Hyphenation and justification settings are things you don’t think about until you need to! Book pages often look amateurish using InDesign’s default settings. Justified text can appear too stretched or squished, and hyphens abound. Often, just changing the hyphenation and justification settings instantly puts things right.
The following excerpt from chapter 7, Creating Your Document, explains the hyphenation and justification settings, and how to set them in your Basic Paragraph Style.
Every InDesign document comes with a default Basic Paragraph style. Open your Paragraph Styles panel and you’ll see that your document already includes a paragraph style called Basic Paragraph. The style name is in square brackets because it’s a default style and you don’t have the option of deleting it. You’ll use this style as a basis for all your text and adjust the settings so your type will look great.
Double-click the Basic Paragraph style in your Paragraph Styles panel, and you’ll see the Paragraph Style Options dialog box:
InDesign’s hyphenation settings
These hyphenation settings are recommended for justified text. They ensure that:
- there aren’t too many hyphens in a row
- words don’t get broken with just two letters on a line, such as op-era or opi-um
- the last word in a paragraph isn’t hyphenated, leaving part of a word alone on the last line
With these settings, you can be confident that most, if not all, of your paragraphs will have even spacing and not too many hyphens.
InDesign’s justification settings
When text is justified, InDesign must do its best to make your type look as evenly spaced as possible, a difficult task as every line contains a different number of characters. These settings allow InDesign to add or remove space between words (word spacing) and between letters (letter spacing), and even to make the characters slightly wider or narrower (glyph scaling), in order to make your paragraphs look their best.
We hope that by adjusting your hyphenation and justification settings, the typesetting on your book pages will look great, with no uneven spacing and no stretched or squished lines of text.
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