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InDesign's Top 10 Type Tools

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For all its complexity and sophistication, Adobe InDesign CS2 is a remarkably simple and intuitive program to use. That said, unless you're working with it on a regular basis, some of its features may go unnoticed or misunderstood. Some of InDesign's most important typographic tools are buried away in submenus; some have arcane or intimidating-sounding names; others require little user interaction and are easy to overlook. Nigel French discusses his favorite type features in InDesign that you never knew you needed, but soon will not be able to live without.

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Real World Adobe InDesign CS2

Real World Adobe InDesign CS2


9 Kerning and Tracking Increments

Speaking of kerning and tracking, InDesign’s kerning and tracking is based upon a 1000 em unit square, and you can adjust the spacing between characters in increments as small as 1/1000 of an em (an em is relative to the point size of the type: for example, with 24-point type, an em is 24 points). On a cautionary note, I recommend that you change the factory default for the kerning and tracking increment from 20 to no more than 5. This determines how much space is removed (or added) when you use the Option/Alt+left arrow/right arrow keyboard shortcut to apply tracking or kerning.

Figure 09

Figure 9 Reduce the default kerning amount (also affects tracking) to 5 or lower for finer adjustments when kerning or tracking using keyboard shortcuts.

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