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PageMaker Copyfitting


Ultimately what we are working towards is a layout where all the text and graphics are seamlessly combined together in a balanced and internally logical whole. In the meantime we will be happy if we can get them all to fit on the page! In fact there are a number of copy-fitting tools and options at our disposal. The amount of space an image will take up depends largely on its orientation, for example, so if we have a choice of portrait and landscape this gives huge flexibility. Even if we only have one image it’s amazing what a difference cropping can make. Moreover, by intelligent cropping we can often increase the image’s interest.

On the text side too we also have considerable flexibility. If copy seems short on a page that’s not a problem at all as it allows us to add white space around headings and images and generally to let the design breathe. If we have the odd line or two too much, we still have a number of options. The spacing around headings can often be squeezed. Text can normally be slightly rewritten without affecting the meaning though this will generally have to be approved. Otherwise, if only the odd word has crept onto a new line, this can often be massaged back onto the line before by adding discretionary hyphens (Shift + Ctrl + -) or by kerning. Never kern by more than 0.01 of an em (Alt + Left arrow) and make sure that this is only applied to individual lines not to whole paragraphs.

For more major problems, more extreme measures must be taken. For two pages in the programme I had to make unwelcome compromises. In one of the events panels I had to run a number of short separate paragraphs together, marking them off with a Zapf Dingbats bullet character. At least this ensured that the interline grid was maintained. However, for the page of general details about the Institute, the sheer amount of text meant that the horizontal grid had to be sacrificed with 9pt text on a 10.5pt leading. I can live with this as the back panel is not really part of a spread, but there goes my award!