Working with Text in Adobe InDesign

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When designing a page in InDesign, it’s natural to think in terms of layout and graphics first. But the detail-level presentation of the text on a page is every bit as important, since that is what the target audience is going to read, and hopefully, remember. We’re sharing a few pointers on how to make sure your text is everything you need it to be.

If you like these videos and tips, be sure to check out our full InDesign CC training series by Adobe Certified Expert Jeff Witchel.

Text Editing Tips and Tricks

1. Hidden Characters. If you copy and paste text from an external source, such as an email, InDesign will automatically pick up the formatting it was originally in. Because of this, the text might not look the way you would like it to, but you won’t necessarily know why. There is a simple fix for this: turning on invisible characters. To do this, go to Type → Show Hidden Characters. This will show you if there are any unnecessary spaces, indents, page breaks, or other obtrusion, and allow you to fix them accordingly.
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2. Eyedropper Tool. The eyedropper tool isn’t just for color, it also works on text formatting. Using the eyedropper, clicking on the text will allow you to pick up that formatting and apply it elsewhere. You can also click and drag on other text to quickly apply the formatting, saving you valuable time and effort.

3. Drag and Drop Text Editing. When enabled, click and drag across a paragraph, then you will be able to drag that entire paragraph around, duplicate the text to drag elsewhere, or drag text from one frame to another.

Adding Text Effects

While it’s not for every project, adding glowing text effects is easy and can really make your text pop. Go to the effects panel and apply an effect by clicking the text then opening the fx pop-up menu. Once you select the outer glow effect, you can begin increasing or decreasing the size of the glow and adjusting the blending mode and opacity. You can also add noise, which makes the effect appear less computer-generated by giving it more texture.

Staying inside the fx menu, you can also add an inner glow to the text. This can help you create a neon look, allowing the text to pop and become vibrant.

Underline and Strikethrough Magic

In InDesign, underlines are, by default, too heavy and close to the text. In other programs, like Microsoft Word, there isn’t much you can do about it, but in InDesign, you have the ability to control it. To do so, simply highlight a word or sentence and navigate into the character options panel. In here, you can alter the weight of the underline and position it where you’d like it to appear under the text. You’re also able to create your own custom underline style and save it into the program to be able to use it over and over again.

The strikethrough option in InDesign is also too heavy for the type. You can alter this the same way you were able to alter the underline. Again, once you find a strikethrough setting you’re happy with, save it into InDesign for future use.

Going Further

For more tips and tutorial videos, check out our InDesign courses taught by Jeff Witchel on our website. Whether you’re just starting out with the program, or you’re looking to brush up on your skills, our tutorials are sure to teach you what you’re looking to learn.

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