Tag Archives: book formatting

Posts in My InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet!

indd pages panel w text

Complete with Screen Shots!

Here are the current posts in my InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet that will help you format your own print-on-demand interior for IngramSpark. Soon to come: ISBNs and creating your PDF.

Formatting for IngramSpark in InDesign: You’re Almost Already There!

InDesign for Book Formatting: Cheat Sheet I

InDesign Cheat Sheet 2: How to Get Started

InDesign Master Pages: No Big Deal!

InDesign Cheat Sheet! Add Some Text!

Finally! Formatting Text in InDesign, Part I

InDesign Obstacle: When Smart Text Reflow Doesn’t Work

InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Finally Formatting Part II

Finishing Up, Part I

Finishing Up: Part !!

Finishing Up: Part III



Filed under book design, business of writing, indie publishing, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Tech tips, Writing

8 Tips For Formatting Your Book

These tips from Don Massenzio may help you make formatting decisions. I particularly like the idea of using 1.5 line spacing instead of single spacing in print books. Maybe I’ll try that next time!

pile of letters for writing

Check out my Beginner’s Cheat Sheet for formatting your hard copy book in InDesign!

Don Massenzio's Blog

This blog post is designed to help fellow independently published authors improve the quality of their work, but most of the tips here apply to the formatting of any book. I’m speaking of the formatting of books for the consumption of readers, not formatting your manuscript to send off to an agent or publisher.  There are a whole other set of rules for that exercise.

I’ve put together a list of ten tips that you should consider when putting your book together. They are not in order of priority, but together, they can make your book stand out from the millions of others available through your favorite sales channel.

1. Put Some Thought Into Your Cover

I have to admit, this was something I didn’t waste a lot of time on when I published my first book, Frankly Speaking. I just went ahead and used the Kindle cover creator and cranked…

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February 20, 2017 · 4:43 pm

InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Finishing Up, Part 3

This is part of a series. Here is a complete list of current posts in my InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet.

It’s time to put final elements together before producing a pdf suitable for submission to Ingram and CreateSpace. Most important at this final stage is your “front matter.”

Front Matter

This term refers to your title page(s), your copyright page, and any other elements you want to include, such as quotes from reviews or blurbs you’ve solicited, epigraphs like quotes from poems or songs, or an author’s note—everything leading up to the actual first page of Chapter One.

To begin, determine how many front matter pages you want. I’ve discovered that, except for the copyright page, most published books insert front-matter text only on odd-numbered pages, or the right-hand pages. So in my books, I include the following front matter pages:

  • Page 1: A “Praise for” page of quotes from editorial reviews
  • Page 2: Blank
  • Page 3: Title (return) by (return) Author, all centered
  • Page 4: Copyright page (see discussion below)
  • Page 5: Author’s Note
  • Page 6: Blank
  • Page 7: An “Also by” note listing my other titles, centered
  • Page 8: Blank
  • Page 9: Title, centered
  • Page 10: Blank

Page 11 starts the book proper.

Once you know how many pages you will need, use Layout>Pages>Insert Pages to add the correct number to your document. Until you insert text, they will show up as blank pages in the Pages Panel.

Pages Panel in InDesign

Here, the ten “front matter” pages I’ve added show up before the “Main” text.

When you submit your book to your cover designer, you will count these pages, as well as back matter pages (see below) as part of your total page count.

Creating Sections to Control Page Numbering

You do NOT want to count the front-matter pages as part of your “book” proper. In other words, right now, using my list of pages above as an example, the first-front matter page is numbered “1” and the first page of the actual book would be numbered “11.” But I want my first page of actual text to be numbered “1.”

If you’re familiar with Word, you know that the header and footer dialogue boxes allow you to tell Word how you want each chapter numbered.

In InDesign, you can solve this problem by creating sections.

 Creating Sections

  • Select the first page of your actual book text in the Pages Panel by double-clicking on it
  • Open “Layout” from the menu at the top of the screen.
  • Choose “Numbering and Section Options. . . .”

Numbering and Section options in InDesign

  • In the “New Section” dialogue box that opens, check that “Start Section” is selected.
  • Enter “1” in “Start Page Numbering at.”
  • Select the style you want, probably Arabic (the font will be determined by your master).
  • Click OK

New Section Dialogue Box in InDesign

In the Pages Panel, you’ll notice that page numbers appear under the page icons. Your first ten pages (the front matter pages) will be numbered 1-10.

Pages Panel in InDesign

Then, above your first page of actual text, you’ll see a little triangle. This is the “new section” indicator. This page will be numbered as “Main1,” and the rest of the pages as “Main 2, Main 3, Main 4. . . . etc.” “Main” is the default Section Prefix. You can change this to anything you want.

Later, if you print, or when you make adjustments to specific pages, always be sure to include the Section Prefix to distinguish Front-matter Page 1 from Book-text Page 1.

You’ll notice that your new front-matter pages each have a little  “A” in the upper outside corner. This means that the program is applying your primary, or “A,” master to these pages. But! These front-matter pages should NOT show the elements from your master: the running heads and page numbers.

So removing these elements is the next step in creating this section of your book.

Removing Master-page Elements from Front-Matter Pages

You have at least three choices for removing page numbers and running heads.

Option One:

Select the front-matter pages by clicking on the first page, then shift-clicking on the last page you intend to use for front-matter text—the last page before your actual book begins. In my example, I would select pages 1-10.

Go to Layout>Pages>Apply Master to Pages

Layout>Pages menu in InDesign

In the box that opens, select “none.”

Apply master

Note that this option may affect your margins. In my case, I had set up document margins that corresponded to my text frames, so removing the master elements using this method did not affect the margins of any of the pages. This method was easy and fast.

Option Two:

  • On each page of your front matter, use the now-familiar Type Tool to hold down SHIFT + COMMAND/CTRL and click. The text frame is selected.
  • Hit the Delete key on your keyboard

You can select multiple elements in a single spread (two side-by-side even and odd pages) by holding down the SHIFT + COMMAND/CTRL keys as you click. “Delete” should remove all the master page elements in that spread at one fell swoop.

This method requires that you delete the master-page elements on one spread at a time,  so it is a little slower than simply removing the masters across a range of pages. But this method will preserve your margins and other elements if that becomes an issue.

Option Three

Create a new master for the front-matter pages

This is the most time-consuming of your options and is beyond the scope of this book. If you were formatting a multi-section book, you would probably find the effort to create separate masters for each section worthwhile. But for a text-only book like a novel, you only need two sections, a front-matter section and a book-proper section, and you can create, format, and paginate those two sections simply by removing or overriding your single A-master.

Your Copyright page

You must include this page in your print edition, just as you did in your ebook.

I’ve used Joel Friedlander’s “short” model from The Book Designer site for the format and text.

Copyright page for print-on-demand self-published book

Click to see a larger version

This is bare bones, but for many self-publishers, more than adequate.

When you look at books published by traditional publishers, you’ll see a lot more information on the copyright page. In most cases, what you’re seeing is the “CIP data block.” Here’s an example from The Book Designer:

CIP block for print edition of a book

Friedlander tells us that a) CIP, which refers to the “Library of Congress’s Cataloguing in Publication” program, is of primary concern to those who hope to sell to libraries, and that b) self-publishers may not use the CIP program. Instead, they must pay a fee for a Library of Congress “Preassigned Control Number,” otherwise known as a P-CIP.

Only if you hope for a lot of library traffic—perhaps you are publishing a reference book or a book that has content that teachers might assign—would you have a reason to pay for this service.

Here is Friedlander’s complete discussion of CIP:

As my example shows, I did not apply for P-CIP number, and there is probably no reason for you to do so either. As you can see from Friedlander’s downloadable model and my example, all you really need to include are

  • the copyright notice,
  • a statement of your rights,
  • your ISBN
  • a way for people to contact you

Next: What I know about ISBNs.


Filed under book design, business of writing, Copyright, indie publishing, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writing

Author Beware … Publishing Predators Are Breeding…

Thanks, Chris, for another important article. Here is my comment on this article at The Book Shepherd:
I’m amazed that so many people will pay these sums to be published when CreateSpace will do it for free. All you need is a Word file and a cover. Sorry, my CreateSpace book looks just fine. I suppose there are genius cover designers out there who could have done a better cover than DigitalDonna.com did for me, but I’d be surprised to discover them at a reasonable cost.

I went with Ingram first; again, nothing wrong with the 22 books I purchased at cost ($168). At Ingram, you will pay $49 for publication, and you must, indeed should, buy your own ISBN, since if you choose CreateSpace first, they will own the ISBN. Three hundred dollars for 10 ISBNs you can use for your entire series is a lot less than the numbers being discussed in these comments.

I formatted my own interior, which cost me $20 a month for my subscription to Adobe InDesign. On my blog [this blog!], I’m doing a series on how I conquered InDesign.

Believe me, it’s not that hard.

I hope writers will use the funds they are paying for these services to find good professional editors and cover designers. And I second Judith’s point that being traditionally published does NOT mean that you will get stellar marketing. In the end, you will do that for yourself. Why not do it all?

(And I second a comment that recommended Smashwords. Not only will Mark Coker walk you through the ebook-creation process, he will publish your ebook absolutely free!)

What about you? Do you have any tales to tell about your publishing adventures? Help us all “beware.”

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Article extract from Judith Briles on The Book Shepherd site:

Oh, what a tangled web they weave … publishing predators are breeding with the surge of authors now by-passing traditional publishing. Over half of books published today are by the self and indie publishers. Traditional publishers are taking notice and are now gearing up to offer their own “self-publishing” opportunities. Some, like Simon & Schuster, Hay House and Penguin, have had a “vanity press” relationship for years in place via Author Solutions (ASI). Expect to see all of this push into a higher gear–after all … there is money in wannabe author’s pockets.

It’s a never-ending story … the emails, phone calls, postings within the Author U Group on LinkedIn and my personal group on Facebook: Publishing with The Book Shepherd (join it) … and I’ve worked with several private clients and fielded numerous phone calls/emails from authors who have…

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Filed under book design, business of writing, Editing, indie publishing, Marketing books, Money!, Myths and Truths, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, publishing contracts, Scams, Self-publishing, Writing

InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Finishing Up, Part 2

Three books fanned open from aboveThis is part of a series. Here is a complete list of current posts in my InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet.

In this post, some final InDesign formatting must- and should-dos as you prepare to create the pdf of your print edition for proofing and upload to Ingram and CreateSpace.

Click images for larger versions. Click here for a complete list of posts in the InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet series.

Removing Master Formatting from Chapter Opening Pages

The experts in book-design informed me that the opening page of each chapter should NOT display the formatting I incorporated into the masters that control the appearance of each page. In other words, no page numbers, no running heads.

A chapter-opening page with running heads not removed

The running heads and page numbers need to be removed from this pags. (Note that this spread is selected in the Pages panel to the left.)

Fortunately, it’s easy to remove these.

Select a chapter-opening page in the Pages panel by clicking on it. If you want to see that particular page on your screen, double-click. If you want to see the whole spread, choose View>Fit Spread in Window.

Go to Layout>Pages>Apply Master to Pages.

Layout>Pages menu in InDesign

You’ll get a box that tells you which page you’re about to act on; the box defaults to your “A-master,” or main master. However, the other option, available through the familiar arrow on the left, is “None.”

Choose “None” and “Apply” to remove the running heads and page numbers from the targeted page.

Page in InDesign with master/ running heads removed

You do have to repeat this move for each chapter. If you’re working chapter by chapter, as I do, you can make removing the formatting part of your “placing” routine.

(Remember that you can make universal changes on master elements. If you decide you don’t like the font of your running heads or the placement of your page numbers, change these elements on the masters by double-clicking on the masters to display them. Your changes will appear on every page in your manuscript to which the master is applied.)

Refining your Widows and Orphans

You will need to make a choice regarding widow/orphan control. Just as in Word, you can choose the “Keep Option” of eliminating widows and orphans or allowing them. (Your “Keep Options” are available in the menu on the left side of the Paragraph Styles Options dialogue box.)


Some book designers whose web sites I’ve visited argue that the “square-page” look you create when you allow widows and orphans is just as acceptable as the sometimes-shorter/sometimes-longer look you’ll get if you insist that every lonely line get sucked up into the previous page or pushed to the next one.

This is your individual choice. Allowing widows and orphans adds a step to your formatting. But this is the choice I’ve made: for the square-page look, where all pages are the same length.

When you consider that single lines of dialogue standing by themselves at the top or bottom of a page are considered standard, it’s hard to see what’s wrong with a single line of text in either position.

Page in InDEsign with single line at bottom.

I’ve decided I’m okay with this. . . .

Page in InDesign with single line of text at top

. . . And this.

However, even the advocates of a square page don’t like very short orphans (or widows—these appear to be used differently by different people) at the top of a new page. No one- or two-word lines!

So if you do opt to allow widows and orphans, you will need to edit to eliminate egregious overflows of this sort.

If you’re formatting for someone else, working with text that’s not your own, you have to have some conversations about how to address this problem—because the fix I use requires editing the text. It’s possible that professionals use minute adjustments of leading and “tracking” and “kerning”—adjusting the space between lines and between words and letters—to push text around. But that seems risky to me. It would be easy for us beginners to end up with paragraphs that are visibly out of kilter.

Hence, I go for a comparatively easy fix.

If you’ve ever had to hit a particular page-length requirement, you probably already know this trick.Happy that InDesign is working

Say you have an extra line at the top of a page that you consider too short.

Scan the preceding page (or sometimes, pages) for a paragraph with just one or two words on the final line.

Find a cut in that paragraph to eliminate the final line.


Well, this IS the “Beginner’s CHEAT Sheet.” green smiley happy

If this is not your book, and you think this is a viable option, you’d need to clear each cut with the author, or perhaps allow him or her to suggest the cuts. Because there are likely to be a good many such decisions to be made in a long book, you would need to plan for this time investment.

Note one advantage of working chapter by chapter, as I do, instead of placing an entire book in one file. Changes made on the first or second page of a placed file affect every page thereafter in that file. So eliminating an orphan on page two may create one on page six. If you work chapter by chapter, this effect is limited to just that one chapter. If you later decide you want to edit a paragraph in Chapter 3, for any reason, you won’t subsequently have to go through the entire book from Chapter 3 on to correct effects your simple early choice has caused.


According to Wikipedia, “In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes or letters are joined as a single glyph.” (This article is actually quite interesting!) The ligatures you can allow will most commonly be those in which “f” combines with “l” or “i.” Allowing ligatures, which the experts recommend, involves checking only a single box under “Basic Character Formatting” in the “Paragraph Styles Options” box, which you can open by double-clicking on the name of the style in the Paragraph Styles panel, usually housed on the right of your workspace.

InDesign Ligature option box

You’re almost ready to create your pdf and proof.

Next time: some bonus stuff you will want to know, and generating a pdf for Ingram or CreateSpace.


Filed under book design, indie publishing, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Tech tips, Writing

InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Finishing Up, Part I

This is part of a series. Here is a complete list of current posts in my InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet.

In this post: Part 1 of some follow-up moves you can and should make in InDesign as you format your POD book interior.


Creating Additional Styles for Chapter Titles and Numbers

Just like Word, InDesign works best if you create a style for each element you use often and apply that style consistently across chapters. So you need a style for whatever elements—for example, chapter names—that you plan to include.

Create these additional styles exactly as you created your original main body style.

  • Select the text you want to style, for example a chapter title.
  • Format it to look the way you want.
  • Click “Create New Style” in the Paragraph Styles panel.

The new style, called “Paragraph Style 1” (or “2” if there’s already a “1” in the list, possibly for a style you never developed) will appear in the panel. In the figure below, I’ve created several new styles, renaming “Paragraph Style 1,” for example, “Chapter nos.” for chapter names.

InDesign page with Paragraph Styles Panel open

I created additional styles for my “Part” and “Chapter names,” as well as for the numbers of sections within chapters.

  • Double-click this new style in the Panel list to open the Paragraph Styles Option dialogue, where you will see the features you’ve selected, such as font, font size, and justification.
  • Make any adjustments using the menu on the left of this box.
InDesign Workspace with Paragraph Styles Options open.

In this example, I formatted a style I’ve called “Experiment,” clicked “Create New Style” in the Paragraph Styles box, renamed the style “Experiment,” and double-clicked to open the Paragraph Styles Options box, where I can see the Style Settings I’ve chosen.

A Consideration in Creating Additional Styles: “Before” and “After.”

When formatting elements like chapter titles, you will need to decide how much space to require “before” and “after.” Just as when formatting an ebook, say, for Kindle, you want to avoid long stretches of returns.

Creating a specific style with appropriate “before/after” attributes is optimal.

  • Double-click on the style name to open the Paragraph Styles Options dialogue.
  • From the menu on the left, choose “Indents and Spacing.”
  • Locate the fields for “Space Before” and “Space After.”
  • Use the fields to indicate the spacing you want.

It appears that your choices here are limited by defaults that you access by clicking the up and down arrows. I’m not sure why you can’t type in any value, but I’ve never been able to do so.


Set “before” and “after” using the small arrows to the left of each field. Your choices seem to be limited to preset distances.

For your main body styles, by the way, you generally want these fields to be set to zero—no extra spacing between paragraphs. (This is one of the annoyances of recent versions of Word: extra space between paragraphs seems to be the default, and people often do not know to go to “Format>Paragraph” and turn this default off.)

For the book I’m currently formatting, Blood Lies, I have a style for “Chapter nos.” or names, and one for “subset numbers,” or the little numbers between sections in each chapter. Because I place the text chapter by chapter, I can then “Select All” (CTRL/COMMSND + A) and apply my main body style. I then do have to change the style of the chapter title and go through the chapter to find the “subset numbers,” select them, and apply the style. You may find a much faster way to apply your styles. If so, please let us all know!

Creating Character Styles

I discovered that if I wanted to italicize a single word in a paragraph, I couldn’t do so—the whole paragraph would be converted to italics.

Solution: Create an Italic “Character Style.”

Like the Paragraph Styles panel, the Character Styles panel will appear in the right-side menu. (It can be called up via the “Window” menu if necessary.) It works exactly the same as the Paragraph Styles panel:

  • Select the text you want to change.
  • Format it.
  • Click “Create New Style.”
  • Double-click the new style that appears in the list, and you’ll get the now-familiar dialogue box showing your settings.
  • adjust your settings from the left-side menu in this dialogue box.
InDesign Workspace with Character Styles Open.

In this close-up, I still need to rename my new style, and to click on “Basic Character Formats” in the left-hand menu to choose “italics.” I also need to adjust the font size slightly.

You have a great deal of control over these styles. Conversations with readers of my developing design suggested to me that the italic that came with Garamond, which I was using for my main body style, was too ornate: crabby and hard to read. I experimented with a number of italics and finally created a Character Style using Book Antiqua with a slightly reduced font size. Again, I do have to locate italics in the text and apply the style manually.

By the way, I have not found InDesign’s Find/Change box to work well when asked to locate italics, perhaps because I haven’t always specified precisely the attributes it needs to search for. I make double-checking for italics part of my proofing process when I’m reading my pdf.

InDesign Workspace with Character Style application illustrated.

In the final version of this character style, I’ll reduce the Book Antiqua font size slightly to match the Garamond body text, and then apply the style manually to italicized words in the text.

Next: Part II of Finishing Up!

Please visit other posts in this series! Your feedback is welcome!

Formatting for IngramSpark in InDesign: You’re Almost Already There!

InDesign for Book Formatting: Cheat Sheet I

InDesign Cheat Sheet 2: How to Get Started

InDesign Master Pages: No Big Deal!

InDesign Cheat Sheet! Add Some Text!

Finally! Formatting Text in InDesign, Part I

InDesign Obstacle: When Smart Text Reflow Doesn’t Work

InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Finally Formatting Part II


Filed under Blood Lies, book design, business of writing, indie publishing, King of the Roses, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, self editing, Self-publishing, Tech tips, V. S. Anderson, Virginia S. Anderson, Writing

InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Finally Formatting Part II

Finally Formatting—Part Two!

King of the Roses Page 1

My formatted Page 1 of King of the Roses. The titles are in Minion Pro, the text in Garamond.

This is part of a series. Here is a complete list of current posts in my InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet.

This is the next installment in my Beginner’s Cheat Sheet meant to help you format your own book interiors using InDesign. Note, again, that this series covers only plain text formatting, not graphics. But the fact is—YOU CAN FORMAT YOUR OWN BOOK INTERIOR!

In the previous post in this series on using Adobe InDesign to format your own book, you used the Paragraph Styles dialogue box to make basic decisions about font, font size, leading, and justification.

In this post, we’ll consider options you can choose in InDesign that might not be offered in Word.

***Click on the images for a larger version. Then use CTRL/COMMAND + + (plus sign) to enlarge them still further.***

The first of these options:

Aligning your text to the baseline.

This ensures that the lines of text on facing pages align with each other. This feature will become part of your main body style going forward.

Step One: Make a note of two pieces of information: your leading, which you can recover from the Control Panel if you’ve forgotten it, and the actual top margin value—how far it is from the top margin of your text box to the top of the page. You can recover this by opening Layout>Margins and Columns. If you set the margin to 1 inch, this is the number you want, NOT the margin from the top of the header where your running heads are.

Workspace with Control Panel Circled

Step Two: Reselect the paragraph you’ve been working with.

Step Three: Go to your “Preferences” menu—under “Edit” for a PC and under the “InDesign” logo in the upper left-hand corner on a Mac. Choose Grids.

  • In the “Baseline Grid” box that appears, type your top margin number, for example, “1 in,” in the box that says “Start.”
  • Type your leading number in the box that says “Increment every.” This can be in points.
  • The “View Threshold” number allows you to tell the program when it can display the grid for you to see, assuming you want to (and I think you will). Mine defaulted to 75%. If you leave it at the threshold, you’ll be able to see the grid only if your zoom is 75% or higher. This appears to be a good value for this box.
  • Don’t mess with anything else. Leave the defaults.
  • Click OK.

InDesign Baseline Grid panel from Preferences

Step Four: Go to Type>Paragraph.

You get a new little dialogue panel (not the same as the Paragraph Styles box you’ve already worked with). In the lower righthand corner of this panel you’ll see a little double-columned icon. Hovering your cursor should reveal that this is the place where you click to “align to baseline grid.” Click this icon.

InDesign Paragraph Panel

Align to baseline in lower right, hyphenate option in lower left.

You should see the lines of text in your selected paragraph move a little.

I suggest that you check to see whether your text actually did align to baseline by going to View>Grids & Guides>Show Baseline Grid, then select “View>Actual Size.” You’ll see the gridlines across your page/spread. If your text has aligned, it will sit on these gridlines.

Possibly it hasn’t aligned. In the experimental file I’m using to write these posts, the text didn’t align when I clicked the icon. I discovered how to correct this. I’ll get to that below.

For now, you have set your baseline grid. You can turn off the view by clicking the “Hide Baseline Grid” option which you might as well do for now, even if your text hasn’t aligned.

Other Options—Hyphenation:

While in the Paragraph Panel where you aligned to the baseline, click “hyphenation” in the lower lefthand corner.

Now reopen the Paragraph Styles panel from the righthand side of the workspace. Double click on the style you’ve created and named—the one you’re working with. “Paragraph Styles Options” should open.

The description of your style (Style Settings) should now note that you have added a hyphenation choice and, if your icon obeyed you, a desire to align to baseline.

InDesign Paragraph Style Options dialogue

On the left of this main box, you’ll see a list of options you can apply.

If you click on “Hyphenation,” you get some choices as to exactly when your document is allowed to hyphenate. I haven’t messed much with these options, but you certainly can.

Widows and Orphans

You now have to make the fateful decision about widows and orphans. To do so, in this same Paragraph Styles Options dialgue, click on “Keep Options.”

In my research, I discovered that this isn’t a hard and fast choice. It boils down to whether or not you want “square pages” or uneven pages, which occur if the program moves single lines of text around to avoid leaving one alone at the top or bottom of the page.

I deliberately chose not to have the program eliminate widows and orphans. This created some more work for me (which I’ll discuss in a later post), but I just like the square-page look. You can decide.

If Your Text Didn’t Align to Baseline—

Open the “Indents and Spacing” option. Here, when the alignment command seemed unresponsive, I found a drop-down box labeled “Align” and noticed that “none” was selected. When I discovered that another option was “All lines,” I chose that.

InDesign Paragraph Styles Options dialogue

Bingo. My text dropped obediently to the baseline.

You will be able to confirm that your text has aligned when you apply the style to more pages. If so, your bottom line of text will sit almost right on the bottom margin.

InDesign baseline alignment shown

Test aligned to baseline sits right on the bottom margin of your pages.

Final Option: Optical Margin Alignment

Say what?

This is really neat!

InDesign offers you the option of “hanging” your punctuation—periods, quotation marks, hyphens—ever so slightly outside the margins of your document. The idea is that those kinds of nearly invisible marks, when left inside the margins, create a slightly ragged-looking page.

To see what this option does, leave your paragraph selected and go to Type>Story.

InDesign Optical Margin Alignment

Remember to adjust the font size to match yours.

The tiny “Optical Margin Alignment” box appears. Adjust the font size to match your font and click in the checkbox to activate. This feature will be added to your style, although I haven’t been able to make it show up in the style description in the Paragraph Styles panel.

You won’t be able to tell if you like this feature until you apply the style to several pages. But you can disable it by simply selecting all, re-opening the little box, and turning it off.

Now, you can select all your text with CTRL/COMMAND + A, click on your new style, and see what it looks like in actual text.

If you don’t like some feature, just select the text where the style will apply, reopen the Paragraph Styles box, and use the options in the list on the left to make changes. Any changes you make will impact all the text to which you have applied this style.

Next Post: Additional and Character Styles for Chapter Heads and Italics

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Filed under book design, indie publishing, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Tech tips, Writing