InDesign Hyphenation Domination, Part 3: Turn it Off

No Hyphenation; No Worries! Right?

Screen shot of narrow text column with no hyphenation enabled
Disabling hyphenation in justified text can create rivers in narrow columns

Well, yes … and no. Some discretion is advised.

If your text is fully justified, you run the risk of creating distracting rivers the width of the Amazon in the text, especially if the columns are  narrow. And, be advised, in order to keep the text flowing, InDesign will force a break somewhere in a word that exceeds the column width, even with hyphenation disabled. And it will not use standard hyphenation rules to do so.

If this is your only option, there are a number of steps you can take to make the text look better. You can:

  • Change Kerning from Metrics to Optical
  • Play with the Word and Letter Spacing in the Paragraph Justification panel (more leeway = better spacing)
  • Switch from Paragraph Composer to Single Line Composer and adjusting the tracking (track whole paragraphs if Paragraph Composer is used; track single lines if the other option is chosen)

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InDesign Hyphenation Domination, Part 2: Cheats

Cheats? Really? Why?

Sometimes, in the course of copy-fitting a document (or to please an editor or art director) you will have to fix a hyphen that, despite your best efforts, appears in the running text.

You could insert a soft return to force the word to the next line, but you really don’t want to.

You could (but I strongly encourage you not to) insert a soft return (usually a shift-return) in order to simply move the word to the next line. Problem solved, right? Well, no. The reason you really don’t want to use this shortcut is because if the text reflows (due to editing, or text revisions, or text wraps caused by changing image placement) you could be introducing an unsightly return in the middle of a line of text.

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InDesign Hyphenation Domination

Unwanted Hyphens Got You Down?

Are you tired of reading and re-reading your InDesign document trying to cure unwanted or awkward hyphenation? Do you find yourself eliminating a hyphen in one line only to have another set of hyphens appear two lines down? Did the last word in a paragraph hyphenate, causing your editor to literally open his veins so that he’d have enough red ink to circle that egregious offense? I’ll be presenting some problem scenarios below, along with potential solutions.
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How do you craft a resume that reflects 20+ years at one employer?

Very creatively.

The Evolution of Man Silhouette
Everything evolves

It’s hard to believe, but I have been at my job for over 20 years. When I began, typesetting was still very much a craft. We coded everything. We developed our galleys in a processor. We cleaned trays of developer and fix. We reclaimed the silver.

You need a wow factor: infographics and social media endorsements. Maybe a YouTube channel.

The first time we had a discussion about desktop publishing I was horrified. It all looked like it was created in a basement on someone’s old computer. Back then desktop publishing was to typesetting as pulp fiction was to established hardcover novels.

Continue reading How do you craft a resume that reflects 20+ years at one employer?

Accepted into the Google Glass Explorers Program!


About a month ago Google was looking for people to test their Google Glass and asked the public to submit their ideas to #ifIhadglass via Twitter or Google+. So I submitted an idea. Most people had grand, exciting schemes: jumping out of airplanes, helping veterans, recording important events for their relatives. My idea was pretty utilitarian: I conceived of scanning recipes, making shopping lists, going to the supermarket, being instantly informed of coupon items, sales, etc.

Screen shot of #glassexplorer acceptance by Google Glass
Accepted to be a #glassexplorer

Imagine my surprise at opening my gmail to find out I had been accepted as a #glassexplorer! Perhaps Google saw an opportunity to tie their Glass to their Google Wallet in a grocery store setting. Imagine being able to scan the barcodes for your items, place them in your bag, and simply beam your Glass at the cash register reader on your way out? The register would read your data and debit your account. Done deal.

I know most people think of a camera when they think of Glass, but it will be fun to see what other things we #glassexplorers can dream up. You can follow along at Project Glass on Google+.