18 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2014 2:23 AM by incubo1

    Balance ragged lines - except last line?

    incubo1 Level 1

      Hi everyone

       

      Is there any way to balance the lines of an entire paragraph except for the very last line? I would like to make it visible when a new paragraph begins, and a shorter line would be my choice. It would be great if there were a global solution for this, at the moment I am fiddling around manually quite a bit. Then again, maybe this is how it's done...

       

      I'm using CS6. Thanks for your help!

        • 1. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
          us-hh Level 2

          Do you mean this?

           

          us-hh

          blocksatz.png

          • 2. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
            Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Can you please post a screen shot of the type of effect you want to achieve.

             

            Thanks

            • 4. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
              incubo1 Level 1

              Thanks everyone!

               

              @Derek

              Thanks, yes, I had been looking at this article earlier, it basically says forget it in most cases... I was hoping there was some kind of loophole I was missing.

               

              @Eugene

              Here's the problem... With balanced lines you can't see where the new paragraph begins:

               

              1.PNG

              ...And without it the lines are too ragged, so you have to do everything manually to clean it up:

               

              2.PNG

              • 5. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                It's going to be near impossible to insure that the end line of every paragraph is short. Sometimes the word count is not going to cooperate. Have you considered using the "Space After Paragraph" attribute to add a little extra space to distinguish between paragraphs?

                Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 6.46.56 AM.png

                • 6. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                  incubo1 Level 1

                  Thanks, SRiegel, I guess that is one possible workaround. The other thing that bothers me about the Balance Ragged Lines command is that it sometimes makes ridiculously narrow paragraphs; I thought maybe a final line with no restrictions could be used to correct this. Is it best to give up on Balanced Lines altogether? Seems quite unfortunate, I like the idea of saving all this time!

                  • 7. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Or adding some first-line indent? Spacing or first-line indent are pretty much standard typesetting conventions to assure your reader sees the starts of new paragraphs.

                     

                    A less-attractive option, in my opinion, is to add some LAST-Line indent. The downside is that this can force the paragraph composer to make all the lines shorter.

                    • 8. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                      incubo1 Level 1

                      @SRiegel again... Just noticed, of course adding a little bit of space after the paragraph only works without baseline grid alignment, which I definitely need turned on.

                       

                      @Peter, yes indeed, this is an option I have been trying to avoid, just personally not keen on it for such narrow paragraphs. And as I said above, I'm also not keen on how the Balance command sometimes makes the paragraphs even narrower.

                       

                      ??

                      • 9. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        When you use balance ragged lines you are telling ID that you want ALL lines in your paragraph to be as close to the same length as possible, and that is most definitiely NOT what you want here. If you want to force the last line to change length (and I have to tell you, most users here ask us how to prevent short last lines), you can kern the word spaces slightly.

                         

                        Select the entire paragraph and press Cmd (Ctrl on Windows) + Opt (Alt on Windows) + Backspace to tigthen, Cmd + Opt + \ to loosen. This affects only the spaces. I would be very conservative in doing this, though (my limit is applying it twice to any selected text), as too much adjustment will make your paragraph jump out compared to the ones above and below.

                        • 10. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                          incubo1 Level 1

                          Yeah, nobody likes a widow... OK, looks like I will have to play around a little more until I find something I am satisfied with. Maybe a small indentation is the best solution. Thanks Peter.

                          • 11. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                            Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Balance Ragged Lines is only really intended for headings, not body type.

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 12. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                              You can use the last line right intent.

                              LastLine.png

                              Positiv values for your purpose, negative values for a TOC.

                              • 13. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                I mentioned this above, but it suffers from the same problem as balance ragged lines in that it can make the entire paragraph narrower if you have to force the last line to indent.

                                • 14. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                                  [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                                  incubo1 wrote:

                                   

                                  ... without it the lines are too ragged, so you have to do everything manually to clean it up

                                   

                                  Can you elaborate on this? What does your 'manually clean up' do?

                                   

                                   

                                  With Ragged Right text, you have 3 options:

                                   

                                  1. The usual way, with Adobe's Paragraph Composer (the default setting).

                                  2. The usual way but using the Single Line Composer instead.

                                  3. "Balance Ragged Lines".

                                   

                                  ad 1: The Paragraph Composer tries to even out line endings as much as possible. If one line sticks out too much, it will usually move one or more words from the previous or next paragraphs into another position to prevent it. This ensures a 'mathematically best fit' for all lines, i.e., the smallest possible jumps from the end of one line to the next.

                                   

                                  ad 2: For people who cannot stand the Paragraph Composer's "mind of its own" -- and rather prefer Bad Spacing instead! -- there is always the option to fill one line at a time. Switch to the Single Line Composer, and lo and behold, InDesign will Do What You Ask. (Precisely that and nothing more.)

                                   

                                  ad 3: As Eugene says, don't use this for body text! Of course you may get an entire paragraph 'narrow' -- that's precisely what this function is for! It balances the paragraph so that all line lengths are as close to each other as (mathematically) possible. This makes your request for "Ragged lines but not the last one" not possible in InDesign.

                                  1 person found this helpful
                                  • 15. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                                    Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Well, I wouldn't consider use of the Justification and Hyphenation dialogs to be manual cleanup. Adding a few non-breaking spaces here and there, or a bit of No Break, that's manual cleanup. However, until you have a good seat-of-pants feeling for how the Adobe Paragraph Composer works, you won't know where to put those non-breaking entities or qualities.

                                     

                                    If you don't have all of the above, then riding the lines to get a pleasing rag no doubt feels like "you have to do everything manually to clean it up." But really, it's not very much "everything."

                                    1 person found this helpful
                                    • 16. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                                      incubo1 Level 1

                                      Thanks Everyone

                                       

                                      I'll keep fiddling around with this. I clean up manually very much the way described by Joel, with a few forced breaks or non-breaks etc. The problem is that my boss changes the text at the last moment every single time (since I'm unfortunately the author as well as the designer) which leaves me with a huge mess. I would love it if the final proof-read actually were the final one but she always alters the text after I show her the layout. I guess I need to resign to the fact that I will always have to undo all my manual adjustments and start over. And yes, it seems that I can say goodbye to 'Balance ragged lines', but that's okay, it's great to get all your expert opinions on this and know that it won't work, thank you so much!

                                      • 17. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                                        [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                                        incubo1 wrote:

                                         

                                        I'll keep fiddling around with this. I clean up manually very much the way described by Joel, with a few forced breaks or non-breaks etc. The problem is that my boss changes the text at the last moment every single time (since I'm unfortunately the author as well as the designer) which leaves me with a huge mess. I would love it if the final proof-read actually were the final one but she always alters the text after I show her the layout. I guess I need to resign to the fact that I will always have to undo all my manual adjustments and start over.

                                         

                                        Here is some *good* news, then. I prefer to manual fix using No Break over non-breaking spaces (I only use nbsp's where they are 'significant') and frequently run into the same problem: an editor or author doing some huge text edits, making all my previous "nicifications" obsolete -- or even harmful.

                                         

                                        A couple of years ago I tried to write an InDesign plugin to make No Break visible, along with Show Hidden Characters. Alas, that ran into the ground due to my inexperience in writing plugins. But there is an almost as good option: Show Local Formatting (http://www.indiscripts.com/post/2010/05/show-local-formatting-in-indesign-cs4)

                                         

                                        This script toggles a hidden option of InDesign that clearly marks any manual formatting with a red line in 'normal' view mode -- it won't print out or export to PDF. If you stick religiously to paragraph and character styles and only use local formatting for manual fixes, this is an incredibly useful tool.

                                         

                                        Even better: you can assign a hotkey to it using the Keyboard Shortcut Editor, or include it into your dropdown menu's: http://in-tools.com/article/scripts-blog/showing-text-formatting-overrides/

                                        • 18. Re: Balance ragged lines - except last line?
                                          incubo1 Level 1

                                          Thanks for this, will check it out!