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InDesign How-to Video: Make Text Fit Better Without Tracking

In this week’s InDesignSecrets video, Mike Rankin shows an easy way to fit type better in an InDesign text frame—without using tracking. Using the Justification settings, he demonstrates how to adjust the space between words, without going overboard.

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Editor in Chief of CreativePro and InDesign Magazine. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher.
  • Alan Gilbertson says:

    Justification settings are great, especially when you want to incorporate the change into a paragraph style. Sometimes you need to adjust only part of a paragraph, which happens often in the fine-tuning stages of setting long text.
    In that situation, an alternative is to use the secret Space Ninja keyboard shortcuts: Ctl-Alt-\ (Cmd-Opt-\) to increase word spacing, and Ctl-Alt-Backspace (Cmd-Opt-Delete) to reduce it. It helps if you have previously Done the Right Thing and changed your Kerning/Tracking increment to 1/1000th em in Preferences>Units & Increments from its default of 20/1000th, otherwise things can get a bit brutal.
    This method has the advantage that it applies character-level overrides to the kerning value of regular word spaces in the selection, making them easy to spot using the Style Override Highlighter: a godsend if the author sends you text changes a week or a year later. (Not that *your* authors would ever do that. But I digress.)
    Because Justification is a paragraph-level attribute, adjusting even a couple of words using the Justification panel causes the override highlighter to flag the whole paragraph, obscuring which spaces were affected.

    • Mike Rankin says:

      Those are GREAT points, Alan. I wish I’d thought of including them in the video. Maybe I’ll have to do a sequel…or maybe YOU should do it :)

  • Laurie Ruhlin says:

    Thanks Mike and Alan! I learned something new-I’m going to show it to my students today in my InDesign class.

  • Magnus Gaarde says:

    Just wanted to say that if you have your paragraph justification set to align left/ragged right then your word spacing minimum and maximum values are irrelevant. These only apply to justified text. The same goes for letter spacing and glyph scaling.

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