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22 - Paragraph Vs Single Line Composer In Adobe InDesign CC


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Hi there, have you ever wondered why sometimes you can see this letter here, or these words here? This 'si'. Totally has enough room to fit up here. It's because by default InDesign uses something called Paragraph Composer. So if you are a real stickler about getting your lines to break right and you're trying, and you're like, "Why is he up here?" And you're trying to use soft returns and line breaks to try and fix it, or non-breaking, it's because by default it's doing this because it's trying to balance the entire paragraph. Not specifically every line. You can turn this on and off.

So with it selected, we're going to go to our Type tool. Up here, in our Burger menu, doesn't matter if you're a character or a paragraph, let's click on it, and we've got these options here, 'Paragraph Composer' and 'Single-line Composer'. We won't use these two here. These are for other languages. If you are dealing with like Arabic, Hebrew, or Japanese, you might be using these because there are lots of other special things that need to happen, but if you're just dealing with the English language or at least languages that are based on the Roman alphabet, you can toggle between these two.

So we're going to keep an eye on our little 'si' and we're going to click on 'Single-line Composer'. Nothing much is going to change, a few of them did. See, he came up now. So it's trying to balance this thing line by line. Kind of like typically how you would imagine it works. Now you as a designer get to go through and you could now be using break characters to kind of force that down, and do it yourself, but by default, InDesign wants to do it for you and balance out that whole paragraph. It's up to you.

Now if you prefer to stay on 'Single-line Composer' you can go to your 'Preferences', and change it in there. Now that's changed it for this one paragraph. If you want to change that by default you can go to your 'Preferences'. So go to 'InDesign', 'Preferences', 'Advanced Type'. If you're on a PC, it's under 'Edit', 'Preferences', 'Advanced Type'. Down the bottom here, the 'Default Composer' switch it to single line, and it will be like that forever. Single-line Composer versus Paragraph Composer; I'm unsure, sometimes I hate it when it tries to force letters where I don't want it, other times, I like that the paragraphs are all nicely balanced. You might have a stronger view than me, and you can change it as necessary.

All right, that is it for your Composer.

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