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  Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks For QuarkXPress™ - Part One
postit.gif   Note: Many tips and tricks for QuarkXPress detailed in the context to which they apply can be found in the Technical Manual Tutorial. Some of them may be mentioned here and will have a link to that tutorial where they are best described.

Tip No. 1

Setup the Measurements palette so lines are measured by "First Point". This choice gives you the X1, Y1 coordinates along with the line's angle and length. The default of "Endpoints" gives you the X1, Y1, X2, Y2 coordinates and is not as easy to work with.


Tip No. 2

For the height of all text boxes allow a minimum clearance of one x-height below the lowest descender of the font used in the text box (a font's x-height is the height of the letter "x"). There are minute differences between computer systems. If you establish a text box height that is too tight on your system, it is liable to be too small for the text to display or output on another's. The example below illustrates what can happen and just how deep your text boxes should be to avoid this.


Tip No. 3

When making text boxes with reversed type or with colored backgrounds, it is better to make separate objects for the background and text rather than make it as a single object. In the example below, the preferred method is the one on the right. See Tip No. 2 above for why. The output result of the one on the left below may be a plain red box with no type. more on this here


Tip No. 4

When making corners from intersecting lines, be aware that measurements and snapping occur from the midpoint of the line. In the example below there is a corner made from the intersection of two 8-point wide lines. Both the horizontal and vertical lines on the left have the same x and y coordinates. In the example on the right, the horizontal line was shifted to the left 4 points (half the line thickness) to make a mitered corner. Likewise, if 1-point wide lines are used the shift would have to be .5 point to compensate.

quarkmisc04a.gif quarkmisc04b.gif

Tip No. 5

A simple ad splash can be made from a polygon. Create the polygon, give it a 1-point black frame and a white box color. Then drag and drop it into a library and save it with other library items. In the example below, the top item shows the polygon points, and the bottom one was made by making a copy of the polygon for a shadow. The shadow was given a black box color.


Tip No. 6

When you have applied a paragraph style and want to remove it without changing the appearance of the text, Click Style > Paragraph Style Sheet > No Style. This removes the style sheet link and effectively applies local formatting to the text.

Tip No. 7

Once you have setup local text formatting on a block of text and you need to use it repeatedly in your document but you don't want to create a style sheet, you can save a lot of time simply by copying only one or two characters and pasting them at the location where you want to repeat the style. This will save the repetitious mouse clicks required to set it up each time.

Tip No. 8

Numbered and bulleted lists often use a hanging indent. A hanging indent is where the text is indented to the right of the bullet or number. To make a bulleted list style like the example below, do one of the following.

In both examples The base style is 14 point AGaramond with 14 points of leading and a space after of 3 points. The Zapf Dingbat bullet is a 10 point character created from a keypress using the lowercase "u" (both Macintosh or Windows). There is one blank space of AGaramond after the bullet character and before the main body of text.

Fastest Way:
In the text, paste a bullet character (e.g. using the Zapf Dingbats font) in front of the each item in the list:

Position the insertion point where you want the text to wrap and click Cmd+Backslash (Macintosh®) or Ctrl+Backslash (Windows®):

Alternate Way:
Select the paragraph and click Style > Formats... In the dialog enter a positive number for a "Left Indent" amount and the same number as a negative number for a "First Line" amount. Then paste a Zapf Dingbat character for a bullet in front of the first line. Save the formatting as a style sheet and apply it to the remaining paragraphs without the bullets. Paste the bullets after applying the style sheet. In this case I used 12 points for a "Left Indent" and -12 points for the "First Line".



Tip No. 9

When making paragraph styles to separate paragraphs use either "Space Before" or "Space After" but not both...otherwise you may wind up with a confusing mess. I prefer "Space After" because most of my text is top aligned (Ascent) and all my text boxes have extra space at the bottom.

Tip No. 10

Set your leading to the same number of points as the point size of the font you use. Example, with a 14 point font, set the leading to 14 points. Quark's "auto" leading is a bit too loose for my taste. more on this here...and more here also.

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