Type Tips Weekly

– [Nigel] Welcome to Type Tips, I’m Nigel French and in this episode I have a quick tip about using the No Break character. Let’s say that I want to work on the rag of this type so that I shape my line endings. And here on line three, I have the word are that is sticking out a bit too far. So I would like to carry this down to the next slide. I’ll insert my cursor in front of that type and then enter a shift-return or a forced line break.

That takes it down to the next line, retains it as part of the same paragraph. Here’s the problem with that. I’m now going to switch to my Selection Tool, and imagine that my layout changes. Let’s say that I go from my one-column layout to a two-column layout. We see that that forced line break is creating problems here. Imagine a long, flowing document with loads of these forced line breaks in them and your layout changes and then you’re faced with this arduous task of having to go back and remove them.

Well, here’s a suggestion to avoid that. So, instead of applying a forced line break, what I’m going to do is apply a No Break character. And in this case, it would be applied to these two words. Keeping them together, I’ll select them and then from the Control Panel Menu, I can choose no break. Or, I can also get the same option on my Character Panel.

I’ll press Command or Control-T to bring up the Character Panel, and it’s at the bottom of the panel menu. So when I do so, we see that visually the result is the same but the No Break is polite enough to go away when not needed. Now we can take things one step further and just automate things a little bit more by making ourselves a No Break Character style, which has other uses beyond the one that I’m showing you here.

So I’m going to set the document back to the way it was. I’ll come to my Character Styles Panel, create a new Character style, call it No Break, in my Basic Character Formats, this has one attribute and it’s this one right here, just check that box. While we’re here, we can also give it a keyboard shortcut if you’re working with an extended keyboard. So let’s say I want to make this Command-0.

I’ll now click okay. And then to apply it, all I need to do is select those two words and press Command-0. If at any point in the future you need to know where those no breaks have been applied, you can come to your Character Styles, you can edit it, and just temporarily, just so that you can see them, you can add some sort of highlight. In this case, I’m going to go to my underlying options and choose an underline.

And, I’ll choose a color and then will turn on the preview and now we can see now underlined in magenta all the places where I have applied the no break. And if I need to go back and change any of those, I can do. And of course, once I’ve done that, I would then come back to the Character Style and turn off the underline. So that’s how we can make our life a little easier when shaping our text using a No Break Character Style.

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