Special Typography: Tracking, Kerning, Leading, Alignment and Drop Caps

Grace Fussell
A free video tutorial from Grace Fussell
Graphic Designer & Adobe InDesign Instructor, InDesignSkills
4.4 instructor rating • 1 course • 2,720 students

Lecture description

InDesign offers some really cool options for customising your text. Let's take a look at what you can do...

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05:06:06 of on-demand video • Updated September 2018

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English [Auto] In this lesson you're going to develop all type poker the basics and take a look at some of the special little formatting tricks that you can use to enhance text in your design documents. So let's open up the foodie magazine working draft document that you saved at the end of the last Boston and open them up. Now if you want to follow along in design go on pause the video and I'll be waiting for you right. Let's get to it. So the first thing you need to know about type poker face in Indesign is that there are loads of unusual sounding words to describe different effects that you can apply to your text. First these terms might be a bit confusing but the more that you use them the more natural it will become to remember their names and their meaning. So let's return to the first page of our foodie magazine document which is going to be the front cover of our publication. So at the moment you've got a couple of text frames on the page which we created the last lesson and we look briefly at how to switch up the font and the weight of the text as well as how you can adjust the font size. So what else can we do. Let's select the title from the Tools panel and click into the text frame with the heading. Love your kitchen. So highlight those first three words. Love your kitchen. Now let's do what we did earlier and change the font. The font size so head up to the carrot to formatting controls panel that's appeared now the top of the workspace and select Gilsons and G from the dropdown menu. If you've used the font recently Indesign will list it in a little section of the top of the menu which is really useful. So you don't always need to be scrolling all the way down the list. Now increase the font size to 22 points. So it's looking Passo But how can we make the love your kitchen phrase looks like more of a hatting. So the first thing that we can do is to increase the space between the heading and the rest of the text. The space between lines of text is called leading. And you can find the option to just stay in the correct formatting control panel just below the font size option lets move the text frame into position on the page. So switch to the selection to grab the frame and drag it to sit below the yellow rectangle at the bottom left the page just to the left side the frame resting on the margin. Now let's just make the text a little bit longer so typing in heart of the. So it now reads fittings for the heart of the home and you can also hover over the right side frame and two little two headed arrow symbol appears. And this means that you can adjust the width of the text frame so you can click and hold and drag the frame to the left. If you need to until you have for the heart of the home sitting on the first line of the text frame. OK so we're in position so let's get back to formatting the heading of our text frame. First thing to know about loading is that the space between the lines is increased upwards so which Evaline you select the lettering increases above that line. That's if you select just a single line to format. So let's try that. Now highlight just these words new equipment and fittings and manually increase the letting of just that line to 26 points and you can see how it's totally spaced that line out. So hittable you to switch to preview mode to just get a better view of it and then hit you again and to go back into the normal mode if you want to just the letting of a whole paragraph. You should place your cursor somewhere in the paragraph or highlight the whole paragraph to just the loading of all the text in a text frame. Select the text frame with the selection tool then switch to the typed tool to bring up the cart. Formatting controls panel and you can do just the letting of the whole frame from there. So it's just added to that and just keep that slightly increased lotting on the second line of the text. Another thing that you can do to your text to make headings and titles stand out is to set them in all caps and you don't need to manually type a text in uppercase yourself in design has an option available to you in both the character and paragraph formatting controls panels to let you instant change the text to uppercase. Let's take a look at the foody text frame that we have at the top of the page. Let's highlight the whole word using the type to open the character formatting controls panel. You can see a little double t icon just to the right but the font size text box. Click the icon to set the text in all caps to remove it. Just click the icon again. Click again to press the button down and apply the effect. It's looking really nice. So let's do the same for the love your kitchen heading. It's just a really good tip for doing headings is to set them in all caps how to text and click the T.T. all caps icon in the control panel must make the text stand out even more. Not just the font white to semi bold from the drop down menu at the left of the panel. OK now of foodie magazine title is looking a little bit too compact and squashed into the left corner of the page. So how can we get the text more impact and make it appear more legible without having to increase the font size. Well this is where tracking comes into play. So no thinking under the term that I have to remember. And you will be right. But tracking simply refers to the spacing between a group of letters or characters. You can find tracking appear in the character formatting control panel just along from the all caps button is symbolized by two letters a V and a double ended arrow. So hover over the icon and you'll see that in design reminds you this is for increasing or decreasing tracking. By default when you create any new text the trucking will be set to zero. You can pick from a range of options to the spacing of your letters so you can reduce the space by picking from the negative values which gives the text a more compressed appearance. Or you can choose to increase the spacing. 200 might be a bit much for our purposes here. Select manually type in 90 into the text box to spread the foody title across the width between the margins on the page. Another term you may have heard of before and is related but a little bit different to tracking is turning. This refers to the space between just two individual letters or characters. So if he wants to increase the space between the F and O of food for example we could set our type cursor between the two letters hatchbacks up to the character formatting control panel and find the kerning option just above the tracking option. Click the arrow to the ranch the text box to increase the space between the two letters by 10 units at a time. After you've experimented delete the kerning and return it back to zero. The other thing we can alter is the alignment of text on your document. The best way to edit this is to click the paragraph symbol to the left of the control panel to open up the paragraph formatting control panel. From here we can see a number of different options for aligning R-Tex. So I got the usual suspects along the top row. Align the text to the left or to the right and also flushing at center. Below that we've got options to justify the text in different ways which means that the text is pulled across the whole of the text frame to create more of a very straight block of text. We can try to justify all lines option with the love your kitchen text frame to give you an idea of how it would look. So just define text often looks better with larger sections of bodies. So let's keep the bits of text set to align left. Now we can make sure that the food is high so is centered in its frame by selecting a line center from the top row. We also have these options that you can use when you're creating a document with facing pages wish to align the text either towards or away from the spine so it's rare that you'd want or need to use them. They're a bit more unique but is good to be aware of the flexibility the Indesign gives you with formatting the alignment of your text and another really cool type of Achrafieh feature in Indesign which can really pull your designs together. Is the option to apply a drop cap to your text. Let's try that with the paragraph beginning. New equipment and fittings at the bottom of the page. So just clicking the paragraph to set it type cursor into the frame. Now still with the paragraph formatting control panel up at the top of the workspace selected look along from the alignment options past the options for applying indents and you'll see a little symbol with a letter a alongside some lines of text and a little vertical double ended arrow. So hover over that and you'll see the caption. Drop cap number of lines appear next to your cursor. And this allows us to decide how many lines of text that you want to drop cup to extend down to. So if we click the up arrow and increase the value to 1 nothing happens to your text as the drop cap is only reaching across the height of one line increase again to two. And now Valletta and is pulled out in a lovely drop cap. The next option along to the right also allows you to set how many characters you want including the drop cap. So increase that to then 3 and the whole word new is pulled out in larger text. Now that's not to say the drop cap will always suit your type of graphy. In this case it's drawing attention away from the kitchen heading so it might not be working as well. So let's set both the drop cap number of lines and drop cap one or more characters to zero. That's great work your text is really starting to look pull together and professional So in this lesson we've looked to house and special typography effects can transform and enhance your designs just in the space between lines of text which is known as alledging can make your text more readable and help to separate sections of text from each of them to create more visual breathing space increasing the space between a group of characters and your text can also be a good technique for improving legibility and filling space on the page about needing to increase the font size. And we call this tracking. You can also increase or decrease the space between two individual characters by adjusting the kerning of the text. We've also looks at how the alignment of paragraphs of text can be adjusted from the paragraph formatting control panel. And finally we touched upon drop caps and how they can add impact and 40 to a paragraph. So fantastic work guys. There are a lot of new terms taken here. So you may want to replace like lecture if you still feel better in the dark about what these terms might mean. But don't worry too much the more the use and design the more natural using these terms is going to become so stick with me in the next lesson. We're going to look at how you can apply color to your type graphy and also talk about how we can adjust things like tents and paste of your text and also how we can add effects like drop shadows and gradients to switch up the look of your type of coffee. So make sure that you save your foodie magazine working dress file if you're following along and in design because we'll be coming straight back to this in the next picture. So great work so far and I'll see you in a bit.