Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Design > Adobe Creative Suite

  • Print
  • + Share This
From the author of

Hanging Punctuation

One of the most sophisticated effects for text in InDesign is the ability to apply hanging punctuation to justified text. Hanging punctuation is applied by setting the optical margin adjustment. This moves punctuation characters slightly outside the text margin. This creates the illusion of a more uniform edge for the text (Figure 1). In addition, optical margin adjustment also moves portions of serifs outside the margin (Figure 2).

Optical margin adjustment is set using the Story palette.

Figure 1 

Optical margin adjustment moves punctuation outside margin edges.

Figure 2 

Optical margin adjustment moves the serifs of the drop cap outside margin edges.

To set optical margin adjustment:

  1. Select the text.

  2. Choose Type > Story. This opens the Story palette (Figure 3).

    Figure 3

    The Story palette lets you set the optical margin adjustment to hang punctuation in the margin.

  3. Check Optical Margin Adjustment. The text reflows so that the punctuation and serifs lie outside the margin edges.

  4. Enter a size for the amount of overhang.


  • As a general rule, set the overhang the same size as the text.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account