QuarkXPress 8: Hanging Characters, Quark’s Answer to Hung Punctuation

For QuarkXPress 8, Quark completely rethought how hanging punctuation and hanging characters should be treated. They gathered feedback from expert typographers, then created a mega-feature that lets you control precisely how any character, in any font, in any circumstance, behaves when it hits the edge of a text box. (As well as how Drop Caps are positioned!)

All this may sound complicated, but fear not: Quark included presets that work fine in most circumstances. To see how the whole thing works, check out the story below, courtesy of X-Ray magazine. (This is an excerpt from “QuarkXPress 8: a Suite Response“.)

Visually enhanced

QuarkXPress 8 offers three new stylized effects for text: hanging punctuation, margin alignment (provides for a subtle visual sharpening of the column edges), and hanging drop caps (separately from margin controls). When done well, the reader is likely to be completely unaware of the use of these three effects as each lends itself toward improving the readability and fine-tuning text anomalies that may cause the reader pause — and if not the reader, then surely your fellow designer.

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the three options — to be used separately or in concert.

HANGING CHARACTERS

This new feature set gives you precise control over paragraph boundaries and supports fully hung punctuation marks (commas, periods, quote marks, and so on). You’ll often see this style used in advertisements or large headlines.

The concepts

When referring to the paragraph edges, Quark settled on leading and trailing (each column of a text box has its own leading and trailing edge). This is in deference to the multiple language capabilities and possibilities of this version. In Roman text, the leading edge is the left and the trailing edge the right. In East Asian languages, the leading edge is the top and the trailing edge the bottom.

With that in mind, the hanging characters’ functionality is based upon a structure: classes and sets. A class refers to the characters and the hang attributes. Within a class, there is a leading class, trailing class, and drop case class. A set refers to a container that holds classes. Within a set there is the ability to apply multiple classes to paragraphs.

Using this structure, a class is used to define what characters to hang and how much the characters will hang. Choose leading, trailing, or drop cap class to determine what edge they affect.

Once your classes are established, you can put them into any set (container) that you want. They can even be included in several containers. These containers are then applied to paragraphs. Quark has predefined a few for you and they can be found in the paragraph attributes dialogue box. Let’s try this so you can see how it works. You should end up with results something like those shown below. If you wish to share your sets and classes, use the FILE > APPEND dialogue box.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 2X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 2X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 1Start a QuarkXPress project.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 2Draw a narrow text box.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 3Type text into the box beginning and ending with quote marks.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 4Select the text.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 5Open the paragraph attributes dialogue box.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 6Choose HANGING CHARACTER SET (drop-down menu) >
HANGING PUNCTUATION
.

 

This is a very simple example of a leading hanging quote mark. Notice that once the hanging punctuation option is applied, the leading quote mark has been indented out with the remaining text aligning neatly under the capital T.

Implementing concepts

If you would like to create a visually aligned right margin using flush right or justified text (this works even with auto hyphenation), navigate to FORMAT > PARAGRAPH ATTRIBUTES and choose the predefined option from the hanging character set drop-down menu. The default provided with QuarkXPress 8 will probably meet your needs, but when it doesn’t you should know how to create your own or edit one provided. Let’s try it with something you might not have considered: leading numerals.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 1Choose EDIT > HANGING CHARACTERS to open the hanging characters dialogue box for this project.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 2Click NEW and from the drop-down menu, choose CLASS.

 

Note: A close look at these icons, and you can determine whether the class is a leading or a trailing setting. A red icon indicates drop cap.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 3In the edit hanging character class dialogue box, type a name for this class (I have typed Leading Numerals).

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 4Choose LEADING from the type drop-down menu.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 5Leave hang at 100%.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 6In the characters field, type each of the ten numerals (this, of course, does not account for double-digit numbered steps).

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 7Click OK.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 8Click the NEW button again, and from the drop-down menu choose SET.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 9Type a name for this set (I have typed Numbered Lists).

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 10Click the check box for LEADING NUMERALS.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 11Click OK.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 12Click SAVE to dismiss the hanging characters dialogue box.

Now to apply the class you have just created, follow these steps:

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 1Draw a text box in QuarkXPress 8 and type a numbered list of steps, as shown here.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 12Select the text and choose STYLE > FORMATS.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 3Choose HANGING CHARACTER SET (drop-down menu) > NUMBERED LISTS.

 

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 4Click OK. Your results should look something like those shown below.

 

Note: If you attempt to create conflicting class settings (e.g. different hang for the same character saved to the same set), you will receive a dialogue box alert and be forced to reconcile the conflict.

Obviously, my results have some issues, but it does a good job of showing you the character-level control that you have with this feature. Other applications have the ability to either set hanging punctuation or not, but no controls for individual characters. So how do I fix my issue? Well, it’s simple:

Choose EDIT > HANGING CHARACTERS.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 2Double click LEADING NUMERALS.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 3Click PREVIEW.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 4Choose 150% as the hang from the drop-down menu.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 5You should be able to see the effect immediately.
If it is sufficient, click OK.

X-Ray Magazine v5n6 QuarkXPress 8 Accessibility Defined Step 6Click SAVE.

 

Once I’ve finished tweaking the hang amount, I end up with a nicely formatted numbered list.

Note: Hanging character sets are paragraph formatting and as such are available when you define the attributes for a style sheet.

Note: Hanging character sets are not supported in a web layout.

Another interesting use for hanging characters can be seen below. Notice that both the capital I and the L are not quite flush with the margins. This becomes even more apparent with the rule above and below. Using the hanging character feature, you can create a leading class for the I and a trailing class for the L (characters are case sensitive). You’ll probably have to fiddle with the hang percentage a bit to get it right, but put both classes into a set and apply to the paragraph.

 

Think outside the box, or at least to the box edges, and use hanging character sets to ensure flush margins.

YOU DROPPED IT

The ability to control drop caps is also within the realm of hanging character sets, so we’ll dig around a bit more in these dialogue boxes. Above, you see that I have a drop cap. It’s actually a different typeface than the text of the paragraph, and the leading edge of the L is not quite flush with the left margin. Worse, I prefer that it bust the margin (extend into the gutter), as shown above.

 

On the top, I have a standard drop cap (created using the check box in the paragraph attributes dialogue box). In the sample on the bottom, I have used the hanging character feature to bust the margin with the character.

Use the steps above to set up the class and set, or create a new class for your drop cap and add it to a set you already have.

When setting up a class (or classes) for drop caps, remember to choose drop cap from the type menu and leave the characters field empty. In doing this the rule will apply to any drop cap, regardless of the first character.