Getting the Lead Out

Table of contents:

LEADING (PRONOUNCED "LEDDING") is the space between the lines of type. In the days of hot metal typesetting this space was created by inserting thin strips of lead between the lines. Lines of type without these strips of lead wereand still arereferred to as "set solid." Leading plays a big part in the readability of your text. All body text is made more readable by a positive amount of leading (a leading value greater than the point size of the type). Headlines and display type, on the other hand, may benefit from negative leading (a leading value less than the point size of the type).

InDesign regards leading as a character level format (as opposed to a paragraph format in QuarkXPress). Leading can be applied "locally" to a selected range of text using the Control palette or the Character palette, or "globally" as part of a style sheet definition.

Figure 4.1. Basic Character Formats.

Bad leading makes your text harder to read because the eye has trouble locating the next line of type. When leading is too tight, the type may appear intimidatingly dense, and the descenders of one line will collide with the ascenders of the next. At the other extreme, when the leading is too loose the type lack cohesion. This is especially so if the leading is greater than the space between the paragraphs.

Leading is measured in points from one baseline to the next. The leading value includes the point size of the typeface and the actual space between the lines. Thus, 12 points of leading using 10-point type really means two points of space between lines.


How Much Is Enough?

Part I: Character Formats

Getting Started

Going with the Flow

Character Reference

Getting the Lead Out

Kern, Baby, Kern

Sweating the Small Stuff: Special Characters, White Space, and Glyphs

OpenType: The New Frontier in Font Technology

Part II: Paragraph Formats

Aligning Your Type

Paragraph Indents and Spacing

First Impressions: Creating Great Opening Paragraphs

Dont Fear the Hyphen

Mastering Tabs and Tables

Part III: Styles

Stylin with Paragraph and Character Styles

Mo Style

Part IV: Page Layout

Setting Up Your Document

Everything in Its Right Place: Using Grids

Text Wraps: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Type Effects



InDesign Type. Professional Typography with Adobe InDesign CS2
InDesign Type: Professional Typography with Adobe InDesign CS2
ISBN: 0321385446
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 186
Authors: Nigel French

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