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QuarkXPress 8 : Typography - Working with tabs

10/15/2011 4:53:16 PM
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Setting tabs

To set tabs for selected paragraphs, you can use the Tabs tab of the Paragraph Attributes dialog box (Style > Tabs) shown in Figure 1. A more interactive method of working with tabs, however, is to use the Tabs tab of the Measurements palette (Figure 2). Either way, the controls are basically the same. To set tabs for selected paragraphs:

1.
Display the Tabs tab of the Paragraph Attributes dialog box (Style > Tabs) or the Measurements palette .

2.
First click one of the alignment buttons to specify how text aligns with the tab stop: Left, Center, Right, Decimal, Comma, or Align On. If you click Align On, you can enter an alignment character in the Align On field.

3.
Enter a value in the Position field or click on the tab ruler above the text box.

4.
Click Set to create the tab stop. When you set a tab stop, the default tab stops to the left of it are removed.

Figure 1. If the tiny icons in the Measurements palette aren’t for you, set tabs with the Tabs tab of the Paragraph Attributes dialog box.


Figure 2. A decimal tab, set with the Tabs tab of the Measurements palette, helps align numbers.

Tip: First Line Indents Versus Tabs

In general, use a first line indent to indent the first line of a paragraph rather than entering a tab. Each tab has to be entered manually, but you can apply a first line indent through a paragraph style sheet, which saves time and ensures consistency.

Specifying fill characters for tabs

You can specify one character to repeat or two characters to alternate to fill the white space created by a tab. Fill characters help draw the eye across a line—for example, the dotted line in a table of contents helps readers find the page number. (The dotted line, referred to as a dot leader, is actually a fill character of periods.) Enter one or two characters in the Fill Characters field as you create a tab or for a tab stop selected on the tab ruler (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Here, the left-aligned tab at .75" has a fill character of a period and a space, which creates more space between dots in the dot leader.

Modifying tabs

To change the position or any other attribute of a tab, click the tab stop icon on the tab ruler. Change any of the values in the Tabs tab of the Paragraph Attributes dialog box (Style > Tabs) or the Measurements palette. You can also drag the tab stop on the ruler to view a vertical guide that helps with placement (Figure 4). To delete a tab stop, drag its icon off the ruler. To delete all tab stops, click Clear All.

Figure 4. When you drag a tab stop icon on the tab ruler, a vertical guide displays to help with placement.

Tip: Copying Tabs to Selected Paragraphs

Often, you’ll set tabs perfectly for one paragraph, then realize you need the same tab settings in another paragraph. To quickly copy paragraph attributes, select all the paragraphs that need the new tab settings. Then, Option+Shift+click (Mac) or Alt+Shift+click (Windows) the paragraph with the right settings.

Entering a right-indent tab

To force text to the right indent of a paragraph—regardless of any tab settings—press Option+Tab (Mac) or Alt+Tab (Windows). You might do this to place an “end-of-story character” flush with the right margin.

Creating drop caps

A common trick for drawing the eye into a story is to create a drop cap for the first paragraph. A drop cap is generally the first letter of a paragraph that is enlarged and dropped down two or three lines into a paragraph—but you are not limited to one letter or even capital letters. You can drop up to 127 characters into a maximum of 16 lines. While a drop cap appears to affect characters, it is actually a paragraph attribute that can be applied quickly through a paragraph style sheet. As a paragraph style, the drop cap formatting is not dependent on specific text—you can change the text at the beginning of a paragraph and the drop cap remains.

To create a drop cap for a selected paragraph, use the Formats tab of the Paragraph Attributes dialog box (Style > Formats) or the Paragraph Attributes tab of the Measurements palette (Figure 5). Check Drop Caps and enter a value in the Character Count and Line Count fields. Once a drop cap is applied, you can select the characters and apply a character style sheet to change the color or font. In addition, sometimes you may need to adjust the drop cap based on the context—for example, if the paragraph starts with a quotation mark, you may want to adjust the character count from one character to two.

Figure 5. The Paragraph Attributes tab of the Measurements palette lets you create drop caps. Here, one character drops three lines as shown in the Character Count field (left) and the Line Count field (right).

Tip: Creating Initial Caps

Drop caps are not the only way to draw the eye into a story. Often, the first character or characters of a paragraph are embellished in some other way—popped up above the paragraph, enlarged significantly and placed outside the margin, copied and screened behind the story, or even replaced with a graphic.

 
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