Podcast 127 Transcript

To hear the audio episode from which this transcript was made, or to comment on this episode, go to the InDesignSecrets Podcast 127 page.

[introductory music]

David Blatner: Welcome to InDesignSecrets Episode 127. I’m David Blatner. I’m here along with my healthy cohost, Anne-Marie Concepcion.

Anne-Marie Concepcion: [laughs] Hi David. I’m so sorry you’ve got a cold.

David: I’ve got a cold again. What are you going to do? I have little kids. It’s OK.

Anne-Marie: That’s what happens when you have those little kids. Phlegm monsters.

David: [laughs]

Anne-Marie: I mean sweet little boys. Welcome. Our podcast and blog at InDesignSecrets.com are the world’s number one resource for all things InDesign.

David: It’s true, and coming up on today’s show, we’re going to talk about leading, or leading. Or however you want to say it. No, it’s leading, it really is. Then we’re going to have a Quizzler. And then…

Anne-Marie: Long time since we had a Quizzler.

David: Yes, it has been. Then the obscure InDesign feature of the week. [both make echoing sounds]

David: Use master color.

Anne-Marie: You said it very exciting that time “The week”.

David: Yes, it is exciting.

Anne-Marie: Use master color, that’s a good one. Our sponsors for this episode are our friends Rorohiko and CtrlPublishing. We’ll hear more about them in a bit. Yes, but first let’s just jump right into that exciting topic of leading. It is exciting because it is the cause for a lot of frustration among a lot of users.

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: “Why is this happening?” and it usually has to do with leading. Probably for our new users we should explain what leading is. What is leading?

David: Leading is the amount of space from one baseline of the text, that is where the text sits, to the next. What’s interesting is some people would define it as the baseline from one line to the line below it, but technically it’s the baseline to the line above it. So it’s basically the amount of space in which the text sits on a line. In Quark Express, leading was always, always set up as a paragraph attribute. So whatever leading you choose anywhere in a whole paragraph will apply to the entire paragraph. InDesign, more like Page Maker, it acts differently. It’s a character attribute, and it’s a little bit tweaky, and it really messes some people up. So we should just be clear that even though leading is a character attribute, InDesign’s rule is “whatever character on a line has the biggest leading wins”.

Anne-Marie: That’s right. So it’s kind of like a line attribute.

David: It kind of is. It really is a line attribute, but you apply it on a character level. You can apply it one character at a time, yes.

Anne-Marie: Typically it’s applied in a paragraph style, and the areas where you type in the specs for the type…

David: Ordinarily.

Anne-Marie: For the characters. Yes.

David: Typically you do want each character in a paragraph to have the same leading. I just want to throw out the preference right at the very beginning because whenever I install InDesign, this is one of the first things I do. I go into Preferences while no documents are open. I open the Preferences dialog box, and I go to the Type pane of the Preferences dialog box. Inside the Type pane, there’s a check box, and it says “Apply leading to entire paragraphs”, which I usually think of it in terms of “make it work like Quark Express”. Because when you turn that on, then whenever you make a change to your leading in InDesign, it applies it to the whole paragraph. You don’t get just one line different.

Anne-Marie: Absolutely. Right, so you don’t have to worry about selecting all the characters in the paragraph before you change the leading.

David: Right.

Anne-Marie: You just do it like I used to do back in Quark days.

David: I like that. That’s the way I prefer leading to work. Now that’s not to say that there isn’t some use for having that turned off. But in general I like working with it turned on.

Anne-Marie: Interesting. It does make sense.

David: Yes, well it solves a very typical problem in InDesign, and you may have seen this, where you see something that’s created with InDesign and the last line of the paragraph has the wrong leading. It’s just a little bit too big, typically a little bit too big. There’s like extra space at the end and on the last line.

Anne-Marie: But that option, I’m sorry, will not solve that problem.

David: Well, it doesn’t solve it…

Anne-Marie: It’s like the two chipmunks, “No, no, you start.” “No, you start, you go ahead.” If you’re using autoleading, if you haven’t applied any special kind of leading, or maybe you’ve applied autoleadng, you still might get mixed leading in the same paragraph, even with that option turned on.

David: I don’t see how. How?

Anne-Marie: Yes, yes, because that option means when you actually, literally change the leading amount, it’s going to apply to every character in the paragraph.

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: But when you have autoleading turned on, you can get different leading if you select some characters and change the size of the type.

David: Mmm, interesting.

Anne-Marie: Changing the size of the type you’re not literally changing the leading, right?

David: Right, OK.

Anne-Marie: So it’s very easy to get mixed leading even with that option turned on.

David: OK.

Anne-Marie: I think is kind of like a tease of an option. You think it’s going to work exactly like Quark, but it’s sort of not. It sort of does.

David: Well, I think you’re right. Technically, what “apply to entire paragraph” does, is it’s more like a macro. When you apply leading, it changes it for all the characters in the paragraph. If you already have text that has different leading in a document, or in the case that you’re making with autoleading, and you’ve got different sizes, InDesign does not go in and change the leading for you. But if you do specify leading for any character in the paragraph it will then go in, and like a little macro, it’ll go through one character at a time, selecting all the characters in the paragraph, and apply the same leading.

Anne-Marie: Right. So if you applied actual leading, if you don’t choose autoleading, if you apply an absolute amount, then yes, it’ll fix that problem.

David: With that said, I just want to go back and say autoleading? Really? Anne Marie, are you serious? Autoleading is for writing letters to your mom.

Anne-Marie: OK, yes.

David: In general you do not want to use autoleading for hardly anything. There are times when you might want to use it, but in general you don’t want to specify auto.

Anne-Marie: I completely agree. I prefer 150% line space. But it’s just not available in InDesign. I keep putting it in as a feature request.

David: [laughs]

Anne-Marie: No, I agree, It’s just that sometimes you’re doing something really quick, one off, and you don’t want to go to the bother of actually creating paragraph styles, so you’re just using what’s in there, and you’re quickly doing some local formatting. You might be using autoleading for that.

David: I suppose so.

Anne-Marie: The cause, by the way, of that last line having a different amount of leading, usually a larger amount of leading than the rest of it, is when people are doing that exact same thing, when they’re not really using styles, they’re actually using hard formatting or local formatting to format entire paragraphs. They select the entire paragraph and they change the size of the type. But what they’ve done was, that instead of triple clicking or quadruple clicking to select the paragraph, they drag from the first character to the last, and they neglect to select the final carriage return.

David: Good point.

Anne-Marie: Right. So the final carriage return remains at the old size, the rest of the text is the new size. Remember like what you said, that the character that has the largest amount of leading on a line wins.

David: Right.

Anne-Marie: So that carriage return, which may or not be showing, has the largest size, has the largest amount of autoleading, so that ‘s why you get that line. So if you want to make sure that you don’t fall into that trap whenever you need to change the size of type in an entire paragraph, either change the style, not drag over it, right? If you’re changing everything in the paragraph, you should be modifying the style usually. Or make sure that you quadruple click to select the entire paragraph which also selects the final carriage return even if you’ve got hidden characters hidden.

David: Right. Or…

David: What I would recommend is don’t use autoleading and turn on “apply leading to entire paragraphs.”

Anne-Marie: [laughs] Yes.

David: With both of those rules, you’re not going to run into that problem hardly at all. Typically you will not run into the problem of having various different leading within the same paragraph.

Anne-Marie: Now all that said….

David: All that said…

Anne-Marie: All that said, there is a time when you want to use autoleading.

David: There is, that’s true. What would you use it for?

Anne-Marie: I would use it when I have inline graphics.

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: All right. I’m writing something and I start a new paragraph and in that paragraph, I’m going to paste an object. I want the paragraph to automatically resize so the entire object fits.

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: Right. Otherwise, if I have an absolute leading, the object will overlap the text above it and then I’ll have to drag down and turn on text wrap. It’s a big thing.

David: Totally annoying, yes.

Anne-Marie: So instead when I’m doing something like guides which have screen shots, or something like that, a lot of inline graphics, or epubs, then for that paragraph where I’m going to paste in a graphic, I create a paragraph style called “Inline graphic”, and I’d make sure and set autoleading for that style.

David: Yes, I think that is the classic example. I think it’s a perfect one when I, too, would always use autoleading, just for those kinds of paragraphs that only have inline graphics on them. I think that’s a great idea.

Anne-Marie: You can still set text wrap. I often set some sort of text wrap with space above and below. Or you can just do that with the paragraph style, too, I guess.

David: Yes, you could, it’s just not as flexible. You want something that’s flexible because you may change the size of that object or throw a different object in there, etc, etc. Autoleading just is very, very flexible for that.

Anne-Marie: Yes.

David: OK, couple of leading things that we should talk about. One is the “skip by leading” preference. There’s other preference inside the Preferences dialogue box, that has to do with leading. It’s called “skip by leading”, it’s in the composition… I’ve forgetten. Where is that? I’d better go look.

Anne-Marie: Yes it is, in text wrap.

David: Yes, inside the text wrap area of the Composition pane of the Preferences dialogue box, there is this feature called “skip by leading”.

Anne-Marie: That sounds like an obscure feature to me.

David: It does, it does. Did we cover that? We must have covered that.

Anne-Marie: I think we did. Actually wait, let me go back in my time machine. Brrrr brrrr brrrr.

David: [laughs]

Anne-Marie: Yes, that was episode 95 that we covered it as the Obscure InDesign Feature Of The Week.

David: Oh, excellent. So go back and listen to episode 95.

Anne-Marie: We’ll wait for more warp.

David: [laughs]

Anne-Marie: OK.

David: We will put a link in the show notes, back there. But, just very quickly, I just want to say, that it has to do with text wrap obviously, it’s the text wrap section. It has to do with whether or not text will pay attention to the underlying leading grid as it were more or less, when you have text wrap to jump over an object. So anyway we will just put a link in there, and you can go back and listen for more details there but definitely we will talk about that a little bit. And then what are there other leading stuff? Oh, you know sometimes leading stops working or it works weirdly, or you don’t get the leading that you expect from line to line.

Anne-Marie: It works perfectly on the paste board and then you drag it onto the page and suddenly it goes all wonky. Have you seen that?

David: Right, right. I have seen that, yes.

Anne-Marie: What’s that about?

David: Well that’s typically a lock to baseline grid, not anchored, but a lock to baseline grid problem. Because lock to baseline grid, when you have it applied to your text either in a paragraph style or a locally formatted, if you have lock to baseline grid applied, that does not apply on the paste board but it does apply on your page. So, as soon as you drag that text onto your page, all of a sudden, every line gets aligned right to one of the baseline grid marks and whether or not…

Anne-Marie: And the baseline grid is a leading grid.

David: It’s a leading grid, yes. It’s a leading grid either underneath your document or you can also have a baseline grid in a text frame itself and this really screws people up. Because they will say, “Well my baseline grid is such and such for my document but my text is all snapping to the wrong baseline grid.” It’s because the textframe can have it’s own baseline grid, that’s controlled in the textframe options dialogue box underneath the Object menu.

Anne-Marie: You know that textframe options dialogue box has another place where leading is important. If you go to baseline options, right?

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: And then under the first baseline offset, the default is ascent. Right?

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: So that means that when you start typing inside of a textframe, it looks at the ascenders of the typeface that you are using, and the top of the ascenders will hit the top of the textframe.

David: Yes. Yes.

Anne-Marie: Right.

David: Which is ridiculous, really. It is weird, because every font has a different size of their ascenders, so you really have no idea, where that first baseline is going to land.

Anne-Marie: Absolutely. Instead you could choose fixed. So for sure, the first baseline will be at a certain amount from the top or then there’s also leading. I think first baseline offset being leading was the default for QuarkXPress.

David: I don’t think so.

Anne-Marie: Mr. QuarkXpress? No?

David: It’s funny, I don’t think so., But I’ve completely forgotten, I am going to have to go launch QuarkXPress. Grind it up.

Anne-Marie: I am pretty sure.

David: I think that, what ever the case, what ever was in QuarkXPpress… It’s been so long since I looked at it.

Anne-Marie: [laughs]

David: Whatever the case, leading I think is the most obvious and best thing to use in the textframe options dialogue box. It’s what I use as my default for my textframes, textframe object style. Like you said, you go to Object, you choose textframe options, you switch to tip baseline options tab and you set the first baseline offset to leading. That way, whatever is the leading of that first line, becomes the space down.

So you always know that the baseline is going to be exactly the leading amount down from the top of the textframe. The reason why that is so helpful is, A, you know where is it, you have a really clear sense, and, B, you can snap that textframe right to one of your baseline grid objects and you know that it’s always going to be on your baseline grid, even if you don’t use align to baseline grid.

That’s the key for me, because I don’t like align to baseline grid most of the time. It just drives me crazy, I’m forever getting stuff messed up. I do like having stuff aligned to an underlying grid, but I don’t want to use the aligned baseline grid feature.

I set it up as an attribute of a text frame, like we just described, the leading value down. Then I snap the top of the text frame to one of those guidemarks, and then I know that all of the text is going to fit on the baseline grid even if I haven’t locked it or aligned it.

Anne-Marie: Very good.

David: Yes, there we go. All kinds of good stuff about leading in there.

Anne-Marie: Yes, we’ll have some links in our show notes with some posts that we’ve written in the past about leading and, of course, also to the transcript of episode 95 so you can learn everything there is to know about “skip by leading”. But, let’s talk about our first sponsor, CtrlPublishing.

David: Yes, we should. Before we go on, we should talk about CtrlPublishing, makers of all kinds of really cool plugins for InDesign, both InDesign CS3 and CS4 and now CS5. Their plugins are now available for CS5, including Crosstalk, which I think we talked about in the last podcast, and also CtrlChanges. CtrlChanges which allows you to do track changes inside InDesign CS3, CS4 and CS5.

Anne-Marie: Yes, it’s pretty remarkable how they’ve done that. It has nothing at all to do with InCopy it just works directly in InDesign. What’s kind of neat is that you can see track changes right there in the layout view. Actually in CS3 and CS4 that’s the only place that you see the track changes, is in layout view. So added text gets highlighted with an underline and deleted text you get a little marker. That doesn’t add any white space and never prints, but if you hover your cursor over the marker, a tool tip will come up showing you the deleted text.

David: Yes, it’s cool.

Anne-Marie: That’s how it works in CS5 too, except that also it adds on to the existing CS5 feature of track changes and that you can also see your track changes mark up in the story editor as well, which is sometimes a little easier to see. Especially the deleted text is easier to see. You can actually select the deleted text and stuff which you can’t do with a plugin just in layout field.

David: It’s nice. So it basically gives CS3 and CS4 users the ability to track changes and in CS5 it augments the track changes that are already in CS5 with the ability to be able to see those in the layout view, which I find very, very helpful. So, that’s great. Plus CtrlPublishing is giving all of you listeners 15% off the regular price if you buy from their webshop. Use the code CTRLOFFER5, and of course that will be in the show notes. If you buy there, you’ll get 15% off, which is awesome. Thank you very much to CtrlPublishing for your sponsorship, that’s great.

Anne-Marie: Thank you. Now it’s time for the Quizzler. [cheers] We haven’t done one of these in like months I think.

David: I know, I know. I found a couple copies of Real World Illustrator here, Real World Illustrator CS4. Peachpit sent me a couple copies of this. This is by our friend and colleague Mordy Golding. If you don’t know Real World Illustrator, if you haven’t seen it, you must. If you have anything to do with Illustrator, if you ever use it, you got to have Real World Illustrator CS4. We have a couple copies here and were going to give those away.

Anne-Marie: This is one of those things where we say, how many ways can you? All right. So the person who sends in something that has a bazillion ways will win, as long as they’re legitimate, and then the second runner up will as well. David you came up with how many ways can you do what? What are we going to make everybody do this time?

David: [laughter] We’re going to make everyone draw triangles. Here’s the trick, there are a number of ways to get a triangle in InDesign, and we want to know, how many ways can you think of to draw a triangle in InDesign?

Anne-Marie: It’s not just draw a triangle, it’s to create a triangle.

David: Good point, very good. It’s not just drawing, it’s creating. How are you going to create a triangle in InDesign? This my sound like a totally curious type of question, but it’s actually helpful. Whenever you set yourself a task like this in InDesign, what I find is that students always learn more about the program than they expected. You go in and you start looking around the program and you start finding stuff that you didn’t even realize was there. So try it out.

Anne-Marie: That’s right. You start investigating every single panel.

David: Exactly.

Anne-Marie: Gee, I wonder if there’s a way to make a triangle with the layers panel?

David: [laughs]

Anne-Marie: You start looking at every single panel menu. Yes, it’s true. You start discovering new things.

David: That’s right. So go ahead and email us all the ideas that you can think of. Put in one big list all the ways that you can create a triangle in InDesign and send it to info@InDesignSecrets.com. Please put the word Quizzler in the subject line, that will help us differentiate them and make sure you get entered into the contest.

Anne-Marie: We want you to send in that email by midnight on Friday, June 18th.

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: That will give you a nice chunk of time to start playing around with InDesign and coming up with lists.

David: That’s a nice chunk of time except for the people who are listening to this at 11 pm on Friday the 18th.

Anne-Marie: [laughs] That’s right.

David: You folks have to work a little faster.

Anne-Marie: Absolutely. Then after we get them all then that weekend or the next few days we’ll go through them all, come up with the top two winners and announce them in the next podcast. We’ll also email you, so make sure that you use a good email address when you send us your information. All right.

David: All right. Another sponsor we should mention is Rorohiko. We mentioned them earlier and we’ve talked about them over a number of podcasts. We very much appreciate their support. Rorohiko is the maker of a lot of different plugins and custom InDesign solutions. One of their plugins is called FrameReporter. We’ve talked about FrameReporter before. It allows you to get little tabs off the tops of your frames when you select them. You can get things like, how many words are there in the story? Or what’s the resolution of the image in this frame? All kinds of good stuff that gets added to your frame. Just visual. It doesn’t print out, it’s just on the screen, and it is very helpful while you’re laying out your documents.

Rorohiko is offering 25% off their already low price of $29 if you use the coupon code INDESIGNSECRETS127, because of course, this is episode 127. You can get 25% off FrameReporter, so definitely check that out, it’s good stuff.

I mentioned earlier that they don’t just do plugins, they also do custom solutions, meaning if your company has some cool project that you need automated, or customized, or made to work better, they can create plugins for you, your own custom inhouse plugins.

Anne-Marie: Plugins or scripts, that’s right. Chris was the genius who in one hour turned around that… What was the one that he did ? The Master Page?

David: What used to be called Enslave Master.

Anne-Marie: Right. Enslave Master.

David: He changed it to something more reasonable, Transform Master which was a really cool plugin.

Anne-Marie: He’s a whiz.

David: He a very bright guy. Very, very, very bright guy. That was good stuff. Check out Rorohiko and all the cool stuff that they offer.

Anne-Marie: And now it’s time for the obscure InDesign Feature Of The Week. [both make echoing sounds]

Anne-Marie: And that is, Use Master Color.

David: Use Master Color.

Anne-Marie: This is a new one that I just happened across in CS5. It’s CS5 only. If you haven’t upgraded, don’t worry about it, just sit back, relax and listen. It’s a new, kind of a minor feature but quite useful. I think one of our contributors has already put up some screen shots of it. It is the ability to assign color labels to pages in the pages panel. You could say, these pages are for this section, these pages are for that section. Or you could say, these pages have been signed off, these are in production. That kind of thing. A quick, easy, visual check to see what’s happening with your layout in the pages panel.

Now by default none of those page thumbnails has a label. To make a label you just right click on the page or select the page and go to the pages panel menu, choose color label and you’ll see a flyout menu that has a bunch of colors. You can’t create your own color, unfortunately. Boo hiss. Forget about it. I’m waiting for CS6, man.

David: [laughs] That’s right.

Anne-Marie: You can choose a color label or there’s an option, it says Use Master Color.

David: That’s where it is.

Anne-Marie: Master Color means if you use the color label from this page’s master. If you go to the master and right click, or select the master and then go to the pages panel menu, you’ll see that you can apply a color label here. If you choose, say, gold, then all the pages in your document that are based on that master get the gold color., get the gold label.

David: I find that the way to go, typically. It’s rare that I would want to assign a color label to a page just by itself. But I find it very useful to have… Let’s say I have five different master pages in my document, and one of my master pages is for sidebars or something with a background that has a color, and so on. I may want to apply a color to that master page. Then I can very quickly identify all the pages in my document that are based on that master page. Because normally in the pages panel the only way to see whether or not a page is based on a master page is to kind of squinting and looking at that little letter, A, B, C, whatever. But when there is a color label, then you just see it immediately. It just jumps right out at you.

Anne-Marie: That’s true. You know, I usually change the name of the master so it’s not just A, B, C, or D. I’ll write, TOC, or IND for index, or FTR for feature.

David: I know, but they’re still tiny little letters. I don’t know. I still find it difficult. The color labels are just way easier to identify even if you change it to TOC or something. For me, for me.

Anne-Marie: What’s interesting is that there is a white label.

David: [laughs] That’s right.

Anne-Marie: I was like, white label. Dewar’s, it’s my favorite scotch.

David: [laughs]

Anne-Marie: White label is kind of strange. You and I were talking about this before we started recording, but I cannot see a white label below my page icon.

David: That’s funny. Yes. I can see it but I have to squint.

Anne-Marie: It seems sort of ridiculous. Why would you assign a white label?

David: It is not entirely ridiculous, but it’s nigh on ridiculous.

Anne-Marie: Nigh on?

David: It’s nigh on. It’s just nigh ridiculous. It’s very, very close. There’s this idea of an asymptotic limit, where as you get closer to something it becomes greater and greater, so you’re never quite there. But you get very, very close. Infinitely close. In this case, a white label is not entirely ridiculous, but it’s almost there. It’s so close to being ridiculous that it is nigh ridiculous.

Anne-Marie: I think that maybe in the next version we’ll see eggshell, ecru, pearlescent.

David: Yes, yes.

Anne-Marie: Colors like that.

David: I think that’s a very good idea, a very good idea. I think you should get right on that. Make sure you send that to Adobe’s feedback website over and over.

Anne-Marie: [laughs] Yes, I’d like to use those for the color for track changes, too. That’s always useful.

David: [laughs] All right.

Anne-Marie: What else? Let’s mention our upcoming seminars. Right?

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: I’m very excited about the one in Chicago. It’s going to be so much fun. Mine is coming up on June 28th. We’re getting people signed up. It’s going to be in a beautiful location and going to cover a ton of stuff. This is the first one that I get to do since CS5 came out. I haven’t been able to show anything in CS5. You’ve been able to.

David: Oh, yes. That’s right.

Anne-Marie: I even changed the outline on the Eventbrite registration page to include “yes, here’s my favorite new features in CS5.” A little half hour or so of that,because most people haven’t upgraded yet. We’re talking about general InDesign stuff, so applicable to people with CS3, CS4, in that range. Wouldn’t you say?

David: Yes, absolutely. If you are still using CS3 or CS4, the seminars are still very much appropriate. But, yes, we are doing a little bit with CS5 to show the new stuff, to show what’s cool and so on. Absolutely. That’s great. Of course, I’m doing one in San Francisco, June 24th. So we hope everyone in the San Francisco Bay area will show up for that.

Then we’ll have more coming in the fall. We’ll take a couple months off, when actually we’re not taking a couple of months off, we’re just taking a couple months off from the road. Instead, we’re going to be focusing on doing some webinars, and we’ll be telling you more about those webinars for June, July and August very soon. In the next podcast we’ll be giving you more info about that.

Anne-Marie: Yes.

David: Then in the fall, we’ll be showing up in Denver, in LA, in DC, and all kinds of places. So stay tuned. Sign up to be a free member at InDesignSecrets.com and you will receive emails with all that good information.

Anne-Marie: That’s right. So now can I say, that’s it?

David: You can. You may. [laughs] .

Anne-Marie: That’s it for episode 127. Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog in at InDesignSecrets.com where we’ll have links to all the places we mentioned and all the reminders of all the coupon codes for the stuff we’ve been talking about. Don’t forget to send in your Quizzler entry to info@InDesignSecrets.com with the word Quizzler in the subject.

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: Or just email us and let us know what you thought about the show. Or put a comment in the show notes. We love those comments.

David: Yes.

Anne-Marie: Until we meet again, this is Anne-Marie Concepcion and..

David: David Blatner for InDesignSecrets.

[closing music]


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