6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 10, 2009 1:44 PM by Scott Falkner RSS

    Optional Vertical Space Character

    [Ariel] Community Member

      Paragraphs can have a "space before" and "space after" attribute, as you probably know. The nice thing about this is that if the paragraph is at the top of the page, the space before disappears.

       

      I would like to have a vertical space character that does the same. You insert it into a line by itself (Type>Special Characters>Vertical Spacer). It makes a vertical gap based on the leading you give it.

       

      BUT! if it appears as the top line of a text frame, it will disappear.

       

      Why is this good? Because it saves having to create a lot of paragraph styles to deal with each situation. For instance, currnetly, I may need the following styles:

       

      Block Quote Standalone [space before and space after]

      Block Quote beginning [space before no space after]

      Block Quote Middle [no space before no space after]

      Block Quote End [no space before space after]

      Block Quote Standalone Indented

      Block Quote beginning Indented

      Block Quote Middle Indented

      Block Quote End Indented

       

      That's 8 styles all for the different combinations of block quotes. If I had a "vertical space" character, I would need only two styles:

       

      Block Quote; and

      Block Quote Indented.

       

      Much easier to manage! The variations could be simply managed by inserting a vertical spacer as needed. Really useful idea, and similar to the way dedicated typesetting systems used to work several decades ago.

       

      Thanks,

      Ariel

        • 1. Re: Optional Vertical Space Character
          Scott Falkner Community Member

          Why so many different styles for block quotes? Would a forced line break (Shift Space) help keep that list down?

          • 2. Re: Optional Vertical Space Character
            [Ariel] Community Member

            Perhaps. Not sure I understand. Could you elaborate?

             

            But let me explain. Here's an example. A regular long block quote will need 3 styles, depending on whether there needs to be a line space before or after the paragraph:

             

                 BlockQuoteBeginning BlockQuoteBeginning BlockQuoteBeginning

            BlockQuoteBeginning BlockQuoteBeginning BlockQuoteBeginning

            BlockQuoteBeginning BlockQuoteBeginning BlockQuoteBeginning

            BlockQuoteBeginning BlockQuoteBeginning BlockQuoteBeginning

                 BlockQuoteMiddle BlockQuoteMiddle BlockQuoteMiddle BlockQuoteMiddle

            BlockQuoteMiddle BlockQuoteMiddle BlockQuoteMiddleBlockQuoteMiddle

            BlockQuoteMiddleBlockQuoteMiddleBlockQuoteMiddleBlockQuoteMiddle

                BlockQuoteEnd BlockQuoteEnd BlockQuoteEnd BlockQuoteEnd

            BlockQuoteEnd BlockQuoteEnd BlockQuoteEnd BlockQuoteEnd

            BlockQuoteEnd BlockQuoteEnd BlockQuoteEnd BlockQuoteEnd

             

            And then you need a separate style for a standalone block quote, that needs a line space both above and below. So that's 4 common styles.

             

            Then, occassionally, each of these for will sometimes not need indentation. So that's another four styles.

             

            Also, if the book requires block quotes in footnotes (a bad idea, IMHO, but the choice is not up to me), that's another 8 styles for the same reason.

             

            The forced line break that you mention, if I've understood correctly, wouldn't work with justified paragraphs, since it will force the line before the forced break to be fully justified?

             

            Ariel

            • 3. Re: Optional Vertical Space Character
              Scott Falkner Community Member

              Ah, I see. You might blockquote more than one paragraph, and you are fully justifying the text. Yeah, that’ll take more than one style.


              Sounds like a job for the also-requested and much more versatile Conditional Formatting.

              • 4. Re: Optional Vertical Space Character
                Scott Falkner Community Member

                You can do what you want now, although it’s a bit of a kludge. Just make a new style (I’ll call it “Spacer”) that has the Space After you want, less 0.1 pt. Give the style leading of 0.1 pt. Insert a blank paragraph in this style before and after each quote. If a quote ends up in the next text frame or page, the Spacer style will still be on the previous page, unless your text frame cannot accommodate one tenth of a point of extra content, which I doubt. Similarly if the quote comes at the end of a frame, the same thing will happen, since adding the line at the end of a frame only requires 0.1 point.

                • 5. Re: Optional Vertical Space Character
                  [Ariel] Community Member

                  Scott, that looks like a clever workaround. In fact, ID let's you go down to

                  .001pt for the leading, so much the better. This is also nice because it's

                  easy to change the size of the space: say from a full line space to a half

                  line space, by changing the paragraph style definition.

                  The only minute disadvantage is that if facing frames - one has a footnote

                  at the bottom, and one doesn't, they can never align perfectly (off by

                  .001pt) since you'll be needing that extra space. Which is completely

                  theoretical anyway, since when the press sheets are folded the inaccuracies

                  are orders-of-magnitude greater than that.

                   

                  The only other practical problem here is if someone else needs to work on

                  the file. It'll take them a while to figure out what's going on.

                   

                  Still, I think I will try this for the next book. Put it to a real-world

                  test. Nevertheless, it would be more elegant to have a special character

                  available, which I'd like. In fact, there should be another special

                  character which does the opposite as well: Only makes a space if it falls at

                  the top of a frame. That would be useful for dropping subheads slightly if

                  they fall at the top of a frame, so that the next line of body text will

                  fall on a baseline grid.

                   

                  Thanks,

                  Ariel

                  • 6. Re: Optional Vertical Space Character
                    Scott Falkner Community Member

                    Arïel wrote:

                     

                    The only minute disadvantage is that if facing frames - one has a footnote

                    at the bottom, and one doesn't, they can never align perfectly (off by

                    .001pt)

                     

                    Ariel

                     

                    Good to know if I’m outputting to a device with a resolution of 72,000 dots per inch.