Book typesetting and layout tips are usually about the small stuff—fixing awkward hyphenation, using special characters for symbols, and so on—but most of the questions we get are about the BIG issues. How can I balance the number of text lines on facing pages? What if the last page of my chapter only has two lines? If my chapter has to end on a right-hand page, can I leave it blank? These issues arise all the time during book typesetting. We’ll explain the best ways to resolve them. [Read more…]
This is a test introduction to the Text Frames archive, where you'll find links to all the information about text frames on the Book Design Made Simple website, book, videos, and blog.
Coffee table books. Are they a blast from the past? No, actually, folks are still publishing them, and you can, too. Do you have an idea for a coffee table book of poetry and photography? About a specific artist or a place you love? About your local history, or something completely different? With good planning and design, your book could become very successful. [Read more…]
What the heck is a text variable, anyway? It’s copy that you can add anywhere in your document—but it varies depending on the context. For instance, you could set up your document to automatically insert the current date in a header. Or if you need to send readers to the last page, a text variable will automatically update the page number reference if you add or delete pages later.
Now think how useful text variables could be as navigational tools (i.e., running heads) in a nonfiction book. They can make the current chapter number and chapter title appear—presto!—on verso pages and the most recent internal heading appear on recto pages. And that’s exactly what I’m going to demonstrate in this article. Adobe’s official user guide instructions on the topic of text variables are a bit sketchy, so I’ve developed a detailed lesson for you. [Read more…]
Do you use a layout grid? A few months ago, I saw a survey on Twitter for designers. The one multiple choice question went something like this:
- I always use a layout grid.
- I sometimes use a layout grid.
- What’s a layout grid?
I had to laugh, but then I began thinking that some of our readers could benefit from learning about this topic. [Read more…]
Adobe’s 2018 update for InDesign includes a great new feature for book designers—live InDesign endnotes. Until now, footnotes and endnotes could be imported from Word to InDesign, but only footnotes continued to be live and linked, allowing us to insert and delete them without messing up the numbering system. Now we have the same flexibility with endnotes! [Read more…]
If your book has footnotes, you’re probably using automatic InDesign footnotes in your layout. And that’s great! But what if you compiled your footnotes in a separate Word document or didn’t use the automatic footnote feature in Word or InDesign?
Before Word and InDesign added their automatic footnote features, and well before Fiona and I met each other, we both invented a way—interestingly, the same way—to lay out InDesign footnotes manually for print books. In this blog post, I’ll explain the layout method that we both used—it still works perfectly.
Recently we’ve been asked how to import an Excel spreadsheet into InDesign. In Book Design Made Simple we walk you through importing tables from Word, but importing a spreadsheet from Excel is a bit different so we’ll walk you through it here. And, because spreadsheets and tables rarely import into InDesign looking like they did in Excel and Word, we’ll give you a few tips on the easiest way to get started. [Read more…]
In Book Design Made Simple, we mention cookbooks a few times but never sit you down and explain in detail how to go about designing one. Once you’ve had some experience with designing and laying out other books, you’ll see at once that you’ll need to apply some extra effort to make a good-looking, readable cookbook. [Read more…]