Watch out for imported texts
Sometimes when inserting a text from other applications it is possible to detect blank spaces that don’t correspond to the common space. This may cause the final appearance of a paragraph to be altered significantly, this is what these characters are designed for, and the result is that your work is not as satisfying as it should.
It is important to watch out carefully any imported text, much as if you had typed it – occasionally I had to hear that “designers should not type texts never” due to a typing error, but in truth it often turns out to be necessary to do so – using all the tools at your disposal. It is therefore very important to have options such as spell checker (contextual menu Pronunciation/AutoCorrect) activated, with the dictionary in the appropriate language, and also the special character display Text/Show Hidden Characters (command + alt + i) so that it is possible to observe that are interfering characters in the text.
Below you can read a detailed list of blank characters and their explanation:
- Long Space: As explained in the publication’s The art of text printing (Part One), the upper case M is used to determine the correct space between two words, more specifically from the lower corner to the last pole. Therefore, a space M could be defined as twice the perfectly conventional space, or as a long space.
- Short space: Half of a space M, also called space N.
- Space without separation: Like a conventional space, is used to tell the processor that the line should not be separated into that character.
- Space without separation (fixed width): Built from InDesign version 5, it works the same way as above but also avoids altering the kerning to justify the text, ie to expand or collapse.
- Third Space: 1/3 of the space M.
- Quarter of space: 1/4 of the space M.
- Sixth of space: 1/6 of the space M.
- Thin space: 1/8 of the space M.
- Ultrafine space: 1/24 of the space M.
- Punctuation space: It occupies the same space as an exclamation mark, comma, period, etc. …
- Number space: It has the same width as a numeric character, can be very useful when aligning figures.
- Alignment space: Used to add space in the last line of fully justified paragraphs so that it does not expand disproportionately to fit the size of the object, or container, text.