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This post follows a really good article by Mark Boulton about good typography I read (http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/comments/five-simple-steps-to-bette...), and specifically, how to deal with bullet points. Below are 2 images he gives to demonstrate how bullet points should and should not look.
The problem here, as Mark Boulton points out, is that modern graphic software such as InDesign, is not set up to deal with bullets correctly. I have often been guilty of bad typography in this area in the past...when you are doing a project such as a credential brochure which needs to get out the door yesterday, it is really easy to just use InDesigns basic bullet settings in the style sheet bullet options. And in fact for a long time I was probably ignorant to the fact that indented bullets which made the text block start indented didnt look quite as good as when it all lined up. Anyway, having read the article, I experimented and thought - actually this looks MUCH better. Try it yourself, go on!
However the problem still remained that to acheive this in InDesign was not easy without doing each text column as a seperate text box or doing the bullets in different text boxes etc. What I wanted was to be able to flow all the text into one text box divided into columns which would still be the correct way to deal with hanging punctuation. Anyway, with much experimentation I think this is a good way to achieve good typography when dealing with bullet points in InDesign. It is still a work around and I am sure many of you have other ways which I would be delighted to hear about.
Firstly, before we start, this process of designing with a page divided into columns requires the bullets to be in the column gutter. For this reason it may be neseccary to have larger column gutters than usual. This tutorial will be made using paragraph styles. For more information on how to use paragraph styles check out here.
First step is to set up a column grid. In this case we will use a 4 column grid with a gutter width of 7mm. To do this go to Layout > margins and columns.
Next we will create the text box. Because it is not possible for bullet points to appear outside the text box, we must start the text box before the page grid, which then allows us to start the bullets before the grid and then indent all the text to align with the grid. So for this example we will start the text box at 3.5mm outside the margins. So, the text box starts at 6.5mm x value and will be a width of 197mm, which also brings it 3.5mm over the final column. Bring up your text frame options (object > text frame options) divide the text box into four columns with no gutter width. In order for the bullets to work, we will set up the gutter width manually.
For the purpose of this tutorial, I have placed in some dummy text, but obviously you would flow in the real rext. As you can see it is without much form at the moment. So lets add some!
The first thing we will do is style the body text to align with the grid. Bring up your paragraph pallette (window > type and tables > paragraph). Put the left indent at 3.5mm and the right indent at 3.5mm. I have also added some space after, based on the leading I have set the font in which in this case is 10pt. Basically what we have done here is build in a gutter width, but without using actual gutters. This will allow us to control what is actually appearing in the gutter of our column grid. If you had set these gutters up in the text box, you would not be able to access this space.
Now we will change this into a paragraph style so we can apply it easily to every other section of body text. To do this, highlight a bit of the body text and bring up your paragraph styles (window > type and tables > paragraph srtyles). Click on the arrow in the top corner and select new paragraph style, I have named mine body text. This will now create a paragraph style based on all the spacing we have placed on the styled body text. Now we can through and apply this to every section of body text, by highlighting or clicking within the paragraph and clicking on the new paragraph style. Now all our body text is styled. Your page should now look something like this. As you can see, the body text, now indented by 3.5mm on both sides has aligned it perfectly with our column grid with 7mm gutters. Now all we need to do is style the bullets.
We style the bullets in much the same way. First thing we need to do is make a tab to specify that after the bullet, the text will line up with the grid. Set the tab at 3.5mm. Now bring up the paragraph pallette again (window > type and tables > paragraph). We want a left indent of 3.5mm again, and also to put the first line spacing as -3.5mm as shown. This will align the bullet 3.5mm outside the column grid. I have also given some space after as previously. Now, make this into paragraph style again and apply it to the bullets throughout. Your page should now look something like this.
And thats it, doesnt it look nice and neat? Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it was helpful. If anyone has a better way to get a similar effect, would love to hear about it! Also, what are your own opinions on how bullets should look?
Happy designing! you can check the original article out here (http://www.freddesign.co.uk/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=261) !