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QuarkXPress 8 : Typography - Formatting characters and paragraphs

10/15/2011 4:49:49 PM
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Formatting characters

Character attributes apply to selected text or to the text insertion point (so you can start typing text with the specified attributes). You’ll find most of the character attributes you need in the Classic tab (Figure 1) or the Character Attributes tab of the Measurements palette. If you’re not sure what a control does, point at it to display its tool tip. Commands in the top portion of the Style menu and in the Character Attributes dialog box (Style > Character) round out all the character attributes available in QuarkXPress (Figure 2).

Figure 1. Here, the selected text is in a different font and color than the rest of the line as shown in the Classic tab of the Measurements palette.

Figure 2. The Character Attributes dialog box consolidates nearly all the character attributes in QuarkXPress—some of which are specific to typesetting in other languages.

Tip: Special Effects for Type

In addition to familiar controls such as font, size, color, and type style, QuarkXPress offers character attributes such as opacity and scaling. Other special effects for text are box based, such as the ability to skew or flip all the text in a box.


Understanding Fonts

The important thing to understand about fonts is that they are not part of QuarkXPress. They are individual files that are activated (turned on) through your system or through a font manager such as Suitcase Fusion. Once activated, they show up in QuarkXPress menus.

If a font is missing, you either need to activate it or purchase and install it. You can buy fonts from vendors such as Linotype and Bitstream—and you should buy them as they are licensed pieces of software (rather than, say, “borrowing” them from friends and coworkers). Companies may have site licenses or enforce work rules that ensure legal font usage.

When you buy fonts, keep in mind that they come in a variety of formats: PostScript, OpenType, TrueType, and so on. PostScript Type 1 fonts ruled high-end publishing for a long time, but OpenType fonts are rapidly becoming the standard as the same files can be used on both Mac and Windows. Fonts also come from different vendors such as International Typeface Corporation and Adobe. Generally, fonts include multiple “faces” such as bold, italic, and condensed versions. If multiple faces of a font are active, the QuarkXPress Font menus display a submenu for selecting just the right font face (Figure 3). Note that for proper output, you must apply the bold or italic face of a font rather than the QuarkXPress Bold or Italic type style.

Figure 3. When multiple faces of a font are active, the font menus display a submenu that lets you select the right face.

When it comes to fonts, the name is not a unique identifier. Fonts in different formats, from different vendors—and even in different versions from the same vendor—are not interchangeable. Small variations in fonts can and will cause text to reflow, possibly ruining a layout. As a result, it’s important that a workgroup use precisely the same fonts and that fonts are provided with QuarkXPress layouts as necessary for output. You can package fonts with a layout through File > Collect for Output.


Formatting paragraphs

Paragraph attributes apply to selected paragraphs or to the paragraph containing the text insertion point. A few paragraph attributes are available in the Classic tab of the Measurements palette, but you’ll find more complete controls in the Paragraph Attributes tab (Figure 4). Use tool tips to help identify the palette icons. The Paragraph Attributes dialog box (Style > Formats) consolidates all the paragraph attributes available in QuarkXPress (Figure 5).

Figure 4. The Paragraph Attributes tab of the Measurements palette lets you change the indents, space before and after, leading, alignment, and drop caps for paragraphs.

Figure 5. To quickly set many paragraph attributes, use the Paragraph Attributes dialog box (Style > Formats). The Formats tab provides additional controls, such as Keep with Next ¶, and uses clear labels so you don’t have to decipher icons.


Understanding Leading

In typography, the spacing between lines is referred to as leading—an antiquated term derived from the actual strips of lead used to add space in 19th-century era hot metal typesetting. In QuarkXPress, leading is a paragraph attribute that is measured from baseline to baseline (the baseline is the invisible line that text rests on).

In general, it’s better to use an absolute amount of leading, such as 12 point, rather than the default option of Auto. The Auto leading feature calculates the amount of space between lines based on the largest character in each line—which can lead to inconsistent line spacing within a paragraph. QuarkXPress also accepts incremental leading values, such as +2, that are added to the font size to calculate the leading. So 12 point type with +2 incremental leading places 14 points of space between lines. Incremental leading can also lead to inconsistent line spacing.


Tip: Hanging Indents for Bulleted and Numbered Lists

To create bulleted lists and numbered lists in QuarkXPress, you need to create a hanging indent through tabs and paragraph attributes. Set a tab stop and left indent for the paragraph at the same location, then set a negative first line indent. For example, if you set a tab stop at .25″ and a left indent of .25″, the first line indent should be –.25″. Place the bullet or numeral—formatted with a character style sheet—before the tab stop.

 
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