8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2011 1:09 AM by Eugene Tyson

    Tracking a Line of Text

    NYRo Level 1

      I've been trying to tighten a line of text because the last word on the line hypenates on to the next line.  Just a little tigtening will do the trick.  However, the alt - cmd -\ does not seem to work.  When I decrease the tracking a word from the line above will move to that line.   Is there somethng I'm doing work here?  I'm new to InDesign and trying to desperately transition from Quark.


      Please help?  Oh I'm working on a MAC 10.5.8 with InDesign CS5.  Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Tracking a Line of Text
          Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

          For this particular incident, with paragraph selected, Paragraph Panel > Hyphenation > Hypenation Settings > Turn off Hyphenate Last Word

          For the style, Paragraph Style Options, left side of panel in list > Hyphenation > Turn off Hyphenate Last Word

          • 2. Re: Tracking a Line of Text
            Jeffrey_Smith Most Valuable Participant

            I read your post as not allowing the last word to hyphenate, which my suggestion addresses that issue. However, if you don't want a particular word to hyphenate, while leaving hyphenation on for the paragraph, select the word, then under Character Panel flyout > select No Break (at the bottom of panel)

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Tracking a Line of Text
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              The shortcut you mention LOOSENS the kerning on word spaces, by the way, rather than tightening the overall tracking, unless you've set some customized shortcuts. Substitute backspace for \ to make the word sapcing tighter.


              Unlike Quark, though, ID by default uses a "paragraph Composer" that lloks at each paragraph in its entirety, not just the current line, and tries to make the best spacing decisions based on the whole thing. changing spacing on only one line could easily force ID to recompose the entire paragraph and have things move around.

              • 4. Re: Tracking a Line of Text
                Joel Cherney Level 5
                When I decrease the tracking a word from the line above will move to that line.


                What you're fighting here is (as Peter typed rather faster than myself) called the Adobe Paragraph Composer. The composer will look at the whole paragraph, not just the line you're working on, so what you're doing is making a bit more room on that line, and the Paragraph Composer "says" to itself "Oh hey, there's more room on that line now, and the whole paragraph will look better if I just nudge this word down to that line." There are a bunch of ways to deal with this, like Jeffery's suggestion, or by changing that paragraph to use the Single-Line Composer (check the help file) or by changing the tracking/word spacing/letter spacing/glyph scaling/adding non-breaking spaces/adding soft returns/etc. somewhere else in the paragraph to try to get that word to wrap back up.


                It's a bit confusing at first because it can behave unpredictably, and it's frustrating because the Paragraph Composer is certainly not always correct about what is "best," and the setting is buried kinda deep. Incidentally, that's why I directed you to check the help file - I can't for the life of me remember where it is outside of the paragraph styles. But if the behavior is bugging you on that paragraph, go switch to the Single-Line Composer and try it out.

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Tracking a Line of Text
                  TᴀW Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Have you tried setting the paragraph to full justify? That sometimes is

                  the easiest way to get a little word back up onto the previous line.



                  • 6. Re: Tracking a Line of Text
                    NYRo Level 1

                    This forum is awesome!!!!   Thanks so much for all the suggestions.   As with any Adobe product, you have several different options or ways to carry out a function.


                    For this instance, I think Peter and Joel hit it right on the head in terms of why I was not able to change the tracking on the paragraph line.  I now have a better understanding of the paragraph composer.  Once I changed the line to a single line composer, it worked.  In fact, I liked it much better once the paragraph was reformatted.


                    I'm not sure I like given the type of control to a software but if it works and saves time, I have to make it work!


                    Thanks again everyone!



                    • 7. Re: Tracking a Line of Text
                      Joel Cherney Level 5

                      I'm not sure I like given the type of control to a software but if it works and saves time, I have to make it work!


                      We actually tested it, here in our office - I formatted a small doc using the single-line composer and my collaborator used the paragraph composer. Humans are better at a nice, natural rag when the columns start to get small, but if you let a robot do your rag for you, then the robot is much, much faster and does almost as good a job as the human.

                      • 8. Re: Tracking a Line of Text
                        Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        There are rules to how they work


                        Adobe Single-Line Composer.
                        Some programs use single-line composition to flow text. It goes line by line through a paragraph and sets each line as well as possible using the  hyphenation & justification settings. When you modify the spacing of one line then the lines above and below that are not taken into consideration. If you adjust the space within a line it can cause poor spacing on the next line, which as they say in the business - tough luck.


                        When you use Adobe Single-Line Composer, the following rules apply:

                        1. Adjusting word spacing is preferred over hyphenation.
                        2. Hyphenation is preferred over glyph spacing.
                        3. If spacing must be adjusted, removing a space is preferred over adding a space.



                        Adobe Paragraph Composer

                        Adobe Paragraph Composer (which was called the Multi-Line Composer in previous versions) is turned on by default. It takes a broader approach to composition by taking the entire paragraph compoistion in one go. If you have a poorly spaced line it can be fixed by adjusting the spacing in the previous lines, so that the Paragraph Composer reflows the previous line.


                        The Paragraph Composer is has the following rules:

                        1. The evenness of letter spacing and word spacing is the given the highest priority. The possible breakpoints is determined by how much they cause word and letter spacing to vary from the desired settings.
                        2. Uneven spacing is preferred to hyphenation. A breakpoint that does not need a hyphenation is preferred over one that does.
                        3. All possible breakpoints are ranked, and good breakpoints are preferred over bad ones.


                        The paragraph composer is more sophisticated than the single-line option, offering generally better overall spacing because it sacrifices optimal spacing a bit on one line to prevent really bad spacing on another, something the single-line method does not do.



                        There is one frustration in dealing with the paragraph composer: When you try to edit text or play with tracking to get rid of an orphan or widow, the paragraph composer keeps adjusting the text across several lines, often counteracting your nips and tucks. The single-line composer doesn’t do that.