Text Layout in Indesign

December 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Thinking & Practice Tutorial 2/12/13

In this session we looked at the basics of InDesign layout and were given some tips and tricks to make editorial design easier and avoid potential problems. We created a new document with three columns. An imported sample text was placed into the first column. The obvious way of linking the text across the three columns is to use the red plus, but if there is a lot of text that needs to go across a large number of pages, this will take ages – especially if it is done manually. The way to avoid this is to use auto flow and press shift whilst doing so – this fills all columns with text.

If there are a lot of paragraphs in the text and it is not formatted before importing into the document, the ‘Space After’ tool enables InDesign to do this for you – once you have activated the tool and set the chosen millimetres to fit in to the design, InDesign will automatically format the text. The drop cap is another useful tool – it creates a large first letter at beginning of paragraph which is seen a lot in professional editorial. Instead of doing it manually and potentially misaligning the text, using the tool is a useful feature.

If you are using digital photos in an Indesign document, it is important to use high quality only and to make sure the image is set to 300 dpi (dots per image). If  a low quality image is used and then the document is blown up, then it will appear pixelated. When images are imported, move it into the position in the document that is required – but do not alter the text around the image yourself, especially if you require a wrap around effect. Make sure the image is reduced in proportion. On the paste board, a rectangle was added over the image and  the ‘arrange > send to back’ tool was used.

Using the clipping path tool to remove the edges around a photo or to cut it out from it’s background is an extremely useful feature of InDesign, but usually it only works with images upon a white background. Enabling ‘detect edges’ removes the background and allows us to place the image in the document. Enabling text wrap will warp the text around the image – this can be adjusted depending how far away you require the text to be from the image. Drawing a shape with the pen tool then using the text tool and going to ‘File > Place’ and clicking on the sample text will fit to the shape that has been drawn. You can do the inverse of this by pressing and holding text tool going to ‘Text Along Path’ and placing sample text as before. Drawing around the shape created then cutting and pasting into that shape will keep the image but the shape mask will remain.


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