InDesign 2019 and 2020 both contain new features of interest to scripture typesetters. This brief articles highlights some key additions.
Support for South-East Asian languages
InDesign uses a paragraph Composer to perform many different operations when formatting a paragraph of text – such as evaluating and controlling word and letter spacing and the location of line breaks. The paragraph Composer also interprets and supports the (sometimes very complex) information about formatting and positioning of individual characters (glyphs) provided by a font.
More than one type of paragraph Composer is provided in InDesign. The Composer is selected through the Justification properties for a paragraph style. (Publishing Assistant offers the ability to select the Composer for a job on the Job settings Layout tab).
Over the years InDesign has added support for many complex writing systems through the addition of the World-Ready Paragraph Composer. In InDesign 2020 the World Ready Composer now operates through a “text engine” called Harfbuzz. This update enables support for five South East Asian languages: Thai, Burmese, Lao, Khmer, and Sinhala. This is a significant update to InDesign for supporting scripture typesetting in these languages, and hopefully indicates native support for other challenging writing systems will also be available in the future.
Note: Some PA users may already know about Harfbuzz, and be aware that it has the capability to render OpenType or Graphite fonts. However, the application working with Harfbuzz must compile Harfbuzz to use Graphite … which InDesign 2020 has not done. Unfortunately, this means we cannot yet use Graphite fonts in InDesign.
A new column rule feature allows you to add and control the appearance of lines between the columns of a multi-column text frame. The weight, color, type, horizontal offset, and other features for the rules can all be controlled from a text frame object style’s properties.
Publishing Assistant provides support for adding a gutter rule between 2 columns in a basic Bible layout, but does not provide column rules for custom layout jobs. This new column rules feature makes it possible to apply column rules directly in InDesign object styles for any multi-column text frame, and may be very useful in enhancing designs for custom layouts and study Bibles.
Space between paragraph styles
It is now possible to indicate whether the space before and space after a paragraph style should be applied to consecutive paragraphs using the same style. The paragraph style properties dialog now lets you specify the Space Between Paragraphs Using the Same Style.
In the example layout below for a study Bible, the section introductory paragraph (
\ip) is configured with Space After, in order to create white-space between it and the following scripture text. But this does not work as desired if there is more than one introduction paragraph.
Using the Space Between Paragraphs Using the Same Style the extra white-space between paragraphs can easily be suppressed.
This style property might also be used for adding white-space before and after a sequence of list items, such the example text below from Ezra 2.
If consecutive paragraphs use a different style, the values for Space Before and Space After are used.
For more information see: Format paragraphs (InDesign help)
Importing PDF comments
Comments added to PDFs exported by InDesign 2019 or newer can be imported and reviewed back in InDesign using the PDF Comments panel. This feature provides a new option for allowing a typesetter to review and process feedback from editors or reviewers. It is even possible to import comments from multiple PDFs in which comments were added by different reviewers.
To add comments to a PDF, open the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat, then open the Comment tools (View > Tools > Comment). Use an appropriate tool to add comments to the PDF, such as a sticky note or highlight. Save the PDF (
CTRL-S or File > Save).
To review and process the comments from a PDF, open the InDesign document into which you want to import the PDF comments. Do one of the following:
- Choose File > Import PDF Comments.
- Choose Window > PDF Comments and click Import PDF Comments.
Browse for the PDF which contains comments for your document and click Import comments. The comments are imported and displayed in the PDF Comments panel.
There are various features available in the PDF comments panel for navigating and filtering the comments. For more information see: Import PDF comments (InDesign help)
A new panel was added to InDesign 2019 called the Properties panel. It lets you easily view and edit settings and controls for the currently selected object or text. (If no objects are selected, some commonly used controls and preferences are displayed). If you are using the Essentials workspace, the Properties panel is already available at the right of the workspace. It can also be enabled by clicking on Window > Properties.
For more information see: Properties panel (InDesign help)