Vertical Alignment

When we talk of type alignment, for the most part we mean the horizontal alignment of the text. InDesign also gives you options for the vertical alignment of your type within a text frame. The default is for type to begin at the top of the frame, and this is appropriate in most instances, but there are times when Center or Bottom alignment of type within a text frame will be necessary. With a text frame selected or your pointer inserted into the text, choose Object > Text Frame OptionsCmd+B (Ctrl+B).

A fourth vertical alignment optionJustifiedcan be used on text frames with multiple columns to make text "bottom out" by adding extra space above paragraphs and potentially to the leading of your type.

Figure 8.24. Text Frame Options. Vertical Justification.

Figure 8.25. Vertical Justification applied to text frames.

This is a super-convenient feature and one that I confess to using when I think no one will notice and/or when time is tight. However, vertical justification is a something of a Faustian bargainyes, it makes your columns end on the same baseline, but it does so at a price. Vertical justification overrides your leading, knocking your type off the baseline grid if you are using one, and potentially makes your type color uneven. That said, you do not surrender all control: Paragraph Spacing Limit lets you specify the maximum amount of space permissible between paragraphs. Once the Paragraph Spacing Limit has been reached, there's nowhere to go but to increase the leading. You can prevent this by setting a massive amount in this field (up to a maximum 8640 points). That way spacing will only be added between paragraphs (the lesser of the two evils) and your leading will remain unaffected.

How effective this is will depend on how many paragraphs you have in the column. If you have text with subheads and body text, for example, the extra space can usually be added unobtrusively above the subheads. If your column is a single paragraph, however, this approach isn't going to work.

Figure 8.26. Vertical Justification of this text frame causes the leading in the third column to open up in an unsightly way.

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