Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: Dashes, Hyphens, Etc


To know when to use hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes. To learn how to manually kern type. To continue to develop layout skills in InDesign.

We will be creating the back of a postcard:

sample card

  1. open the InDesign document you created in the previous exercise (or download this file: kandinsky.indd)
  2. window > pages: add a second page to your postcard
  3. download the Word document museum_details.doc
  4. file > place the Word file (cmd+D)
  5. set text: 10/15 Futura Book (to match the front of the card)
  6. center text (cmd+shift+C)
  7. save as kandinsky2.indd

fixing typographic errors found in almost all Word docs

  1. line 2: change en-dash to an em-dash (opt+shift+HYPHEN)
  2. line 3: delete superscript
  3. line 5: change superscript to normal (cmd+shift+PLUS)
  4. Museum Hours: change HYPHENS to en-dashes (opt+HYPHEN); remove the periods in "a.m." and "p.m." and change them to small caps
  5. type > insert white space > thin space: before/after all dashes (cmd+opt+shift+M)

fine-tuning the layout

  1. cut/paste indicia info into its own text frame (6px6p, stroke=.75pt)
  2. set indicia: 8/11
  3. line 1: 24 pt, bold, all caps
  4. line 2: 13/13
  5. dates + "Museum Hours": bold
  6. window > character: kerning=optical (note space before/after "1")
  7. object > text frame options: vertical justification=center (both frames)
  8. add a couple of blank paragraph at bottom of left column (more white space below is better)
  9. confirm that your name and exercise number is in slug area
  10. preview the card (W)
  11. file > print (page 2 only, centered, with crop marks and slug)


  1. submit b&w proof with your name and exercise number on it for grading
  2. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

Last updated: 3/2/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young