How to Hang Text in the Margin
I was just wanting to know the best way to have characters hang. I’m designing a business card and i want the T (telephone) and F (fax) to hang away from the numbers.
Hanging text means making the first line of text stick out to the left slightly, beyond the normal margin. There are three basic ways to hang text.
First, you can give a paragraph a positive Left Indent and a negative First Line Indent. That forces the whole paragraph to the right, then “pulls” the first line back. You cannot make the negative first line indent “larger” than the left indent, though — that is, you can’t use this to make a first line stick out beyond the left edge of a text frame.
An alternate version of this is to use automatic bullets. This adds a left indent and negative first line indent for you. This could be useful, however, if you needed to apply a special graphic at the beginning of a lot of lines. For example, if you were doing a directory, and you wanted each phone number to have a little phone graphic next to it, you could make a paragraph style that used automatic bullets, and specify a phone icon to be the bullet.
In the following image, note that all the paragraphs are indented to leave room for the “hanging” icons.
You can also create a hanging indent with the Indent to Here character (which you can find in the Type > Insert Special Characters submenu, or by pressing Command/Ctrl-backslash). This forces all subsequent lines of a paragraph to indent to that position. So if you type a character, then a tab, then the Indent to Here character, the rest of the paragraph will indent to that position, making the first character hang.
The third method is a hack, but it is the only way to get text to stick out beyond the left edge of a text box: Type a space (or better, use a fixed width space, such as a Thin Space) before the first character in the paragraph. Then apply a huge amount of kerning between the space and the character you want to hang. The more you kern, the farther out the first line goes.
There are other methods, too, of course, such as anchoring objects that hang outside the frame. But these three work for most situations.