OK, after all the safety warnings and disclaimers, here are some scenarios when negative tracking can come in handy:
Figure 5.10. A headline without tracking (example A) and with 25 tracking (example B) applied as part of a style sheet definition.
Tip: Quark Kerning and Tracking Conversions
If you're a Quark refugee, you'll need to multiply your old Quark kerning and tracking values by 5 to give you the equivalent InDesign values. In Quark terms, a kerning/tracking value of 1 equals 1/200th of an em; in InDesign, "1" equals 1/1000th of an em. For example, if you tracked text to 1 in Quark, you would need to track it to 5 in InDesign.
Figure 5.11. Tracking to bring back a short line. In example A, line 5 suffers from bad word spacing and line 6 is short. In example B, the second paragraph has 5 tracking applied, which is sufficient to pull the last line back as well as improve the word spacing.
Positive tracking might be useful in these situations:
Figure 5.12. All caps serif title treatment with no tracking (example A) and reduced in size with +200 tracking (example B).
Figure 5.13. Reversed-out text with no tracking (example A) and with +25 tracking (example B).
Figure 5.14. Text block with word spaces adjusted (example A) and tracked (example B).
Tip: Adjusting Word Spacing
Here's a handy feature: The ability to adjust the word spacing across a range of characters while leaving the character spacing unaffected. Command+Option+Delete (Ctrl-Alt-Backspace) will tighten the word spaces; Command+Option+Shift-Backslash (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+ Backslash) will increase the word spaces.
Controlling Widows and Orphans
Part I: Character Formats
Going with the Flow
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
Part IV: Page Layout
Setting Up Your Document
Everything in Its Right Place: Using Grids
Text Wraps: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly