Problems in INdesign

Started by Seamus, June 15, 2009, 03:38:09 PM

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I started my first real attempt at a layout on INdesign, and encountered some problems the manual does not appear to cover:

1) Single Line being segregated from rest of paragraph it belongs to: This just kind of happens automatically after I do things like 'backspace' or format a paragraph. I don't understand why it is happening. But basically, I will try to format some text in a paragraph or remove a carriage return with a backspace, and suddenly one of the paragraph lines is seperrated from its body and has different formatting attached to it. There isn't any thing that fixes it. I basically am stuck undoing what I did and finding an alternative to my formatting choice. For example, I wanted my Chapter page to look different from the other pages in the book. So I created a character style (since paragraph style altered the entire paragraph, not just the text on the chapter page), with higher leading than the rest of the book. It looked fine, but when I tried to adjust the text that ran onto the next page by reducing its leading, this problem occurred.

2) Align to Baseline Grid: I like how this makes everything line up, except the headings at the top of my page are lower down than I want. If I unalign the headings, they appear where I want them, but the space between the heading and body text is too large. Is there any way around this, or is it the compromise you have to make when aligning to baseline grid.
Bedrock Games

Eero Tuovinen

I haven't used InDesign enough to answer #1 - if the "segregation" means that a line break appears in between the line in question and the rest of the paragraph, then it might be caused by your usage of the baseline grid: if there is a font modification on the line that makes the letters not fit on their allotted grid line, then a layout program will compensate by bumbing the line down a step. This typically happens when you have a tight grid and use a character style with a slightly larger font size than the rest of the text for emphasis, for example. Any text that does not fit in between two grid lines will cause another line to be taken to keep the minimal distance between the lines. This can be fixed by removing the leading from the paragraph style altogether; the text will still arrange itself to the grid, but as the lines do not have a minimum distance towards each other to respect, the next line will always position itself on the immediate next gridline.

If you'll put your layout file up somewhere with instructions for how to replicate the bug you're experiencing, we might get some more detailed explanation. Difficult to say, you might be doing something contrary to how the program is supposed to be used.

As for your #2, you're basically right: using a baseline grid for some parts of text and not others means that some distances between paragraphs are not going to be constant, as the text jumps to the next available grid line after the allocated whitespace instead of starting immediately at the allotted distance from the last paragraph. The way to alleviate this visually is to use enough whitespace in between the paragraphs to make the variation caused by the baseline grid small by comparison. When it comes to titles, it helps if you make sure that the excess whitespace comes to the top of the title, not below it. In your specific case you might also want to consider modifying the grid vis-a-vis your text box; you might be able to use the grid for your headings as well after making sure that the first grid line situates your heading where you want it to, after which the rest of the text can flow naturally.

Another tack is to consider whether you actually need the grid at all; you'd usually only use it for a multi-column layout, as the effect of disparate lines is not that distinctive otherwise.
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Reply to Q #2:
There are several ways to avoid this:
1. Make sure the headline is NOT alignes to grid. As you wrote this might look strange.

2. Make the leading of the heading the same as the  body text. This is only possible if the heading does not differ too much from the body text.

3. Correct the paragraph "by hand" after the layout is finished (as Eero suggested or some other way).

4. You could also go to: Object > Text Frame Options. Here you can set "vertical justification" to "justify" which might be similar to the effect you're looking for.


If Eeros answer does not help you with problem #1:
I'm not 100% sure what you mean but maybe you could fix this by setting the "next style" in the paragraph style options to "same style"???

Also I'm not sure why you can't use paragraph styles only. Character styles often makes things more complicated.

(Note: Sometimes when you have a "plus" sign in the paragraph setting panel you have some other formatting in the paragraph. To set the whole paragraph to the same paragraph style you have to press the "alt" key and click the paragraph style.)


I've had the same problem when I was laying out a monster that my head writer created.  I tried to set the styles and paragraph setup and totally lost the whole thing.  I suggest using layers and saving when you go on to a new part of the layout. You can always lock the layer from the layer window to ensure that you wont change any of your work that you just completed.  This way I can tool and mess around with all the applications of InDesign and not loose the good part of the work I was able to pull off.  That way you can mess around and see what works for you.  Another tip that works for me: is trying to adjust old layers and grabbing the wrong part of the project instead.  Just close the eye tab on the layer in question and you can grab and manipulate the other layers and objects you want without messing too much stuff up.

I hope some of that helps you
Your pal

Nathan P.

#1 - So this may not make much sense, because I don't really know the program deeply enough to explain it clearly, but here's something that may lead you to a solution. Basically, you don't want to use carriage returns at all in InDesign. When you hit enter at the end of the paragraph, it will take the paragraph you just made and apply the "space after" setting in your paragraph style to it. If you set it to "0", you will have no break (though then you want to make sure you have a "first line indent" of some kind). In most of my layout I like to have breaks between paragraphs, so I'll set my "space after" to something like .125. Hit enter, the beginning of the next paragraph is .125" below the end of the last one.

I learned this the hard way - paragraph styles are much, much easier to use and less of a headache than character styles. Even if you want a different size and typeface for single-line headers, make a paragraph style for it. This enables you to control all of your spacing really easily throughout the document creation process.

I've had some problems, also, whenever I've made a character style BEFORE deciding to make it a paragraph style instead, and I don't know why. These days I only make character styles if I'm going to be using some kind of nested style or drop cap effect.

I hope that helps in some way!
Nathan P.
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