Podcast 055 Transcript

To hear the audio episode from which this transcript was made, or to comment on this episode, go to the InDesignSecrets Podcast 055 page.


Anne-Marie Concepcion: Welcome to “InDesign Secrets” Episode 55. I am Anne-Marie Concepcion, and I’m here along with my lovely co-host, David Blatner.

David? David, are you there? [laughs] Oh, that’s right. How could I forget? He’s not here. [speaking in stoner voice] Dave’s not here, man.

No, David is occupied otherwise, and he asked me if I wouldn’t mind doing this podcast solo. And of course, I said I don’t mind, because we know, our podcast fans, they need their fix. So David will be back next episode, but in the meantime, I’m here to entertain you. And I have some great things planned.

So our podcast and blog at InDesignSecrets.com are the independent resource for all things InDesign. And welcome to the show.

All right, so here’s my TOC. First, of course, I’m going to start out with some news. Both David and I have speaking engagements in our respective cities. I want to mention that the InDesign CS3 manual is now available as LiveDocs on the web. And you may be wondering, “What is she talking about, a LiveDoc?” And I’ll clue you in, in a moment.

And I want to focus on a preference setting for composition highlighting. The one that we’re all familiar with is the dreaded pinking behind substituted fonts. But there’s a bunch of other things that you can turn on highlighting for that I think you might find useful.

And then, I have a fantastic Quizzler! I came up with this idea for the Quizzler, and though David doesn’t know about it yet, I think he’d approve. And I’ll be getting to that later on in the show. And for a prize, I decided I’m going to give away something of David’s that’s very expensive. [laughs]

And since he’s not here, as long as I can publish this and get it into the RSS feed before he hears it, then we’re good as gold. So don’t tell him, OK?

No, actually, I don’t think he’d mind.

All right, and then our obscure InDesign feature of the week, eek eek eek eek, is balance ragged lines. Or is that balance ragged lines. Balance ragged lines. What is that, and why would you use it? OK. So we’ll get to that in a bit.

First, the news. I think we mentioned this in a couple podcast episodes ago, but David will be spending in Seattle at the Refine Design Conference, which takes place September 17th and 18th in Seattle, which is his hometown. He’s doing a seminar there called “InDesign CS3 Intensive.”

I could just imagine this, because he’s an intense guy to begin with, right? And if he’s doing a session called “Intensive.” Holy moly, I think you should wear goggles to it. But that’ll be a fantastic seminar.

Deke McClelland–I think everybody knows who Deke is–is the keynote speaker. He’ll be talking about Photoshop CS3. And there’s a bunch more great speakers. It looks like a really cool design conference. I wish I could go. But we’ll put a link to their web page, so you can learn more and sign up and see the schedule, etcetera.

And then I’m doing a conference as well, on a smaller scale, here, not actually in Chicago, but nearby. I think you’ve heard us mention James Wamser before. He was a speaker at the InDesign Conference in New York City. He works for Sells Printing in Milwaukee, who prints our posters. And James has been a speaker on InDesign for many years, because Sells Printing is one of the most savvy InDesign printers around.

And James also has a teaching gig at the Waukesha County Technical College. And Waukesha’s not that far from Milwaukee; it’s in the southeast of Wisconsin. Waukesha County Technical College has associate degree programs for graphic designers and printers and prepress people. It’s a really cool program.

And they’re putting on a three-day conference called Mastering Prepress Essentials. And James will be the speaker on the first day. He’s doing an all-day session on Acrobat 8. And then I’m doing a two-day session after that called “Adobe InDesign CS3 Expert Training,” where I’ll take intermediate level users and bring them up to expert level, and get them ready for the Adobe Certification Exam, the ACE test, for whenever that comes out.

And then, at the same time that I’m doing my expert level training, another wonderful woman, another teacher there at the school, Tracy, will be teaching Adobe InDesign CS3 essentials training. And it’s kind of neat, because one of the reasons they’re putting on this conference, they’re marketing it heavily to all of the other instructors in southeast Wisconsin who teach InDesign and Acrobat, because they want to get them up to speed with InDesign CS3, which I think is fantastic.

So, it’s going to take place at the college, in the Harry V. Quadracci Printing and Graphics Center. And in case that name sounds kind of familiar, Quadracci–yes, he was the founder of Quad/Graphics, the largest privately owned printing company in North America, over 12, 000 employees. So it’s nice that they named their printing and graphics center after Harry.

All right, and I’ll put up a link to information about that seminar, if you’d like to attend. Again, that’s August 14th, 15th, and 16th, next month.

OK. What about this thing about LiveDocs for InDesign CS3 on the web? What am I talking about? Well, if you go to online help in InDesign, it opens up the Adobe Help Center. And what’s new in CS3, with the Help Center in CS3, is that, at the bottom of all those detail pages in the Help Center, there is a link saying, “See this page on the web.”

And before, you could click it and see the page on the web, and that was really nothing much different than what you had on your local hard drive. But now, it’s gone into LiveDocs mode. Photoshop is also in LiveDocs. That happened a few weeks ago.

But in LiveDocs mode, that means that it is editable, in a way. At the bottom of every details page, where it actually explains the concept that you’re looking at, there is a link that you can add a comment to the page, and then you can subscribe to the comment feed for that page.

So what this means is, if you have a question about something in the manual, in the online help, or you spot a typo or an error, or you have more things that you think should go into that page in the manual, you can go ahead and submit a comment.

It is moderated, OK? So it’ll take a day or two or three for it to appear there, assuming that it’s been approved. And there’s some poor guy over in San Jose, I guess, who’s getting all these comments and choosing which ones to approve or not. But it’s kind of neat.

And I wish that there was a way that you could actually search for commented pages, but you can’t. Of course, I couldn’t help myself, and went ahead and commented on a couple pages already. One of them is the page on exporting to XHTML, that new feature in InDesign CS3; I think we talked about that already.

But the manual says that when you export something to XHTML, hyperlinks aren’t supported. Or only one kind of hyperlink. I can’t remember which one it was. But it says clearly that regular hyperlinks… Like you make a hyperlink in your InDesign file that leads you to another website, when you export that story to XHTML, that hyperlink won’t work in the resulting HTML file–which is not true. Those links are supported.

So I added a comment saying, “Sorry, that’s actually true. These kind of hyperlinks are supported.”

And what was the other one that I did? Oh, I know. We got an email from somebody, who said, “I’m in InDesign CS3, and the manual says to add a page number automatically. Just use the special character called ‘auto page number.’ But I can’t find ‘auto page number’ in InDesign CS3.”

And I checked, because that’s what it’s always been called, but actually, they renamed it in CS3. It’s called “current page number.”

So this poor guy’s trying to follow the letter of the manual and looking for exactly what the manual says, and it’s not there. How frustrating is that? So I added a comment to that page of the manual, saying, “That menu command, ‘auto page number, ‘ has been renamed to ‘current page number’ in CS3.” And both of those got approved. I think it would be interesting to try like ranting about something and seeing if that got approved. [laughs]

But anyway, you should check that out. If you have InDesign CS3, open up the help files and go to this page on the web. And flip around there and see if you can find anybody’s comments, or maybe you have a great comment to add.

All right, let’s go on to the main topic for today, which is those composition highlighting features. This is what you find in preferences. So on a Mac, you’d go, under the InDesign menu, choose “preferences” and then choose “composition.” On Windows, you’d go under the edit menu, choose “preferences” and then choose “composition.”

And when it opens up–and this is true for CS2 and CS3, by the way–you’ll see only one of the five check boxes enabled. So, by default, under highlighting, the check box for substituted fonts is highlighted, it is turned on. And that’s something that we’re all familiar with.

When you open up an InDesign document and it says you’re missing a font, and you say, “Go ahead and open it anyway,” InDesign will fake a font for you, where that typeface was used, and it puts this non-printing highlighting behind it, often called the dreaded pinking. Though, I actually think it’s more like a dreaded flesh tone; it’s more of a salmon color.

If that’s bothering you because you’re trying to assess the page design, you can always go up to “preferences,” “composition,” and turn off that highlighting. And of course, it’ll never print, whether or not it’s showing on the screen.

But there’s these four other entries for highlighting. And I’ve found that very few people will turn them on, so I wanted to talk about them, because there’s some useful features about them.

So first of all, right underneath substituted fonts, there’s one called “substituted glyphs.” And I look at that and I’m like, “When would there be a substituted glyph that was not counted as a substituted font?” And I looked in the manual. [laughs] I’m a big manual person.

And actually, when you turn on the substituted glyphs highlighting, it’s going to highlight alternate glyphs, not really substituted glyphs, not ones like substituted fonts that InDesign just comes up with on its own.

But with an OpenType font, a lot of times, a certain glyph, a character, will have alternates. If you open up the glyphs palette, from the window menu or the type menu, and you have a character selected–it only works with OpenType fonts–in your document, that character will be highlighted in the glyphs palette.

And for a lot of these characters, there is a downward pointing triangle on that little entry in the glyphs palette. And you click on it, and you’ll get a pop-up that shows you alternate variations, alternates for this glyph, like it might have a fancy swash, or you might have a small caps variation. And you could choose that instead of using the straight glyph.

And that is what InDesign will highlight in your document, in a non-printing amber color, like a deep orange-yellow, if you’re using an alternate glyph anywhere.

And I think this is really useful. Like, for example, if you’re using an OpenType font and you swipe over some type and you turn on small caps–just the regular small caps from the control panel, that little icon to the right of the leading field–if that OpenType font has glyphs for it that have been specially cut for small caps, it will use the alternate glyph for the small cap. It won’t just scale down the type, like it would for a non-OpenType font. And that will get highlighted in that amber color if you had turned on substituted glyphs.

And we’ve gotten a few emails over the past couple of years from people who have problems with that automatic glyph substitution that InDesign does for OpenType fonts, especially with small caps, because they send it to the printer and their commercial printer can’t print it, or it comes out in lowercase or something else. So if you are worried about that issue, you might want to turn on that substituted glyphs and see where that is happening.

And by the way, the automatic ligatures that are turned on by default, like the “fl” and “ffl, ” those aren’t called substituted glyphs, so those don’t get highlighted.

Another one that’s interesting is H & J violations. If you turn on the highlighting for H & J violations, and you’re using justified text in your document, you’d better sit back and be prepared for an awful lot of highlighting happening in your document.

It is amazing how often InDesign needs to fudge a little on what you set up for word spacing and character spacing in the justification settings for your paragraph. You find the justification settings in the paragraph panel menu or in the control palette menu when it’s in text formatting mode. And of course, it’s something that you can set up and tweak in a paragraph style.

And those are the things like: do you want your word spacing to be 80 percent minimum, 100 percent optimal, 150 percent maximum? So you’re telling InDesign, “OK, you can change the word spacing to get justified text to fit nice within these parameters.” But if it has to violate those parameters, then it’s going to put this highlighting behind it. And it very often violates those parameters.

It never violates hyphens, as far as I can tell. If you say that you only want one hyphen, it’s only going to put one hyphen there. I’ve never been able to force it to do anything differently. But it will very often violate the justification settings.

And what’s interesting is that InDesign uses three different shades of yellow to indicate H & J violations. It’s a very light yellow behind lines that only slightly violate your settings, it’s a medium yellow for medium violations, and it’s a deep yellow for lines that are really loose or really tight. And turning that on is, I think, a great way to quickly check through a long document and see which lines are maybe objectionable because they’re too tight or too loose, and you can do some editing or something to the text. That’s H & J violations highlighting.

And then we have custom tracking and kerning. If you turn on that check box, then any time somebody has selected a word and tracked it in -20 or -30, or even kerned in a couple letters, that will be highlighted in the same shade of green.

Now, I wish that they had three different shades of green like they had three different shades for the H & J violations, because I might not be concerned about something that’s tracked in -10 as much as something that’s tracked in -100 by some crazy freelancer or an editor or somebody–of course, I would never do such a thing–but somebody who’s trying to fit a line or fit a word, and they really tracked it in.

When you’re busy, you’ve got a lot of projects flying around the office, and it’s a long document, it’s kind of easy to miss these things. So turning on the custom tracking and kerning, and flipping through the pages in your document on-screen–of course, remember that the highlighting doesn’t print–it’s really easy to spot that deep green…

[dog barks in background]

Anne-Marie: Oh. There goes Zoey, my doggy.

An interesting thing about that highlighting of the custom tracking and kerning is that, if you included custom tracking in your paragraph style, like if you wanted all the text tracked in -10, turning on that highlight won’t highlight text styled with that paragraph style. In other words, that’s not counted as custom tracking and kerning. Only when you actually swipe over type and kern it in manually as local formatting does it highlight it.

Actually, that reminds me of a post that David just did to the “InDesign Secrets” list, “What are your favorite H & J settings?” And he had a great tip in there. If you want type to be tight throughout, then it’s better, instead of doing this adding it as a negative track amount in the paragraph style, go to the justification settings and just set a tighter word spacing or character spacing.

You could create three versions of Body Copy, for example–body regular, body loose, body tight–and switch between those three styles as you need to adjust text. That way, anything that is kerned or tracked anything other than zero will be immediately visible to you if you turn on that highlighting setting.

And here’s another little tip factoid that, if you press Option-Command-Q on a Mac or Alt-Control-Q on Windows, that will reset any custom tracking or kerning to zero, in the selection. So it’s not one of the menu commands. You can only find it deeply buried in the “edit keyboard shortcuts, ” or, of course, if you’ve purchased one of our wonderful keyboard shortcuts posters, it’s listed there.

All right. We’ve done four. We’ve done substituted glyphs. That actually should be called alternate glyphs, and that color is amber. Substituted fonts, we know that color is the dreaded pinking, or flesh tone. Custom tracking and kerning is the one done in green. That’s right. H & J violations are the three shades of yellow.

And there is one more highlighting option that you can turn on, the Keep violations. So, what are Keep violations? Those are the Keep options. If you go to the paragraph panel menu, or the control panel menu in text formatting mode, where you can set things like, “I always want two lines of a paragraph to be at the bottom or top of a column.”

And that way, if you end up with just the first line of text that’ll fit at the bottom of a column, InDesign will automatically push it to the top of the second column. So those are setting up Keep options. And that’s been an option for most layout programs as long as I can remember.

Well, apparently InDesign can sometimes violate those as well, the Keep violations. And you would have to turn on that check box to see the Keep violations in your document.

And that brings us to the Quizzler. The Quizzler is this. We know the colors for all the other four options that you can turn on in composition highlighting. What is the color for Keeps violations? Pink is the color for substituted fonts, amber for alternate glyphs, three shades of yellow for H & J violations, green for custom tracking and kerning. What’s the color for Keeps violations?

So if you can figure it out, send us the answer by email–don’t put a comment on the blog–by email. Email it to info @ InDesignSecrets.com. And you have until midnight Friday, July 27th. And we will choose a random winner from all the correct answers that we receive by then.

For your prize, we’re going to give away, as I said, something expensive of David’s. And I think he would be fine with this, to give away one of his DVDs that he did for Lynda.com, the “InDesign CS3 Essentials Training,” a fantastic package. Retails for $149. We’re selling it on our site discounted 25 percent, and we’ll give this away free to the correct answer to this question.

Now, to be fair, of course, I should also throw in that if you would prefer, you could have my DVD. All right. So I have the Lynda.com training called “InCopy CS3 and InDesign CS3 Integration,” which is a phenomenal thing, if I may say so. Eight hours of video tutorials about how to integrate InCopy and InDesign in your workflow. So we’ll ask the winner to decide which prize they prefer. So don’t forget, you have until Friday, July 27 to post that.

Finally, let’s go on to the obscure InDesign Feature of the Week, and that is Balanced Ragged Lines. And I thought this would be a good obscure feature to talk about in light of talking about all the other composition-highlighting things, because Balanced Ragged Lines also has to do with how InDesign composes text. It is turned off by default, and it can either be turned on or turned off. The option is, again, in the Paragraph Panel menu, or the Control Panel menu in text formatting mode. And it can be turned on or turned off in a paragraph style as well.

And I remember when I first saw that command when I was first getting to know InDesign, and I selected some body text and I turned on Balanced Ragged Lines. For some of the text, it didn’t’ do anything, but for the rest of the text, it seemed to make a smoother rag. But it seemed a little strange to me because there was obvious room at the end of a lot of my lines. There was a lot of room for other words, but it would break the line there, and it would put the next word on the next line. I don’t like that.

Then I learned what it’s actually supposed to be for. And it’s supposed to be for things like headlines or subheads. So say that you are entering a long title and you have a wide text frame, but still the title is longer than the text frame. As you type or when you paste the rest of the line wraps to the second line. Very often, you’re going to end up with seven or eight words in the first line and two or three words in the second line.

And so normally you would go and insert a soft return (Shift-Enter or Shift-Return) to break the first line where you like it so the two lines are even in the headline, and the same is true for two-line or longer-line subheads.

Well Balance Ragged Lines will do that for you. You can include it in the style for the titles or subheads. And so InDesign, in its little computer brain, decides where to break the lines and it goes ahead and makes them all even. It’s kind of neat how it works. Of course, it is just a computer line, and where it breaks it might not make logical sense–you might want to keep a phrase together, for example.

So it doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to worry about that again. You should probably still go over where InDesign is breaking these lines, and you can always override it. Turn off Balance Ragged Lines and then break it manually yourself. But it does come in handy, especially in a fast production environment.

One other place that it’s good for is in centered paragraphs. If you take a paragraph and you center-align it, often the last line is pretty short. But if you turn on Balance Ragged Lines for that center paragraph, InDesign evens up all the lines. Pretty neat.

One thing that I wish it would do is put in some sort of special character that indicated that it is InDesign that is forcing the break here, not anything the user did. You see nothing when Balance Ragged Lines is turned on. It’s just that the lines mysteriously break even though there’s plenty of room for more words at the end of the line. And if you’re confronted by such a document and you’re like, “Why is this line breaking here?” check that setting and see if it’s turned on.

So that’s it for Episode 55. Thank you again. I’m looking forward to doing the podcast again with David, shortly, for the next episode. In the meantime, remember if you have an answer to the Quizzler, email it to us at info @ InDesignSecrets.com. You have until midnight, July 27. And until we meet again, this is Anne-Marie Concepcion, and ‘in absentia’, David Blatner for “InDesign Secrets.”


To hear the audio episode from which this transcript was made, or to comment on this episode, go to the InDesignSecrets Podcast 055 page.


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