Fine Tuning Typography

The fine line between ordinary and extraordinary design lies in the details. While great attention to detail is placed on layout, often overlooked in document creation is the text itself. In the days of yore, professional typographers would peer over the printing press to ensure that the typeset was truly a work of art. Typographers would, quite literally, make certain that the "i"s were dotted and the "t"s were crossed.

While typographers in the print shop may have fallen to the wayside, typographers at digital foundries take special care to craft highly functional pieces of digital type that can truly sparkle in the right hands. However, unless you know where they have hidden their tools, your electronic documents may be missing their finery. In QuarkXpress 8, the ability to bring out the best of typography are just a few quick clicks away.

Working With Special Characters.
What you see on your keyboard is just the start of what lays hidden within many fonts. Bullets, accented characters, monetary symbols, and much more lurk just beneath the surface. Some special characters even include multiple shapes for you to chose from to bring out the best in your document. These special characters can be found in the Glyphs pallet of the Windows Menu.

To add a special character, open up the Glyphs pallet in the Window menu, and then scroll to locate the character you would like to use. Double-click the glyph and it will be placed in your document. If you have a few glyphs you find yourself favoring, you may wish to save them in the Favorite Glyphs area at the bottom of the Glyph Pallet by dragging and dropping them into the open boxes.

Creating Fractions
While you can easily create fractions using numbers and a slash, the results can lack the refinement that actual fractions lend to a document. For a more polished approach, you can utilize QuarkXpress' built in functionality to give your fractions the detail they so highly deserve.

To create your fraction, simply highlight your text, and chose Style > Type Style > Make Fraction. This will convert those unsightly displays of 1/ 2 and 1/ 4 into more elegant 1/2 and 1/4. Even complex fractions can be expressed with a more refined appearance with just a few quick clicks of the mouse.

Applying Ligatures
Often times, certain combinations of letters can cause your type to look a bit more shabby than it should. Notoriously, "fl"s and "fi"s can become crowded with some typefaces. Ligatures are special glyphs that represent a character pair, and can help remove the awkwardness to those type combinations. Fonts can easily be substituted with ligatures automatically in QuarkXpress if you know where to look. Simply click on Enable Ligatures in the Character tab of the Measurements pallet.

Typography may no longer be the first thing you think of in document creation. But thanks to QuarkXpress 8, your documents can still have the look of "hands on" craftsmanship like that of the typesetters of old. With a little attention to detail and a little knowledge of QuarkXpress' powerful tools, you can bring back the fine art of typography to your documents.

QuarkXPress 8: Essential Skills for Page Layout and Web Design

by Kelly Kordes Anton

Get up to speed quickly with this accessible new guide on QuarkXPress 8 for both print and Web workflows. QuarkXPress experts Kelly Kordes Anton and John Cruise provide the essential techniques that you need in an easy-to-use format. From the basics of creating new layouts to using QuarkXPress's superior typographic tools, this book covers the primary features for graphic designers and Web publishers--whether new to the program or returning again. Expert tips and the most efficient approach for your real-world workflow demands make this book a valuable resource.