Typesetting Ten Typesetting Tips

shinwei

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Hi all, figured I'd share just a little bit of advice with you all today. Here's what I believe to be the ten most important things to pay attention to while typesetting:




1. Invest extra effort into centering the text.

This is super duper important. Always be extremely hard on yourself to center the text in the bubble. Take the little bit of extra time to use Photoshop's ability to NUDGE (arrow keys) the text. Make absolutely sure the text is centered in the bubble. If it isn't, then anyone who looks at your page will have the immediate impression that you did a shoddy job.


2. Leave some white space inside the bubble.

A bubble should never be "filled to full capacity" by the text. Leave some space. Look at some HQ Edited Mangas if you don't know what I'm talking about. Text looks way better if it's not set to completely fill up the bubble. I'll post some picture examples later.


3. Draw text boxes, don't just click.

In Photoshop, when you select the Type tool, you can either click on your document and start typing, or click and drag to draw out a text box in which to type. For manga bubbles, you will primarily want to be using the latter.


4. Aim for the diamond shape.

The text block inside your bubbles should be thinner at the top and bottom, and widest in the middle. Make use of your text box's wrapping, but don't rely on it 100%. You WILL have to hit the Return key to send some text to the next line manually to achieve the diamond shape better sometimes.


5. Choose the right font.

Wild Words is the default font for dialogue, as it was made popular by DontHurt of MangaProject back in the day, but that doesn't mean it's the ONLY font you can use. It's a great font, and if you use it no one will complain, but if you either don't want to use it or don't have access to it, www.blambot.com has some great fonts for you to use! For more complicated stuff, I like to use Mouth Breather when the speaker is really weak or injured, and I will choose out special fonts for special attacks, but for the most part I stick with my dialogue font.


6. Smooth Anti-Aliasing for talking, Strong Anti-Aliasing for shouting.

As a general rule of thumb, all text inside round bubbles should be smooth, and all text inside spiky bubbles should be round. It does make a big difference, trust me!


7. Use punctuation properly!

Don't hate the period. Use it at the ends of sentences. Failure to do so is just unprofessional and bad-looking. If you disagree with me now, I guarantee you that your hatred for periods will be outgrown quickly once you start using them.


8. Use Italics sparingly!

Yes, I know most dialogue fonts have only three settings: Normal, Italics, and Bold-Italics. That doesn't mean you should be using Italics for shouting though. Never - EVER typeset an entire bubble to have Italics. It just looks bad. I use Italics only for special keywords in the manga. I use Bold-Italics when I want to highlight one specific word. Note: in my translations, I put words that I want bold-italicized in CAPS.


9. Text Width and Text Height are VERY useful!

Japanese text runs top to bottom, so that means a lot of the time you will find the bubbles to be a lot taller and thinner than you want them to be, especially during shouts. You will find that it adds quite a bit of flair to a shout when you set the text height to 120%-150%, just don't forget to also adjust your text's vertical spacing accordingly. Also, sometimes when typing around in bubbles, you will come across a really annoying line that's just too damn wide and you really can't do anything about it. Feel free to adjust the width of that line to 90%, but I don't recommend going down further than that.


10. Have fun!

Typesetting is definitely a way to express creativity. You DO have a lot of creative freedom when typesetting, and you really can get really artistic with it. Especially with the shouting, you can totally knock yourself out making crazy shouts with all the neat stuff Photoshop can do with the text. If you feel like you can make something look really cool, go for it.
 

nytrogyn

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Eleven Typesetting Tips

Shinwei said:
7. Use punctuation properly!

Don't hate the period. Use it at the ends of sentences. Failure to do so is just unprofessional and bad-looking. If you disagree with me now, I guarantee you that your hatred for periods will be outgrown quickly once you start using them.
Yea XD (lol Shinwei)

_________________________________________________

11. Take a break.

Typesetting for an extended period of time puts a huge amout of strain on the eyes, as you have to be very precise in text placement. Take 10 minute breaks every once in a while, and continue on later.
 

Siedhr

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Great tips, thank you. Started using them and I thought I'd drop by and show you my appreciation. :tem
 

kyubisharingan

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awsome tips, thanks
 

GGpX

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Shinwei said:
3. Draw text boxes, don't just click.

In Photoshop, when you select the Type tool, you can either click on your document and start typing, or click and drag to draw out a text box in which to type. For manga bubbles, you will primarily want to be using the latter.


4. Aim for the diamond shape.

The text block inside your bubbles should be thinner at the top and bottom, and widest in the middle. Make use of your text box's wrapping, but don't rely on it 100%. You WILL have to hit the Return key to send some text to the next line manually to achieve the diamond shape better sometimes.

8. Use Italics sparingly!

Yes, I know most dialogue fonts have only three settings: Normal, Italics, and Bold-Italics. That doesn't mean you should be using Italics for shouting though. Never - EVER typeset an entire bubble to have Italics. It just looks bad. I use Italics only for special keywords in the manga. I use Bold-Italics when I want to highlight one specific word. Note: in my translations, I put words that I want bold-italicized in CAPS.
I disagree with these points and I wouldn't recommend them.

3- I hate this. My reasoning is this: It's a rush job. By "rush job," I mean a faster way around the actual work. That means mistakes can be done and are sometimes overlooked (Or even go unnoticed). Common example; You make the your "box" for text, and you have a word that is longer than the box. Let's say "Extraordinary". The box will automatically split the word onto the next line. No problem with that, but, it's where it splits the word that becomes a problem. Extraordinary is not split extraord*inary. Another problem with this would be that the text in the bubbles often look mis-positioned and you go back to the base method; The click and separate yourself method.

To me, this is really a way to typeset faster without learning anything else useful for Edited Mangas. You do the first method, "click on your document and start typing" (By the way, here's my tip for any typesetter: Never type out the sentences yourself. Always copy-paste them from a .txt file.) you learn, with the proper counseling of course, a Quality Checking method. And that is to check if the text in bubbles are centered.

4- Okay, now, I don't really disagree with this, I just wouldn't make this my priority. This would be my second priority as a typesetter. I personally try to get more or less equal lines. If I could get this, great. If not, I'll go for the diamond shape.

Also, I do agree with having the first and last line as being thinner. If the top line is bigger than the middle line, it looks ridiculous.

8- Totally disagree. Italics are perfect for shout bubbles. They are showing the emotion of the character. Whether it is anger, love, sadness, etc. Don't tell me you talk the same way regularly as when you're completely pissed off. There's a difference between the two. A strong Anti-Alias just doesn't cut it. ou should use Faux-Italics. Using regular Italics could be ugly for some people, (I find it fine, but Faux-Italics is much better) but I find it fine either way.

Also, you're over-rating the Strong Anti-Alias. It's sometimes hard to notice the difference between Smooth & Strong. It sometimes looks like you're using regular talk in a shout bubble. And this makes the typesetting boring. If anything, use Faux-Bold.

---

Outside of those 3 points, good tips.
 

Allashandra

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Thanks for adding your input GGpX. It's always nice to hear how different people think about things like typesetting.

I would have to disagree with one of your points though. I use the text box method and I think the method is fine. I can easily change the size of the text box to suit the bubble and the text I am placing in it after the fact. I can also reposition the text box as needed. I also use the information contained in Nytro's typesetting tutorial to change the height and width of my fonts within the text boxes to better fit the text bubble. In my opinion mistakes can be made no matter what method you use it is up to the typesetter and QC team to keep these mistakes to a minimum. I think each person has there own style and have developed ways that work best for them and that is in part what this forum is all about. Sharing our knowledge so that others can see if that will work for them.

I totally agree with you on not typing out the sentences. Typos are far to easy with that method and if the script has been properly proofread then the typesetter could be introducing unintential mistakes that way. I always copy and paste the text.

As for Italics I have heard a few different opinions on these both where to use them and where not to use them. For me the jury is still out. There are many ways to emphasis special text and once again I think when a typesetter starts to get good they sort work out the way that works best for them. I don't think either of you are wrong I just think you have different opinions on what looks good.
 

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One particularly important thing I must stress, is when you do typesetting is to try and avoid the hyphens ( - ) as much as possible. I appreciate that some Manga Editors take extra precaution to avoid them, yet you can't avoid using hyphens all the time. However, as a general guide, I try to avoid them as much as I possibly can in our Zarosaki releases.

Nothing is more irritating to a reader to read the following broken text:

Akatsuki stri-
kes again! Th-
e nightmare
returns!​

It flows so much better when readers are reading the whole words with no orphans, for example, the above becomes:

Akatsuki
strikes again!
The nightmare
returns!​

While I can appreciate that not everything can fit inside the speech bubble, toying around with different words with the same meaning or giving a slightly smaller font size or rearranging a few words can make all the difference. Still, there are just some cases where there's no luck at all, such as Orochimaru's name being massively large for most speech bubbles.

A lot of people simply drag the text tool over the bubble which creates a confined space for the text to be entered in. While this is easy to confine the text to the speech bubble and just type away, it's a haven for hyphens as Photoshop automatically leaves the hyphens on. If you want to disable hyphens and still use your text boxes, simply untick the Hyphenate box in the Paragraph tab.

It's a little bit nazi, but it's been one of my only pet peeves for a while now, reading broken text when a simple alignment is all it takes.
 

venicia777

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Reaver has such a great point. At times it is so annoying when one tries to read words separately just because a part of it is on the next line. And it is soo easy for such to introduce spelling mistakes too.

Great tips Indeed!!!
 

qwan3356

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venicia777 said:
Reaver has such a great point. At times it is so annoying when one tries to read words separately just because a part of it is on the next line. And it is soo easy for such to introduce spelling mistakes too.

Great tips Indeed!!!
Yea i agree too, BTW Thanks for the Tips
 

godmode

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question for you typesetting Gods

is vertical text ever a good idea for just talk bubbles? or do you just use small normal text
 

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godmode said:
is vertical text ever a good idea for just talk bubbles? or do you just use small normal text
I don't like vertical text. It's very hard to read. I always go for smaller horizontal text, except for vertically elongated bubbles of screams and such (like Aaargh), where the effect would be lost if the font size were too small.
 

kumate

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when i create a box for the text,the words always go outside of it and are backwards. ex. when i want to type if,it comes out as fi. how do i fix this and thank you in advance.
 

Name-Undecided

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If you're using photoshop, when you use the text tool (T) to make the text box, make sure it fits within the bubble and not out of it. Make sure your font isn't too big and you shouldn't have any problems fitting everything in. And remember you can always use manual returns (Enter button) to shape things the way you want.

You shouldn't have the "fi" problem...did you press something by accident?
 

Evilsqueakheads

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2. Leave some white space inside the bubble.

A bubble should never be "filled to full capacity" by the text. Leave some space. Look at some HQ Edited Mangas if you don't know what I'm talking about. Text looks way better if it's not set to completely fill up the bubble. I'll post some picture examples later.
One note about this. I agree it looks better if you leave a little white space. But sometimes (small bubbles, specifically) filling the bubble to capacity means the difference between readability and non-readability after your work is compressed, resized, and rehosted by other sites.
 

Stmated

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Evilsqueakheads, I assume you are one of those who work at the legal department at some company and make sure to add notifications in the manual such as "It is not safe to put cat in microwave"?

EDIT: Or wait, I forgot that most people on the Internet can't think by themselves and just typeset and compress and send and never look at their resulting 2px font size. So I guess it was a good thing to comment in.
 

Evilsqueakheads

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Lol, what? I'm not the one compressing and resizing. I go to online readers to check the quality of my group's releases, see the 2px text, and get irritated about it. Why not compromise and make the super-tiny text a bit larger? Unless you're in one of those groups that don't allow mirrors/online reader hosting, this is happening to you too.
 
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Stmated

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2pt can actually be a really large font, it depends on the DPI. 2px is always small, on the other hand. And I have no idea what your point is, you must have misunderstood me somehow. I was saying that telling people to not use an unreadable font size is like telling people that cats do not belong in microwaves.
 

Name-Undecided

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Super-tiny text from compression is something for the fans to worry about. If they care enough to read the "real thing", they can follow up to your site.
 

Roflkopt3r

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Thanks alot for the list, even though I don't translate anything it's helpful for colourisations containing text bubbles as well, especially since that often requires drastical changes in style for every single panel to pitch the atmosphere.
I think a very important point I couldn't directly find in the list is the spacing between characters, both in and between lines.
High spacing sometimes "feels" like slow talking and doesn't seem to suit intense situations quite right, while too low spacing feels like speedy talking which can be very unsuitable as well (and mostly only fits to "fun" scenes).
 
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