Meanwhile, for members we have an exclusive movie this week from Anne-Marie’s partner in InDesign secrecy, David Blatner. While Anne-Marie is sharing a secret to whip your document into shape, David’s got the goods on managing your workspace with Managing your InDesign panels.

See you back in two weeks with two fresh secrets from Anne-Marie and David!

Interested in more?
• All the InDesign Secrets on
• Courses by David Blatner on
• Courses by Anne-Marie Concepcion on
• All InDesign courses

Suggested courses to watch next:
• InDesign CS5 Essential Training
• InDesign CS5.5 New Features
• InDesign Styles in Depth

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