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

Graphic Design Exercises
InDesign: Foreign Accents


To learn how to create professional accents. To be introduced to ligatures. To learn InDesign typesetting procedures and shortcuts by example.


Open Type is the current industry standard format for professional type. Open Type has many advanced features that are very well supported by InDesign (simply access the flyout menu of the Character palette). If you have a choice, always choose the Open Type version of a font (as opposed to Postscript or TrueType). If possible, also choose fonts that have the word "pro" in the font name (these fonts offer the most open type features).

Tip: Mac users may reference "accents (mac hotkey).pdf" which may be faster than hunting down special characters in the type > glyphs palette.

  • type > insert > white space > thin space (add before/after en/em dashes)
  • window > character: flyout menu > open type > make fractions
  • window > character: flyout menu > open type > proportional lining (instead of manually kerning numbers)
  • window > character: flyout menu > ligatures: on/off
  1. download starter files
  2. examine downloaded files
  3. launch InDesign
  4. file > new: intend=print, w=7in, h=10in, portrait, margins=0; slug=3p (bottom); save as preset
  5. practice Adobe navigation keyboard shortcuts: space=hand; space+cmd=zoom in; space+cmd+opt=zoom out; cmd+zero=fit in window
  6. practice InDesign preview shortcuts: cmd+opt+I (show/hide hidden characters); W (normal/preview mode)

typesetting accents

  1. file > place "accents.docx"
  2. select all; make type 18/24 Adobe Garamond Pro Regular
  3. using "accents (reference).pdf" as reference, create all the appropriate accents, fractions and other typographic marks
  4. add your name and exercise number to the bottom (in slug area)
  5. print with crop marks (centered on letter-sized paper)


  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