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Adobe InDesign CC – Advanced Training

Optical Margin Alignment In Adobe InDesign CC

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 26 of 71




Hi there, in this video we're going to look at Optical margin alignment. Let's first figure out how to turn it on and off, and we'll describe what it does then.

So go to 'Window', and let's go down to 'Type & Tables', and there's one there called 'Story'. This little Story panel just has this one little setting in it. What I'm going to do, with my Black Arrow, is click on this block of text here, the Story. And at the moment, if I turn on my W key, so I can see my columns, you can see, nothing escapes the edges of this column. All the way down here, and all the way down this side, everything lines up. But visually, if I turn the W off you can kind of see, it kind of ducks in a little bit. Even though, technically it lines up perfectly, visually it doesn't quite. That's what this does, so with it selected, if I turn it on and turn it off, can you see, kind of just pushes out. Let's turn the 'W' key back on. See the hyphens in there, kind of poking out a little bit to the right. Same with these bullets here, watch the bullets, I'll turn that on and off. See the bullet, just kind of hang out a little bit more.

It just gives you a bit more of a visual lining up rather than a technical pixel by pixel one. So it's great for justified lines. It's also really good for say, headings. Let's say that B doesn't really work, if I use a W, a Y, or a V, anything that has this kind of like big, see this big negative space here? Kind of visually, technically, kind of lines up, but it just, it ends up with this big kind of like, I don't know, gap here, so with it selected I'm going to turn 'Optical Margin Alignment' on. And you can see, the Y hangs out quite a bit now.

Now what you might have to do, depending on the size of your text you might have to increase this up and down to get more of a stronger feel. So, you go quite low, or quite high, it will change, depending on the font size you've used. So try and match the font sizes. It's about 90, so I'll create mine all the way up to 72. Down the bottom here, with it on, it should be about 12. Whatever you've got your body copy font to. It also works great for things like rotation.

Say you've got some cool quotes around the place if I add this quote here, you'll notice that, I zoom in, can you see, the quote hangs off the edge as well. So Ys, Ws, Vs, quotation marks, bullets, hyphens, all kind of benefit by using this Optical margin alignment. And what you could do is, you could just make a part of your body copy paragraph style, which will get included automatically if you use it. And this is a simple thing to do, if this kind of stuff worries you. If it doesn't, don't worry about it and let's move on to the next video.