About once a month, a client will ask how to hang punctuation in Adobe InDesign CS. We’ve answered this same question dozens of times — yet I still find myself hunting around through menus to remember which dialog box contains the needed checkbox!

This tip covers hanging punctuation techniques in Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Freehand MX, and QuarkXPress.

Hanging punctuation in Adobe InDesign CS.

Select your text and turn on Optical Margin Alignment in InDesign’s Story palette (Choose Type > Story).

And yes, we agree, this seems like a non-intuiative place to hide this feature. Especially considering this appears to be the only story-related setting in InDesign.

Tip: The font size option controls the amount of overhang applied. For optimal results, use the same size as your text.

Hanging punctuation in Adobe Illustrator CS.

Select your text and choose Type > Optical Margin Alignment.

Hanging punctuation in Freehand MX.

Select your text box, choose the paragraph icon in the Object Properties palette, and turn on the Hanging punctuation checkbox.

Hanging punctuation in QuarkXPress.

QuarkXPress has no automatic way (that we know of) to accomplish hanging punctuation; it’s a hands-on process and requires a bit of work:

  1. Put a space before a quote mark.
  2. Move your cursor between the space and mark.
  3. Use negative kerning to move the mark and text back until the first text character lines up with the left edge of the rest of the text.
  4. When the punctuation is negatively-kerned out, as it crosses the edge of the text box it disappears. It does, however, print.

Source: This tip inspired by a recent phone troubleshooting call with Creativetechs’ priority support client Herrick Design. The QuarkXPress technique for hanging punctuation comes from this article on Designorati.