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Adobe InDesign CC – Advanced Training

Mastering Justification In Adobe InDesign CC

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 24 of 74

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Hi there, in this video we're going to look at justification where it goes right to the edge. We're going to look at what happens when you get these kind of long gaps and rivers of holes in the text. And kind of tidy them up, something like this. And what we'll also do is, I'll show you how to turn on some visual guides like this so that InDesign can show you, using its yellow highlighter what it feels is really bad justification, and you can go and make adjustments as necessary. Let's go and learn how to do that now in InDesign.

So plain justification's pretty easy. I'm going to grab my Black Arrow, click on this whole text box here, on page 4. Grab my Type tool. And I'm going to switch from 'Character, down to 'Paragraph'. And you've got these options down the bottom here. So you want this kind of first one here. Justified with last line left, otherwise it kind of stretches out the last lines, and goes a bit crazy. So you want this kind of first justification option.

Now, in terms of getting a bit pro about justification there's a couple of things you can do. One is, with this text box selected in the Type tool, is-- I don't like, the cool rivers, right? You can see a big one there. Kind of just a gap that opened up, because it really wants to justify, and you end up with these kind of big gaps everywhere. So there's a couple of little things you can do. I don't really like justification. It looks good in terms of a block of text in a page, but I find that in terms of readability, I don't like it, but you might, it's just a personal preference.

So with the text box selected, grab the Type tool. What we're going to do is, over here, in our Hamburger menu we're going to click on this, and go into 'Justification' and get a bit nerdy about it. There's not much you can do but I find the best thing we can do to kind of avoid these kind of rivers here is to play along with letter spacing. Some people might gasp at adjusting the space between letters but I'm okay with it. So I like to say-- actually you can increase or decrease the letter spacing by -5% there, and +5% here. And if I click out, watch this, if I turn the preview on and off, so that's it with my little settings, and I find that the rivers disappear, you do though get, can you see, some of these words are just a bit tighter together. It depends on whether you can live with that or not. So it depends on which problem you’re on, I guess. Do you want the words to be a little bit tight, and together, or do you want the words to have like gaps and rivers between them. Both are bad, but it's, I guess, depending on what you want to do.

Now it depends on the size of your font as well, and your text. You can play around with letter spacing of maybe -2 or -10, upto 10. Up to you, play around with letter spacing. I find you can get a little bit of magic happening there. The other thing to do is just make sure that when you are justifying you use the Paragraph Composer. We looked through that a little earlier, remember. Single line composer will deal with everything line by line. And what you'll find is it can look a bit weird in one place and look great in another, whereas if it's on Paragraph Composer it kind of balances the entire paragraph, and there's a little give and take between the lines.

Another thing you can do, if you're justifying, you get a bit blind to that after a while, you're just looking at justification-- trying to find the gaps, and it gets a bit weird. There's a nice little kind of visual cue you can use from InDesign to show you if there's any bad rivers, or just kind of like bad spacing going on. And you can do it, up under your 'Preferences' remember, on a PC, it's under 'Edit'. Then come down to 'Preferences', and we're going to go down to 'H&J', we're going to go to 'Composition'. And in here, we're going to turn on this one called 'H&J Violations'. And all it means is the J in here, is justification, and the H is hyphenation. We haven't covered hyphenation yet. But violations just means, anything that it thinks is a bit weird.

Now I've turned it on, and I can't see anything, it's because I'm in preview mode. So I'm going to have my Black Arrow selected, and tap 'W'. You can see in here, it's kind of highlighted the words that it thinks have gone bad. Weirdly, it has some really obvious spacing in them. Now we're using quite large fonts, so some of these characters are quite big. So that H&J violations just kind of shows you visually where things have been changed quite a bit, this line here, perfect, this line here, it's light yellow, so it's only had a light change whereas some of these ones here have had big changes so they've opened up, and opened up the gaps in here so there's quite a bit going on. That just helps you, say, okay that's just a visual cue to help you see where there might be problems.

You can go back into your justification settings and play around with them to try and get the dark yellows down as far as you can. Now you probably don't want this on by default so it will be on all the time now. We're going to go back into 'Preferences' turn it off, then move back to our next video. So 'Preferences', 'Composition', let's turn 'H&J Violations' off. Let's click 'OK', and the yellowness goes away. All right, on to the next video.