Adjusting Entire Paragraphs

Adjusting Entire Paragraphs

The Paragraph palette provides controls for modifying all the text in a paragraph at once. These controls are quite different from those in the Character palette. (Don’t want any silly old consistency to spoil the fun, now do we?)

Changing the alignment of a paragraph

At the top of the Paragraph palette are seven buttons that set the alignment of paragraphs. Although the buttons are tiny, if you squint hard enough at them, you can see that the tiny graphic image on each one mimics the alignment that they create. Position the cursor over the button without clicking and a Tooltip appears and tells you what it is.

To align a paragraph, click anywhere inside it with the Text tool; then click the alignment button in the Paragraph palette. By default, paragraphs align to the left side with their right edge ragged and uneven. Choose the Align Right setting, and the opposite is true (right edge smooth, left edge ragged). Try the Align Center setting for ragged left and right edges with centered lines of text. Use the Justify Full Lines setting for straight left and right edges (except for the last line if it’s not a full line). Finally, the Justify All Lines setting keeps all lines (including the bottom one) even on both the left and the right. Figure 14-17 shows examples of these alignments (and which buttons to click to get them).

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Figure 14-17: Text results of different text alignments in Illustrator.

Changing the space around the paragraph

The Paragraph palette in Illustrator offers three options for adjusting the space around a paragraph, plus an option to set how far from the left edge of the paragraph the first line starts. Figure 14-18 shows these options.

Figure 14-18: Controls for changing the amount of space around a paragraph.

The Left Indent setting is for modifying the position of the left edge of the paragraph. The larger the number, the farther to the right the left edge moves.

The First Line Left Indent setting moves the first line of the paragraph left or right relative to the left edge of the paragraph. Use a negative number to make the first line come out from paragraph’s left edge, as shown in Figure 14-19. Use a positive number to push the first line in to the right of the paragraph’s left edge.

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Figure 14-19: Bringing out the left edge of a paragraph with a negative number.

The Right Indent setting adjusts the paragraph’s right edge. The larger the number, the farther to the left the edge moves.

The Space Before Paragraph setting adjusts the amount of space before the current paragraph. If you select a bunch of paragraphs, changing this setting puts space between each one of the paragraphs.

Using the basic options available in Character palette and the Paragraph palette, you can create astounding feats of typestry. These two palettes provide the core for nearly everything you do with type in Illustrator. Using them, you can equal or surpass just about anything you can create on a single page in any word-processing or page-layout application.