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Controlling Line Breaks in Adobe InDesign 2

An introduction to the hyphenation penalty slider By Tim Cole
Editor's note: Every so often, developers and manufacturers provide us here at DMN with exclusive articles designed to help users understand their software. In such cases, we're pleased to present the information to our readers free of marketing jargon in the hopes that it will be of actual use to you. Today we start a series of such articles contributed by Adobe from their training experts focusing on specific techniques for using the features found in InDesign 2. After all, who knows better than the people who make the software? If you have any requests for future articles on this topic, or if you feel strongly one way or the other about the usefulness of articles contributed by manufacturers, please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]. --Dave Nagel

Adobe InDesign 2.0 introduced a new feature that you can use to fine tune the way lines break in any given paragraph. You'll find the hyphenation penalty slider in InDesign's hyphenation dialog box. This document is meant to serve as an introduction to this feature so that you'll understand exactly how it works and how you can use it to control the way your lines break within paragraphs.

Where it is: The hyphenation penalty slider is located in InDesign 2.0's hyphenation palette. The control is a slider with the words ‘Better Spacing' on one end and ‘Fewer Hyphens' on the other end.

What it does: InDesign's composition engines penalize hyphenation when it calculates optimal line breaks. The hyphenation penalty slider gives you greatly enhanced control over hyphenation and line breaks by enabling you to adjust the size of that penalty. When you increase the size of the hyphenation penalty your paragraph will hyphenate less and InDesign will rely more on varying the word and letter spacing. When you decrease the hyphenation penalty, you enable InDesign to hyphenate more frequently and thus maintain the word and letter spacing settings in the Justification dialog box.

Using the hyphenation penalty slider: Select or click an insertion point in one or more paragraphs. From the Paragraph palette's fly-out menu select the Hyphenation command. When the dialog box appears, click on the Preview checkbox so that you will be able to experiment with different settings in the dialog box and see the effects of those changes without closing the dialog box.

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