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Text Composition

How words are put together on the page


text composition example

Even without graphics, the composition of the text on this page creates an interesting layout. | Type & Fonts | Design & Layout | Alpha Index to Full Dictionary:

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ Paragraph style lists can be more readable with space between list items.

Formatting and spacing paragraph lists are a part of text composition.

Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com Finetune initial caps

Using and fine-tuning drop caps is a part of text composition.

Jacci Howard Bear; licensed to About.com


A component of desktop publishing and page layout, text composition deals specifically with how copy (words/text) is arranged on the page. It involves manipulating text placement and altering the visual appearance of the text.

Some of the tasks that come into play in text composition are choosing text alignment, changing font sizes or making text bold or using italics, deciding how much space to put between lines of text or columns of text, and using typographical embellishments such as drop caps.

Text composition goes hand-in-hand with page layout where you are applying the principles of design to the placement and interaction between text and images. Although it originally referred to print design, the application of various styles and the use of HTML to format text for a Web page is also text composition.

Also Known As: type composition | text layout | typographic composition | composing type

Examples: In the page layout (sidebar) text composition involved deciding on the size of the initial cap, fine-tuning the alignment of lines of text along the curve of the W, putting space between the lines to give the page an open feel, and selecting the style of bullet for the bulleted list.

How to Compose Text

Composing Type outlines the text preparation phase of desktop publishing from alignment and type size to spacing out words and sentences and adding embellishments such as drop caps and bullet lists. This About.com Desktop Publishing article is a gateway to detailed tutorials on text composition tasks.

Text Composition Tutorials at About.com Desktop Publishing delve into the various page layout and arrangement tasks with a focus on working with text including using subheads, doing text wraps, calculating ideal line lengths, using hanging punctuation, and finding ways to add white space within your text.


Terms Related to Text Composition
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