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Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 31 of 34

Paragraph Panel


Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 31 of 34

Paragraph Panel


Lesson Info

Paragraph Panel

And when I'm working with the paragraph panel, I don't need to have the entire paragraph selected. I just need to have my cursor sitting in the paragraph. So in this case, I can just click inside and have that sitting in the paragraph. And then everything I select in the paragraph panel or up in the control panel with the paragraph formatting controls turned on, everything I do there is going to affect everything across the board. Let me take my underlining off as well before I forget. So I'm just gonna tell underline on is not an option, turn that off. So now I wanna make sure that my cursor is just sitting in the paragraph. And now everything I do to this paragraph will affect everything that's inside the entire paragraph. In fact, I might wanna put this out in a different file really quickly, let's go to this file or have that. Just so we don't everything else again distracting us. So I come in here and turn on my edits we could see what's happening here. So I am going to go ahead a...

nd put my cursor inside that first long paragraph that's here. And the first chunk of options that we have have to do with the alignment of the text. So in this case, whether or not it's aligned left, centered or right. We're gonna take those first three to start with. So I just have my cursor sitting in that paragraph, left, centered and right. So we can just move that along there. Also on the far end, we have options align towards spine and away from spine. Now, I don't have those options. it's really not gonna do anything here because I didn't set this up as facing pages. So when we first set up a new document first thing in the course, one of the options was facing pages or not. When we have facing pages, it knows where two pages come together. For instance back here, it knows this area down the middle is a spine because it's not too separate stand alone pages side by side, it's a left side and a right side, the facing pages. So what this line two and away from spine does is it lets us align towards the spine here but when the text frame switches to a different page, it will switch the alignment as well. So in this case, I'm gonna go ahead and select this paragraph, just this first large paragraph. And I'm gonna tell it to align towards the spine. So when I do that, it wide the lines because it's a left page so everything aligns in towards this spine here. If I take this paragraph or this frame and I move this over to the right hand frame and it's gonna sit on top of that image and it'll be a little difficult, we'll be able to see it. It suddenly arranges to the left so that it's left justified on the right hand page. So let's take that first one and we're gonna move it right back over here and now it right justifies on the left hand page because again it's aligning towards or away from the spine. Put it away from the spine on the left hand page, it's left aligned. On a right hand page, it's going to be right aligned so everything moves over to the right. So that's a nice way to set it up when you're using facing pages and then you don't have to worry about how it looks on each one. If it flows from frame to frame, all the paragraphs on one page align one way, and as soon as it breaks to the next page the alignment switches to that alignment as well. Let's go back to this guy that's kinda outer by himself. And I'm just gonna double click and get into the frame, my cursor in there in that first paragraph again. And I'm gonna go back to my left justified text frame. Some of the next ones that are on here are justified. So all the text is justified right and left, it just that the last line looks slightly different on each. So I'm gonna go ahead and put my cursor in this paragraph. And I'm gonna choose justify with last line left. So now it's lined up on the left and lined up on the right. You can see that there's a lot more gaps in here so these rivers of white again, they just sort of appear because it needs to fit neatly to the end of this frame. And the last line is left justified. So these four that are here it just says, what do I do with that last line? So that's centered, it's white. Or this one justifies everything including that last line. Now we really have some big white gaps that show up here. So I'm gonna jump back to this left line justified. Also, I'm gonna change the size of this frame so we actually get some hyphenated words. As I've told it allow it to hyphenate but I don't have any hyphenations here. So I'm just gonna move this until I end up with a word too that's hyphenated. So there we go, I've got one that's hyphenated there. I can turn that hyphenation on and off if I want to. So in that case I have on, off completely. In the middle I'll show you how to zero and a little bit more on the hyphenation options as well. So let's move this over here. So we've got this justified, we've got it so that the last line is left justified and everything else is justified right and left. And the reason I wanna do that, even though it doesn't quite flow as well, is because these next two really show up just more obviously when we have justification on right and left. So the next two options are the left and the right indent. So in this case, maybe I want this paragraph to be indented a little bit more on the left than the right. But I don't wanna create a whole separate text frame just so that I have the ability to pull it in a little bit on the left and right. So I can actually change that with the left and right margins. So again, my cursor's sitting in this text frame, I'm sorry in this paragraph. And I'm just going to move the left side in a little bit. And the right side as well to the same amount. So now I have this sitting in if I hide, put it into preview mode. It looks almost like it's two separate text frames. It looks like it's something a little bit different, maybe we'll do a pull quote or something like that off kind of on it's own but it actually still sits in the same frame, I don't have to maintain two or more text frames with that. And it's gonna flow nicely even if it goes to the next text frame. It flows out to this one into the next one. It's still gonna have those same margins attached. I'm gonna put those back to zero though. Just so everything looks the same. And then here I have the first line indent. So the first line indent is in case you didn't have these extra gaps in between which we have built in but if we didn't have those, I might want the first line to be indented somewhat so that I still have that little bit of that clue that it's a new paragraph. So in this top paragraph that's here, I'm gonna choose a little bit of indentation there. And now, I don't have a space, I didn't have to hit space, I didn't have to hit tab. It's just automatically there. In fact, if I go into this sentence and just hit return, as soon as I do that, I get that extra space because it's picking up that first line indent value from here. So I can go ahead and do that. Now I wanna fix this back, I wanna put this back to none. So I wanna select both of this paragraphs but if I'm working with one, I can just have my cursor sitting in a paragraph but if I need both of them, I need to select at least a little bit of each. So just a little bit, doesn't have to be the whole thing. And then I'm gonna come in here and I'm just gonna type zero back in. So it's gonna set it back to no extra space there. In fact, this was all one paragraph. So I just deleted, brought it back, put it all back together as one paragraph. One thing I do have is the spacing in between each of these paragraphs but there isn't actually a hard return in between each of those. If I had actually hit an extra return to give me that space, I would be able to see it when I selected the text but that isn't there. So I'll show you how we're doing that because we definitely want that, we want the space in between. Maybe not this much space but we need some space in between our paragraphs, give it a little bit of breathing room. So where that's happening is, I'm gonna actually select all three of these 'cause I'm guessing they have the same value added to them. So I have all that selected, I'm gonna come into the paragraph panel or again paragraph settings in the control panel. And I'm gonna come down and my two options are space before and space after. And you can choose which one you wanna use. And keep it mind that they work together, if there's space after in one paragraph and space before and the next, those values will add together and give you even a bigger gap in between. But in this case, I can see that I have a quarter inch gap in between each so a little bit of space in between. I don't want that much so I'm just gonna dial this down a little bit. And in that way, we're back to an eight of an inch in between space after. And it just gave me that little bit of that breathing room. And the reason we want that is we don't want that extra return there because that extra return will show up whether we want it or not, even if it means that we're breaking across a column or something like that. So I'll show you, I'm gonna zoom out a little bit. If I were to take this text frame and were make that into let's say two columns. I'm gonna go up under the object menu, come back down to text frame options, and choose two columns and say okay. So now I have two columns and I want this to ... Flow across those two columns as I'm shrinking up the bottom of that column, that extra return actually shows up at the top here. And I don't want that. Although it doesn't look too bad here with the greetings but I don't want that because that space is gonna be there and it looks a little odd or it might end up as the first thing on a new page, we don't want blank space like that. I only want it when there's two paragraphs together. So by getting rid of that extra space that's actually there. Oh actually just delete that but I have that space before and space after built in, it's contextual so if I shrink the text frame up, and now that space is there but as soon as it isn't needed, it goes away. And as soon as part of that first paragraph jumps over, it's needed again and it adds it back. So it's never just sitting there by itself at the top of the line or the top of a page. And that's because we used that space after instead of the return. And I'm gonna turn on while I have this open. I'm gonna turn on our invisibles or our hidden characters here. Because I wanna look, I see that we have our returns here and here and we don't have any in between which is good, we didn't want that. We have one here but then I have this item here. And that's a soft return. And that was basically because if I just did a hard return, her title, if I hit a hard return, will be a whole new paragraph and so we'll have that extra space just like we're expecting extra spaces to be. And so we don't want that. So what I wanna do is I'm going to delete this and then where I want that return to happen, I'm gonna hold on shift and return and that gives us that soft return which is indicated by this character here. So basically it says it's not really a new paragraph so it doesn't take on any new characteristics of new paragraphs which in our case means putting a little space before or space after in that paragraph. So we do the soft return there. Let's go back to this paragraph here, this first paragraph, the first large paragraph here. And some of the last options down in the paragraph panel are ... Drop caps. And so we want the first character to be a specific number of lines. So maybe we want it to be three lines. And we can choose how many characters we want it to be. And unless they're the same, it looks a little odd to choose the first three of every word, never know what it'll spell. So we're gonna come here and say just three characters, I'm sorry one character, three lines tall. So again, it just automatically fills up the number of lines no matter what the word is. If I delete this word then suddenly the first letter of message shows up on that line there. So those are drop caps and again remember, we're gonna set all these stuff up once probably and we're gonna save it as a character style or a paragraph style. And then we can just apply this to paragraphs across the board. And I don't have to think about creating a drop cap every time. We're going to have a style set up just for our drop cap paragraphs. Some of the things that are in the paragraph panel are things like shading, we can put some shading back behind. Let's do the different colors we can actually see that. Put some shading back behind each paragraph. And we could also put a border around the paragraph as well. So I have just a choice of the color here. And we can change that. So we can put that around and each paragraph could have it's own set of coloring. Now we have spaces in between so it might not look so great in between, we can choose that. Choose another color here and another border here as well. So we can have that instead of having a separate frame that sits back behind but you can see that the type is pretty tight against that frame that's there. But it's a great way to add color really quickly, highlight it, looks a lot better I think usually without any border on there. Let's choose this not have a border, not have a border here. And actually I'm gonna go ahead and get rid of the shading as well so we can kinda look at some more text options here. One of the things I said I would talk about was the hyphenate so the checkbox that's here is either is hyphenation allowed? Or it is not allowed? Those are your only two choices with this checkbox. Now, I want a one word that's hyphenated, actually there's a couple here and here. When I change that to no hyphenation, it's great 'cause it doesn't hyphenate but then there's more space in between. But we actually have more options available to us. And those are hiding in the paragraph panel menu. So we come in here and choose hyphenation. Here's where I can turn it on or off and that's fine. But I also have a lot more options available besides just on and off. When I have it turned on, I can choose how long the words needs to be before it allows hyphenation. And how many letters need to be there on either side of the hyphenation whether or not you hyphenate capital words et cetera. There's a lot of different options. The one that I play with the most is this slider so I have to basically make my choice, do I want better spacing with more hyphens? or fewer hyphens and the spacing isn't so good? And it's not huge here, sometimes you'll see a huge difference depending on what your paragraph looks like. So we just have this slider that we can play with. So again those are just further hyphenations options that are there.

Class Description

Learn Basic Design Skills.

Adobe® InDesign CC® is the industry's go-to tool making for layouts that combine images and text. Learn the most efficient way to work with this indispensable software in Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet.

In this beginner-friendly class you’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate the Adobe InDesign CC workspace
  • Work with text, images, and color
  • Export and Print

Erica will show you how to execute layouts that include text, graphic elements, and images. You’ll learn basic design skills you can use to create professional-looking magazine layouts, newsletters, flyers and more.

If you want to take charge of your graphic design, Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet will get you started.

Level: Beginner, No prior Adobe InDesign experience required.

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Adobe InDesign CC 2018



Fantastic course. I have used Illustrator and photoshop, but learned when under tight deadlines. We are going to begin using inDesign to publish a more extensive multipage newsletter, and I wanted to build a better knowledge foundation of this tool, rather than just diving in. The course was comprehensive and I feel that I'll be able to make a better product after taking the course.


Have loved Erica since I was a baby designer. She is a great educator, and even though I have been using ID for about 8 years, I just changed from CS6 to CC. This was a great refresher as well as a mental upgrade to new options and effects.

Gilbert Beltran

I enjoyed these classes. Learned the Indesign toolbox and picked up a few smart tricks. Erica is great at keeping up the pace and being very clear and easy to follow.