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QuarkXPress 8 : Fine-tuning spacing (part 1) - Specifying hyphenation and justification

10/27/2011 5:03:44 PM
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Fine-tuning spacing

A distinguishing factor of good typography is expert spacing, with no gaps in justified text, a smooth edge on left-aligned paragraphs, no awkward hyphens or line breaks, no large gaps between letters, and more. With attention to detail and a few QuarkXPress features—including hyphenation, justification, kerning, tracking, special spaces, and hanging characters—you can achieve this expert spacing. As with other typography features, select characters and paragraphs for spacing adjustments with the Text Content tool .

Specifying hyphenation and justification

The spacing within a paragraph is largely controlled by hyphenation and justification settings—even for text that is not justified. In QuarkXPress, hyphenation and justification settings are saved as styles called H&Js that can be specified in paragraph style sheets and shared among projects through File > Append. Prior to version 7 of QuarkXPress, it was important to create your own H&Js and experiment with all the settings. Recent versions of QuarkXPress, including version 8, include a variety of expert H&Js that may suit all your needs.

To create H&Js, choose Edit > H&Js. The H&Js dialog box lists all the H&Js for use in the project (Figure 1). Click New or Edit to display the Edit Hyphenation & Justification dialog box and adjust the H&J (Figure 5.18).

Figure 1. At left, the H&Js dialog box lists two custom H&Js at the top (CE and deck) along with the QuarkXPress defaults (Narrow Measure, No Hyphenation, Standard, Titles, Very Narrow Measure, and Wide Measure). At right, the Edit Hyphenation & Justification dialog box provides controls such as Auto Hyphenation and Single Word Justify.

  • Auto Hyphenation controls: If you check Auto Hyphenation, consult editors on hyphenation settings: While hyphenation affects how text looks, it also affects how it reads. Consult an editor on topics such as whether to hyphenate capitalized words, how many words in a row to hyphenate, and how many characters should remain before or after a hyphen. The final H&J may be a compromise that produces clean spacing and legible text.

  • Justification Method controls: The controls in the Justification Method area control the amount of space added and removed between characters and words, particularly in justified text. Due to the esoteric nature of these controls, you may be better off starting with one of the default H&Js included with QuarkXPress and adjusting it. The H&J names indicate usage: No Hyphenation is appropriate for body text that is not hyphenated; Titles is used for headings that are not hyphenated; and Narrow Measure, Very Narrow Measure, and Wide Measure are fine-tuned for different column widths.

Tip: Append New H&Js

During the development of QuarkXPress 7, Quark product managers consulted with expert type setters—including Brad Walrod, renowned for typesetting the Harry Potter books—to adjust the default Standard H&J and create several new H&Js, including Narrow Measure, No Hyphenation, Titles, Very Narrow Measure, and Wide Measure. The adjustments to Standard and new H&Js will not be included in projects created prior to version 7. If that is the case, you can append the new H&Js from a project created in QuarkXPress 7 or later (File > Append).


Applying H&Js

To apply an H&J to selected paragraphs, choose an option from the H&J menu in the Formats tab of the Paragraph Attributes dialog box or the Edit Paragraph Style Sheet dialog box. The default H&J is Standard, which hyphenates text and provides expert spacing within standard column widths. Experiment with the different default H&Js and your own to get the best look for the font size, alignment, leading, column width, and content in use (Figure 2).

Figure 2. At left, the Standard H&J applied to left-aligned text. At right, No Hyphenation applied to the same text. Changing the H&J can significantly affect the color of blocks of text and the overall tone of a document.

Tip: Adjusting Line Breaks

Settings in the H&J applied to a paragraph and the hyphenation exceptions specified for the project largely control the spacing and line endings in a paragraph. You can further perfect line endings by manually breaking lines with the New Line character (Shift+Return). Since manual line breaks remain if text reflows, it’s a good idea to do this after the formatting and text are final.


Tip: Preventing Widows

To prevent one line of a paragraph from ending up alone at the top or bottom of a column, use the Keep Lines Together controls in the Formats tab of the Paragraph Attributes dialog box. To keep subheads with accompanying text or keep the bulleted paragraphs in a list together, use the Keep With Next ¶ control.

 
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