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  • Writer's pictureKatarzyna Hasnik

Text Good Design Practice + Adobe program shortcuts

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

If you really want to design well, well, you have to know the Text's simple rules. Those small improvements will make a difference in any project using any program which allows tricking the text a bit. I won't cover everything here and I won't touch even the typography but simple adjustments within the chosen fonts, done quickly and effortlessly in programs like InDesign, Illustrator, and Text Verification Tool.

My hard copy notes are a time to convert to digital and share. I am just sharing my old notes from years ago which I discovered in my old notebooks while cleaning before summer. =)

Text Good Design Practice involves a good practice with text. Simple Tricks will make your life easier. By practice, you will memorise those rules forever.

I spent several years in Editorial Text Design, Communication Visual Graphic Design and Digital and Web, Apps, UX and UI. What I notice in projects of newcomers, especially starting with a digital design for apps, websites and platforms, without graphical background are that the typography and text flows and adjustments need to be researched more and learned.

More research needs to be done in my spare time to understand the full spectrum and vocabulary and indeed practice in the chosen program. Text is a tool for communication. Verbal, and written do have rules. Those rules do apply for a reason to help us communicate better and easier, faster and clearer.

Also, I will share a few other notes relative, few shortcuts etc.

Cleaning my old desk before Digital Nomad Life Style. :) It is fun.

Text Good Design Practice


Kerning is the space between individual characters.

Tracking is space between words.

Additionally worth checking to leading, vertical and horizontal spaces, margins, gutter, bleed, slug, etc. before starting with the notes below.

Also verify what means orphans and widows in text.

Adobe: InDesign and Illustrator

Starting with:

Horizontal scale and Tracking

When you need to fit the text within limited space, or if you have to adjust a line of text so the text flows better for grammatical purpose reason use:

Horizontal scale and Tracking

-3 0 +3

97% 100 103%

Vertical scaling must be always 100% for the body text as the font will change the size.

Kerning is optical and works better.

Off course, if you like to modify the text and make it thin, and tall, increase the size and then play with horizontal scale instead vertical.

Few words for a large amount of text e.g. newspaper, flyers, brochures, catalogues, leaflets.

1. Text frame - change to columns each text frame.

Cmd+B -> Text Frame Options.

2. Copy text and let reflow to each column/page by using:

White Arrow (A) - match and connect together so the text will flow.

3. Text Frame - gutter as per requirements, samples, previous work, similar job or default. Numbers of columns can be change to none or of the part of column can go dimensions (bending page). Body text never goes above the bleed. Big titles if have a

graphic design purpose. However, check the reading and adjust the letters to not be cut if not read well.

4. If you work with a large amount of text, verify the text with the free software TVT - Text Verification Tool against the provided live text in Word Doc/PDF. If you have just outlined text (not able to be copied, modify), a verification must be eyes, visual with the best practice 2nd pair of eyes, teammate, spouse, social circle etc if you solo designer. It is called 4 eyes check and it is another good design practice.

5. Compare all paragraphs.

6. Adjust GREPS - research more about it if needed.

7. Adjust Text Frames - Justify better not Top or Bottom.

8. Switch Register Marks if they are already inserted by default otherwise they will print or display doubled - darker.

9. If you have a big size project you might as well switch off in PDF/Acrobat as there is an option to do so too.

GREPS - InDesign

Cmd+F -> Edit -> find/Change





Op3 (French)

Different Greps for different languages and symbols.

bullet Points - Illustrator


Text Free Area (no text allow) - Illustrator for labels/stickers/foils printing.

Set up transparency 100% and Opacity 100%

- how much you can see through colour

Colour 30% you won't see through colour - colour is solid but might change the values.

Illustrator/PDF - when error appears while saving

If the error shows in the end it is an error of fonts.


Save the work only as a file in Illustrator - .ai without creating PDF compatible file, untick and then go to your font management e.g. Universal Font, deactivated all fonts, and then active them again as permanent.

Back to Illustrator file. Save with tick what will allow to create the PDF as compatible file.


Few words for graphical objects, text and even logo.

When they overlap, it means that two colours appear on the edge. This only applies to printing, as in a digital display facility on the subject of two significant colours it won't make a difference. But in print, yes, and it should be avoided.

Select all the same graphic/text.

Select -> same -> same -> fill + stroke -> delete -. check visually if it is not overlapped, print test before printing large amount.

Stickers, labels, foils - Continuous Printing - Illustrator

Create the Pattern or/and Transform within or without Symbols

Object -> Pattern - Create set up matching any source if you have one: scan of drawing, text, previous pattern, PDF etc.

Delete set up after adjustments of repetition and distance.

Create a new box and drop in the new pattern.

Repeat the transfer.

To transform click. Transform objects and patterns.

Font converted to Italic if doesn't exist

Easy trick

Use the Shear Tool

Copy text

Change by 12 degrees on a horizontal angle.

Bullet Points


In Paragraphs there is option to convert.

Bullet points from on live to live text.

Check intend, baseline line, size.

Zapf Dingbats (typeface was designed by the typographer Hermann Zapf in 1978 and licensed by International Typeface Corporation).

Glyphs - for square bullet points

Check verification visually or within Font TCT compatibility if must be readable.


Replace the one, which needs to be replace.

Copy the previous into the find one.

Copy new one (create first) and then change.

Find first. Change/find.

TVT - text verification tool

Special requirements project, in PDFs for mapping e.g. labels, stickers, foils.

Within a program: double click, exclude everything, exclude mode.

Z - maximum Zoom

0 - 100& Zoom

*Directly from the project/panel.

Ctrl+L - Shortcut for the legend (colours meaning) or Help.

Ctrl+mouse and draw section - zoom selected area for inspection.

Mapping to main panel/other panels will map to main.

U - unmap - first unmapping then map after.

M - map

Ctrl=D - Select two words/characters - it will show a comparison of them if the mapping is not available.

Styles checks.

Semi Adaptive - deviation in symbols (in glyphs) select simplified and adaptive together.

Simplified - just simplified.

Various Tips for Various Programs/Macs - Print and Digital (Adobe)

Shortcuts, paths to memorising, tips, clues and tricks.


Adobe InDesign

Styles from Library (establish first or install)

-> Settings -> Greps -> New Styles


Adobe InDesign + Illustrator + Photoshop

Max for condense font done manually is 79%, otherwise characters might overlap.

Hidden characters - show them to avoid text errors in project, double spaces, errors in flow, TVT. Change hidden characters display colour to intensive.

Cmd+Alt+I - dots between text

Macs + Adobe

Cmd+N (new window of actual open files path)

All Applications

Cmd+Shift+A (lean way) or traditional way - server - applications

Adobe Illustrator

Cmd+Shift+4+Space - All windows are open.

Middle East Adobe Version

InDesign - tips for languages.

  1. Thai is included in Middle East Version of applications.

  2. To not overlap accent, go to Paragraphs Style.

  3. Justification -> Composer -> Adobe World Ready Paragraph -> Choose -> Composer

  4. To next overlap characters in Thai (and any similar languages).


To see story editing panel


Ancor symbol and Y with two lines across is a symbol which means that the object is wrapped but as well follows text indicated if issue with justify to do.

Remove this symbols by copy/cut/paste and place only by wrapped text.


Tab - second line (the same indent)

Cmd+\| - symbol (next to Enter)

Keep adjust in one line.

Text sentences do not move.


- keep options

- select text]- leave empty untick

To Pack all info folder - All Adobe


Folders for example:

1.Folders (packed).

2. Links.

3. Illustrator or InDesign file.

4. Delete unnecessary stuff.


Web Centre (comparison PDF to find out if correctly done)


Acrobat - Pitstop

Find out knockout and overprint.

Select with Loop colour which shouldn't be overprinted and verify and then save.

That's all from 1 portion of old notes. :) Finito.

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