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tracking and kerning

Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2024 Jun 13, 2024

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I'm writing a book set up using paragraph styles. But I want to be able to have flexibility in the layout by altering the tracking or kerning in various sentences as needed. When I try this I get a plus sign after the paragraph style. Is there a setting that can waive the rigid style parameters.

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correct answers 5 Correct answers

Community Expert , Jun 14, 2024 Jun 14, 2024

@Rita32868529b3mp 

 

In addition to my earlier reply:

  • When Tracking applies to the entire paragraph, it can be done with the Paragraph style instead of an override.
  • Kerning is between two letters and has to be applied as an override. Typically it is done on larger type, not body text.

The only issue I can think of off the top of my head is if you are creating an EPUB. InDesign will generate new CSS code for the overrides.

 

Note that there is another plus in the upper right of the Paragraph an

...

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Community Expert , Jun 14, 2024 Jun 14, 2024

InDesign is inherently, integrally and fairly rigidly driven by its styles, mostly Paragraph Styles and Character Styles. Although like Word you can sort of hack/slash/fingerpaint your way to a result, it's a bad idea in both apps and all but a misuse of InDesign.

 

If you are tweaking styles on a case-by-case basis, there are only two ways to do it. One is to select the text and apply a bit of kerning or tracking, in which case you are overriding the style and the "modified" marker, the + sign,

...

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Community Expert , Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

But I want to be able to have flexibility in the layout by altering the tracking or kerning in various sentences as needed.

 

Hi @Rita32868529b3mp , If you have to do a lot of kerning and tracking to get a decent setting, the root of the problem might be with the Paragraph Styles’ Hyphenation and Justification settings (or the quality of the font). Even if you went to the trouble of setting Character Styles for applying tracking adjustments, the specific adjustments might no longer work, or caus

...

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Community Expert , Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

This. The job you (OP) are doing is the most fundamental one for perfected print layouts, and that last pass to get every break and every orphan into place is what makes the difference — that "90%/90%" thing. But use all the tools, starting with as much as you can get out of the automated features as possible.

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Community Expert , Jun 17, 2024 Jun 17, 2024

If the hurdle of e-book conversion is off the table, at least for this edition, you can do nearly anything to help shape your results. Hundreds of styles are only an issue in the project management arena, so if that's what it takes, that's what it takes. But that elusive perfection is perhaps the highest peak of book design, and takes a mastery of all the tools down to sometimes swapping one font for another that has more compatible kerning data, and then fifty levels of tweaking from there. Wor

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Community Expert ,
Jun 13, 2024 Jun 13, 2024

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This is the Using the Community forum (which is the forum for issues using the forums).
Please tell us what Adobe application you are using so that this can be moved to the proper forum for help.

Scroll down here to see a list of the forums:
https://community.adobe.com/

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Community Expert ,
Jun 14, 2024 Jun 14, 2024

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@Rita32868529b3mp 

 

Are you using InDesign or FrameMaker? We can move your post from Using the Community to the correct forum for you.

 

The plus sign in InDesign indicates the you have a paragraph style with overrides. When you track, kern, or make other local changes that are not part of the style, you will get the plus sign. There is no way around that.

 

Jane

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 14, 2024 Jun 14, 2024

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I'm using InDesign. are there any issues down the road to have the plus sign remain? Thanks for your reply.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 14, 2024 Jun 14, 2024

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in the future, to find the best place to post your message, use the list here, https://community.adobe.com/

p.s. i don't think the adobe website, and forums in particular, are easy to navigate, so don't spend a lot of time searching that forum list. do your best and we'll move the post (like this one has already been moved) if it helps you get responses.



<"moved from using the community">

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Community Expert ,
Jun 14, 2024 Jun 14, 2024

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@Rita32868529b3mp 

 

In addition to my earlier reply:

  • When Tracking applies to the entire paragraph, it can be done with the Paragraph style instead of an override.
  • Kerning is between two letters and has to be applied as an override. Typically it is done on larger type, not body text.

The only issue I can think of off the top of my head is if you are creating an EPUB. InDesign will generate new CSS code for the overrides.

 

Note that there is another plus in the upper right of the Paragraph and Character styles panels. Enabling will reveal all overrides with cyan shading.

 

Jane

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

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Thank you for moving my query to the correct Jane-e

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

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You're welcome, @Rita32868529b3mp , we are happy to move posts to a forum where you are more likely to get assistance. It's our job, not yours, to know where posts belong. 😊

 

Do any of the replies answer your question? If not, please ask again.

 

Jane

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 14, 2024 Jun 14, 2024

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InDesign is inherently, integrally and fairly rigidly driven by its styles, mostly Paragraph Styles and Character Styles. Although like Word you can sort of hack/slash/fingerpaint your way to a result, it's a bad idea in both apps and all but a misuse of InDesign.

 

If you are tweaking styles on a case-by-case basis, there are only two ways to do it. One is to select the text and apply a bit of kerning or tracking, in which case you are overriding the style and the "modified" marker, the + sign, will appear whenver that modified text is active or selected. It won't hurt anything, precisely, and it will disappear into the result if you export to PDF for print, but it can be a problem for export to any e-doc format such as EPUB.

 

The alternative is to create some limited number of Character Styles, each with some fixed element of "tweak," and apply those styles instead of manually/locally making changes. It does force you to create perhaps five or a dozen such styles to cover all your instances, but it's the formal, correct, manageable way to do things in ID. (You can also create child Paragraph Styles to apply specific tweaks to a paragraph, such as BODY -5 as a child/descendant of BODY. This can be more manageable if you're applying changes to whole paragraphs; it's very slightly bad form to apply Character Styles to whole paragraphs.)


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

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Thank you James Gifford. Yes, I have multiple paragraph styles for other aspects such as font size, color, and leading. I will create several for tracking. I do wish there was more flexibility though. The book as many images and I've been controlling the layout appearance by adding, removing or changing words.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

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P.S. James Gifford, I also work with the dimensions of the images in conjunction with the text to control the appearance.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 14, 2024 Jun 14, 2024

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No.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

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But I want to be able to have flexibility in the layout by altering the tracking or kerning in various sentences as needed.

 

Hi @Rita32868529b3mp , If you have to do a lot of kerning and tracking to get a decent setting, the root of the problem might be with the Paragraph Styles’ Hyphenation and Justification settings (or the quality of the font). Even if you went to the trouble of setting Character Styles for applying tracking adjustments, the specific adjustments might no longer work, or cause new problems on a text edit and reflow. I would do my best to solve the problem via H&Js before fussing with tracking styles.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 15, 2024 Jun 15, 2024

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This. The job you (OP) are doing is the most fundamental one for perfected print layouts, and that last pass to get every break and every orphan into place is what makes the difference — that "90%/90%" thing. But use all the tools, starting with as much as you can get out of the automated features as possible.


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 17, 2024 Jun 17, 2024

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Thank you for your advice James Gifford. Are you saying a few Paragraph
style + won't be a big issue? I doubt this book will ever be an ebook.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 17, 2024 Jun 17, 2024

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If the hurdle of e-book conversion is off the table, at least for this edition, you can do nearly anything to help shape your results. Hundreds of styles are only an issue in the project management arena, so if that's what it takes, that's what it takes. But that elusive perfection is perhaps the highest peak of book design, and takes a mastery of all the tools down to sometimes swapping one font for another that has more compatible kerning data, and then fifty levels of tweaking from there. Worth learning and mastering... but only for print layout. It is a routine sad story when someone with a book like that decides a Kindle edition would be nice, and finds out what a titanic mess they have as a starting point.(Put simply, print hides all the bones and cardboard props, and e-books flip things around to put those components in the front row...)


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 17, 2024 Jun 17, 2024

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Thanks for your suggestions and advice. I made adjustments to the
hyphenation and justification settings awhile ago. I dislike hyphens so
have it set to allowing a limited no. per page. Maybe, I should relent and
allow more words to be hyphenated. The biggest problem is the text next to
an image that is half the size of the column width. It would have been so
easy to squeeze words closer together when the gaps between words happens.

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