11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 2, 2011 3:37 AM by John Hawkinson

    leading: equal space text lines

    jiggy1965 Level 1

      Is there a way to have an equal space between text lines when each line has a different font size? I can set a fixed leading but that's not what I want. I want de space between lines 1 and 2 to be the same between lines 2 and 3 and again between lines 3 and 4 etc. So a fixed leading doesn't work. Neither does setting the text box to Justify (vertically). Cause all lines have a different font size.

       

      Line 1

      Line 2

      Line 3

      Line 4

       

      Is there a secret way to make the space between al above lines equal to for example 2 mm? Without shifting each line up or down until it looks a bit equal in space (not exactly accurate)?

        • 1. Re: leading: equal space text lines
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Set a baseline grid to the spacing you want and add "align to grid" to your paragraph styles.

          • 2. Re: leading: equal space text lines
            [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

            Sure.

             

            1. Set your leading to "Auto".

            2. Set your Auto Leading value to the relative size of the characters you want to use as 'defaults'. For capitals in Myriad Pro, this seems to be about 68%.

            3. Use Paragraph Space Before or After to set the distance from line to line.

            4. This works only with single lines.

             

            Ad 2: You need to choose which characters you are measuring, because the distance from a lowercase 'e' to the one above it is different from the distance from a lowercase 'i' (that's higher) or a period (that's lower). Capitals are a good choice, generally, but only if there are capitals in your text. And for some fonts its lowercase characters stick out above its own capitals.

             

            The 68% was guessed by adjusting the Auto Leading value in steps of 1% with Preview on. It's only valid for Myriad Pro, other fonts will have another Cap Size ration.

             

            Ad 4: Uh, if you have wrapping lines, just bung in a few hard returns will ya? Soft line breaks won't cut it, I'm afraid.

            • 3. Re: leading: equal space text lines
              jiggy1965 Level 1

              That doesn't seem to work. I've upload a test Indesign file

              https://rapidshare.com/files/1394558539/equalleading.indd

               

              I've set Leading to Auto (which turns automatically into 0pt) and added to all lines a space before and after paragraph of 6 mm.

               

              So LINE 1 and LINE 2 should be 6 mm apart, LINE 2 and LINE 3 also 6 mm apart, etc.)

               

              But as you can see all lines have a different space between the lines. Because each line has a different font size.

               

              Can this be made equal?

              • 4. Re: leading: equal space text lines
                [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                I cannot download your example file, that web site looks way too complicated!

                 

                You don't say you also followed my point #2.

                • 5. Re: leading: equal space text lines
                  jiggy1965 Level 1

                  Here's a less complicated page

                   

                  Just press the Download button at:

                  http://bit.ly/jcc52V

                   

                  I've used all kapitals.

                  • 6. Re: leading: equal space text lines
                    jiggy1965 Level 1

                    I've but together a sample image to show the effect I'm after.

                    equalspacing.jpg

                    At the right is how I want to have it. No matter what the font size is, the spacing between each line is exactly 2 mm.

                     

                    Left is how it appears in Indesign. No matter what method I use. Like setting Leading to 0 pt and giving each line a 'space after paragraph' of 2 mm. Or using a fixed baseline. Or using Justify on the text box. The space between each line/paragraph is never the same. There's always a difference when the paragraphs each have a different font size.

                     

                    In the sample indesign file downloadable from http://bit.ly/jcc52V I've used a leading of 9 pts and I've used a fixed 'space after/before paragraph' and it still looks something like the left image.

                     

                    Is there a way to get to the right image? Without shifting each line manually up/down until it visually comes close to the amount of mm's I want to have it?

                    • 7. Re: leading: equal space text lines
                      [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                      Well, at least you did what you say you did: you used 0 pts of leading. But you must use Automatic leading, which is not "0" but "Auto" (and, depending on where you click and what you got selected, ID will either display "Auto", or the actually used value between [Square brackets]).

                       

                      But you still didn't follow my Point #2, about setting the value for Automatic Leading (you didn't say you did either, but that does not exonerate you; please make sure you follow any instructions to the letter, or if you selectively choose to derive from them, say so).

                       

                      Rest assured, it will work if you follow my instructions.

                      • 8. Re: leading: equal space text lines
                        [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                        Look at this: proof it works as advertised

                         

                        leading.png

                         

                        Left is with 72% automatic leading [*] and no extra space, right is the same with 1 mm extra spacing. The distance from each line to the next is the same.

                         

                        [*] Again, determined by eyeballing and decreasing the automatic leading value until the capitals just touch. It seems Arial capital size is 72% (it used to be possible to find such information in AFM files, but sadly, nowadays, you'd have to hack into the font file to know for sure).

                        • 9. Re: leading: equal space text lines
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          So I see I completely misunderstood the request.


                          • 10. Re: leading: equal space text lines
                            jiggy1965 Level 1

                            And I misunderstood 'Auto Leading' as I never used it before and had to look up where that option was (under 'Justification'). Tought it was some kind of general preference setting for all text.

                             

                            Anyway, setting the Auto Leading of all lines to 67% and adding a 2 mm Space After Paragraph did the trick!

                             

                            Though it's typically me for wanting to know why it works like it does I've learned so far (if I've read it correctly) that Auto Leading gets its auto leading value from the tallest line (font size). So when I've got a line of text sizes 100 pt, the leading value would be 67% of that (67 pt). And a line of 60 pt would automatically be 67pt of that (40.2pt) when leading is set to Auto.

                             

                            But how is it possible that by lowering this Auto Leading value enough I can get all lines to touch each other (in this case 67%)? How does that work mathematically?

                            • 11. Re: leading: equal space text lines
                              John Hawkinson Level 5

                              But how is it possible that by lowering this Auto Leading value enough I can get all lines to touch each other (in this case 67%)? How does that work mathematically?

                              What's the question? If you have a leading of zero, they will overlap completely, and be on the same baseline. The font has some phantom space in it above and beneath the letters at 100%, so reducing the leading by 33% gets you to touching.