Got two minutes? Great. Check out this week’s top-secret tip on something David Blatner calls “the keyboard dance”, a technique for making really precise text selections in Adobe InDesign straight from the keyboard. You can even select text before the cursor. So let your fingers do the talking and click through for the full tip.
Posts Tagged ‘text’
GREP (Global Regular Expression Parsing) is one of the most powerful features of Adobe InDesign, but it’s often overlooked since it hides within other capabilities like Find/Change and Paragraph Styles. Once you learn the basics of GREP, you might wonder how you ever worked without it.
If you’re not familiar with GREP and its relationship with InDesign, it’s used for both simple and complex text operations. Simply put, GREP lets you automate formatting and find/changing of text, based on patterns in the text.
The Place and Link feature of Adobe InDesign is amazing. If you select any object in your layout, you can go to the Edit menu, choose Place and Link, and it’s as though you were placing something that you imported from an external file. The benefit to Place and Link is that, unlike simply copying an object, the parent element and its children are linked; any change to the parent ripples down to all the other children when you update the link. This can be a huge timesaver when you need to reuse artwork or text multiple times in multiple places.
However, there’s also a way to keep the formatting of child objects in place. In this week’s InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to create multiple copies of linked text that retain their own formatting.
If you, like Deke, recoil at the sight of badly kerned text, then this week’s type-geek technique is just for you. Sure, adjusting the spacing between full-fledged characters is fairly straightforward in Photoshop: Click in between two characters with the type tool and use the Alt (or Option) key in combination with the right and left arrow keys as needed. Simple, intuitive, effective. But what about the percentage symbol, for instance? It’s actually made up of three sub-characters (a small superscript zero, a fraction-slash, and a small baseline zero). Figuring how to kern between those three components is just the kind of challenge Deke likes to take apart. And taking apart the percent character is the key to this technique.
So imagine that you have this ’100%’ text (against a background of 100% wood-free wood Deke created in last week’s free episode). It’s easy enough to kern the number characters closer together, but when you do, the percent symbol looks oddly loose, as you can see indicated by the cyan circle below. The percentage symbol uses about twice the space as the other characters. Also, the fraction character (the slash) is extending beyond the top and bottom of the respective small zeros, as indicated by the magenta lines below.
By changing the text to outlines, separating out the paths of the component pieces of the symbol, and adjusting them, Deke was able to create this much more aesthetically pleasing version:
Every week there is a new free technique from Deke, in which you get to benefit from Deke’s obsessions as well as his creativity and Photoshop and Illustrator experience. Members of the lynda.com Online Training Library® also have access to additional exclusive techniques. In fact, this week Deke will show you how to take this painstakingly kerned text and emboss it into the wood background.
Are there similar detail-level design problems that vex you into the wee hours? What are your typographic pet peeves?