At the request of Quark, renowned typesetter Brad Walrod has recommended new default hyphen and justification settings for QuarkXPress 7. For the first time, you’re no longer forced to conjure up your own settings. Your bag of tricks now serves up six default H&Js that work their magic on your columns of copy.
The hyphenation and justification settings in QuarkXPress, saved in portable little packages called H&Js, offer sophisticated controls over hyphenation, word spacing, and character spacing for the discerning typesetter. Therein lays the problem, however.
QuarkXPress has always offered these sophisticated controls—but only really discerning typesetters learned how to use them. The rest of us would just fiddle with the hyphenation settings a little, maybe create the requisite No Hyphens H&J for headlines, and pretty much leave it at that. Well, those days are over.
David Blatner’s venerable book, Real World QuarkXPress, always recommended a set of default H&Js for you to create—a set similar to the one Quark now provides. (The version 7 book is available today and is always worth the investment.)
In addition, customers nagged Quark about the default H&Js (or lack thereof) for years. According to diplomatic product manager Scott Wieseler:
"We had a number of customers contact us about where to start with their H&J settings. So we used the opportunity to consult typographers from different vertical markets and produced an easily accessible set of supporting H&J settings that allow our customers to obtain better results in common scenarios."
Quark ended up creating the H&Js according to advice from Brad Walrod of High Text Graphics, a book-composition company in Brooklyn, New York. Yes, he’s that Brad Walrod, the guy renowned for typesetting the Harry Potter books.
Walrod attacked the old Standard values and helped create the new H&Js as well:
"The H&J settings I recommended for use with QuarkXPress 7 are based on the various styles I’ve used for years in earlier versions of the program. The best change, in my opinion, is the inclusion of a small amount of character spacing in the Standard style. This should help those folks that never edit their H&J styles get better-looking, even-colored type by default. Allowing QuarkXPress to add or remove bits of space between characters gives the program more options for setting pleasant-looking lines of text before it has to resort to blowing out the word spaces. Subtle adjustments between letters can help small or partial words run forward or back to fill in loose lines, creating a tangible improvement in the overall look of the page."
In addition to fine-tuning Standard, that old standby default, Quark added five other new default H&Js: Narrow Measure, No Hyphenation, Titles, Very Narrow Measure, and Wide Measure (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 The new default H&Js included with QuarkXPress 7.
"I’m also thrilled that a No Hyphenation style is included, making it a simple matter of selecting that choice when defining paragraph styles for subheads, as well as a Titles style for tightening up large-size chapter titles. The Wide and Narrow Measure styles should also be good starting points for setting more challenging copy."