10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2011 5:37 AM by Cooroo

    Styling an Index

    Cooroo Level 1

      My problem is to find the ideal justification/tabbing settings for an index.


      To be clear, the index I am working on is for a massive catalogue, produced by a range of different business, and the text for it is generated by processes beyond my control - InDesign's Indexing feature is not an option.


      So, my problem is to set up all my styles so that the text (which is XTagged) flows in as close as possible to what we want.


      The basic look is


      (If you recognise the publication - UK readers! - please don't name it. I just haven't time to disguise it!)


      In order to cope with lines like the last, which turn over, I have the default alignment set to Right. The leader dots are a Right Aligned Tab with dots.


      This falls down in a couple of instances. 1st when the item is too long for a line:






      and 2nd when the line ends in a tab:



      I  have to work through and correct all these manually. Because of the right alignment, I have to put a hard return at the end of the first line, and change that line to left align. This risks messing up the 'keep' options, and is time consuming.


      What I'd love is a magic button which says 'left align the lines until the last line, right align the last line' and let the tab take care of the rest. And I'd like for the tab to turn over when it falls at the end of a line - but making the space after it 'non-breaking' doesn't help.


      I'm sorry this is such a convoluted question... It's been puzzling me for several years, first in Quark and now in InDesign. At last I have a few spare hours to tackle it, but I'm still stumped. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be most grateful.

        • 1. Re: Styling an Index
          Grant H Level 4

          create a para style that fully justifies text and inserts a flush space between the number.  With a bit of clever styling that should work. G

          • 2. Re: Styling an Index
            Cooroo Level 1

            Hmmm ... sounded promising but it's pretty much ignoring my fixed spaces and justifying the line with character spacing even though I've set maximum letter

            spacing to 0. An approach like that would work as I can control spacing in the database stage when I put the XTags on. I like the idea, but so far it's not quite doing it....



            • 3. Re: Styling an Index
              Grant H Level 4

              ok: you should sudy up a bit on styling... not meant badly cool?


              Adjust the Paragrapg Style justification to Word spacing all 200% > Letter Spacing to ALL 30% (or as you like)...



              • 4. Re: Styling an Index
                Cooroo Level 1

                Cool. I've been using Quark for 20 years, ID for 2 or 3. So it's a bit like learning a 2nd language....


                However, I've done what you suggest and don't see how it helps. The word spacing is much too big, and the lines are still determined to justify as I have fully justify selected.


                It really helps that you've looked at this a completely different way from me, but so far I can't make it work. I'm not at all sure that there is a solution. When I did the index in Quark I wrote a script that looked for a tab at the end of a line, inserted a return before it, set the line to left align. I was hoping that ID would have the extra controls built in somewhere but I may just have to dust off my Scripting InDesign manual....

                • 5. Re: Styling an Index
                  [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                  (Pending the outcome of Grant's spacing experiment--)


                  The only way I can get the last line to flush out right without using a new paragraph -- I also couldn't get it to work with a soft line break --, is to manually insert a Right Indent Tab right at the start of that first line. It appears to obey the dot leader settings in the current Tab so you have to set its color to [None] as well.


                  Editing could be cumbersome -- but I think I can whip up a quick javascript that first removes all of the Right Indent Tabs document-wide, then inserts them again at the appropriate places. That would mean you don't have to worry if text edits mess with some of the lines; just re-run the script & everything is Nice again.


                  If this sounds a bit on the un-safe side for your taste, well, this as yet hypothetical script could be written to apply only to a certain paragraph style (pers'nally I'd strongly advise that).

                  • 6. Re: Styling an Index
                    Grant H Level 4

                    you must insert the flush space between the index reference and number.

                    • 7. Re: Styling an Index
                      Cooroo Level 1

                      I may have described it wrong... the first line, if it doesn't get as far as any numbers, needs to be left aligned.


                      A flush space with underlining will achieve the same effect as the right tab, but I don't see that it adds anything?


                      (Also, can't locate XTags for a flush space...!)

                      • 8. Re: Styling an Index
                        Cooroo Level 1

                        Jongware - I think it sounds like I need to be scripting again! I did it before for Quark so it shouldn't be too hard. Just would have been great to make it all work in one pass! Thanks.

                        • 9. Re: Styling an Index
                          [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                          Sure. Do you want to give it a try for yourself? (Hint: http://www.jongware.com/idjshelp.html )


                          If you get stuck, just holler.

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Styling an Index
                            Cooroo Level 1

                            Thanks, I'll muddle along and work it out. I only know Applescript and it will do me good!