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    Soft return ?

    Steve Fairbairn Community Member
      Is there any such thing as a "soft return" in ID? I need a line break without creating a new paragraph but can't find "soft return" in any of the menus. What's the trick?
        • 1. Re: Soft return ?
          [Jongware] CommunityMVP
          InDesign calls it a "Soft Line Break" -- Shift+Enter.

          Use with extreme discretion. If you need a new paragraph, but without indenting/spacing above/below of the current one, create a new paragraph style. If you need to keep two or more words together, use non-breaking spaces or the No Break text attribute. If you want to manually tailor hyphenation/line breaks, use the Single-line Composer instead of the Paragraph Composer, in combination with No Break and/or hard spaces.

          [Post-Edit:] ID also offers a
          i Discretionary Line Break,
          which sort-of combines a few functions. It marks a good line breaking position inside a word
          i without
          showing a hyphen when broken. Great for URLs.
          • 2. Re: Soft return ?
            Steve Fairbairn Community Member
            Thanks, found it. What I was looking for is called Type : Insert Break Character : Forced Line Break (Shift+Return).
            • 3. Re: Soft return ?
              Bob Bringhurst - Adobe Adobe Employee
              Forced Line Break and other break characters are listed here:

              http://help.adobe.com/en_US/InDesign/6.0/WSa285fff53dea4f8617383751001ea8cb3f-6f66a.html
              • 4. Re: Soft return ?
                [Jongware] CommunityMVP
                I reckoned it worthwhile to add the advice. I never use a soft return.

                i "Chorus.
                What, never?

                i Captain.
                No, never!

                i Chorus.
                What, never?

                i Captain.
                Hardly ever!"
                • 5. Re: Soft return ?
                  Al Ferrari Community Member
                  Captain?
                  • 6. Re: Soft return ?
                    Community Member
                    Gilbert & Sullivan: HMS Pinafore

                    Dave
                    • 7. Re: Soft return ?
                      Al Ferrari Community Member
                      <G><br /><br />Thanks Dave. Good to have a context for that.<br /><br />Al
                      • 8. Re: Soft return ?
                        [Jongware] CommunityMVP
                        :-D

                        I was just waiting for an opportunity to insert that snippet.
                        • 9. Re: Soft return ?
                          Community Member
                          I always appreciate an obscure reference. Here is a
                          little background if anyone is interested.

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.M.S._Pinafore
                          • 10. Re: Soft return ?
                            cts_graphics Community Member
                            Soft returns have their place.

                            It's when people overuse them and use them for things like creating extra space between paragraphs when you run into trouble.
                            • 11. Re: Soft return ?
                              Steve Fairbairn Community Member
                              Like when some people enter endless tabs to produce a line break. Reckon it must be a hangover from typewriter days. I don´t know how often I have reprimanded my wife for doing it :-) But soft returns shouldn't be a problem with professionals who know what they're doing. basically it's a question of keeping your typography squeaky clean.

                              And by the way, long live Gilbert and Sullivan - totally brilliant! I thought they were thoroughly "out" and am very surprised that anyone still remembers them :-)
                              • 12. Re: Soft return ?
                                I'm a bit of a soft line-break phobic myself. I've never understood what they're actually *meant* for; surely if you're changing topic, you start a new paragraph? Otherwise, just carry on with the current one, without need for a line break of any kind... right? It's one of those things that really bugs me when I see my colleagues doing it.

                                Can anyone point me in the direction of some guidelines regarding the use of soft line breaks? I'd really appreciate it.

                                Thanks,

                                Mal.
                                • 13. Re: Soft return ?
                                  Community Member
                                  Actually, I've misused the term soft return. I'd better explain. :)

                                  I'm a software developer, not a technical writer or anything like that. The passages of text I write are plain-text prompts, with no inherent concept of paragraphs. Instead, I talk about single carriage returns as soft returns and double carriage returns as paragraph breaks. Hope that's a bit clearer.

                                  What riles me is when I see colleagues writing such messages with some sentences separated by single returns and others separated by double returns. The former just looks a mess to my eye, as the semantics of the single return are unclear in the presence of a more recognisable, double-return paragraph break. Plus, the lack of soothing whitespace in single-returned paragraphs is detrimental to readability, IMHO.

                                  This is now becoming a long shot, but can anyone point me to guidelines that would cover this kind of... well, abomination? :)
                                  • 14. Re: Soft return ?
                                    Vernox Community Member
                                    Oh my, where to start ;-)

                                    Mal, I don't think typography applies to what you do, so what should govern your work is what makes it most functionally legible. Just as an example, double carriage returns to add paragraph spacing is (to be mild) frowned upon in typesetting. Which does not mean it is wrong for you to do it, as you are not typesetting. Just keep doing what you are doing and be happy.

                                    If you want to jump into the fine art of typography, however, you can't go wrong by finding yourself a copy of Bringhurst's "The Elements of Typographic Style" and giving it a read. There are plenty of other tomes as well, but that one in particular is considered authoritative.

                                    Yours
                                    Vern
                                    • 15. Re: Soft return ?
                                      NTC Ann Community Member
                                      Thank you for asking about soft returns!!!!! There is nothing like getting a document from someone and needing to create a new package and instead of using soft returns (shift/return) or just letting the text wrap, the person has used all hard returns or used spaces instead of tabs to align things or used a whole bunch of spaces to move text to the next line. Or getting text that is not linked where every column or every page is it's own text block instead of one continuous text block for the document. Or using extra paragraph returns instead of using space before or space after to allow for extra room in between paragraphs.

                                      Please do use them.... it makes life a lot easier for others if they have to work off your document. Thank you.
                                      • 16. Re: Soft return ?
                                        NTC Ann Community Member
                                        Actual guidelines? Here are a couple suggestions that might help.

                                        If you want to bring your line of text to the next line without a hard return such as if you have your document set up so that say you have 1p or 1" in between paragraphs and you don't want to have that 1p or 1" space before (or space after) your next line but you want to just continue your text as one block. Or if your paragraph has an awkward rag to one side (say one line really sticks out far and you want to bring a word to the next line so the one side looks better... soft return).

                                        Or if you have a lot of hyphens and you don't want them and you've kerned and it hasn't solved the hyphen problem, then you can use a soft return to put the beginning part of the word on the next line. (Personally I try to avoid all hyphens when ever possible.)

                                        Or if when you've used a clipping path on an object and the text just doesn't sit right and you need to adjust the words in a paragraph so they look better... you can use the soft return in between words so that the rag on that one side looks more attractive.

                                        If you want to line up text under an area on the left where the text doesn't go all the way to the right in a box. Say you have the text 3" in from the right side of the text box but for some reason, you are not using the indent tool.

                                        And say you have a bullet and a space on the L... and then when you run the text to line #2 and below... you want the text to line up under the beginning of the first work instead of under the bullet at the beginning.... never use spaces to line up anything please... use tabs or in this case, after you have soft returned at the end of that 1st line... click in front of the first word after the space and bullet and hit "command and \"... then the text will line up for you under where you want it to line up. But it won't do that if you have done a hard return.

                                        I hope I am clear on explaining some of these uses.
                                        • 17. Re: Soft return ?
                                          BobLevine CommunityMVP
                                          No no no!

                                          Soft returns should NEVER be used in a paragraph in InDesign especially
                                          if the paragraph composer is on. Use a no break to keep words together.

                                          Bob
                                          • 18. Re: Soft return ?
                                            Kath-H Community Member
                                            >And say you have a bullet and a space on the L... and then when you run the text to line #2 and below... you want the text to line up under the beginning of the first work instead of under the bullet at the beginning.

                                            Isn't that what hanging indents are for?
                                            • 19. Re: Soft return ?
                                              Michael Gianino Community Member
                                              Astronauts love soft returns.
                                              • 20. Re: Soft return ?
                                                Nini Tjäder Community Member
                                                I'm with Kath on this - hanging indents is for that.
                                                • 21. Re: Soft return ?
                                                  Steve Fairbairn Community Member
                                                  The whole point of a soft return (or forced line break) is to move a word down into the next line without creating a new paragraph.
                                                  This usually happens if a column of text is aligned left and the right edge is unnecessarily ragged. (Old-school typographers often call this "ragged right" instead of aligned left.) You might have a short word like "in" or "of" that would look better in the next line rather than hanging out at the right end.
                                                  Say your paragraph has a first line indent; a soft return will let you carry on in the same paragraph, whereas if you enter a ordinary carriage return you will get an indent where you don't want it.

                                                  I disagree with NTC Ann when she talks about using tabs for the front edges of bulleted lists. It's much better to use a combination of paragraph indent and minus value first line indent and save it as a paragraph style. Tabs can be a nuisance if you need to re-flow text.
                                                  • 22. Re: Soft return ?
                                                    [Jongware] CommunityMVP
                                                    >You might have a short word like "in" or "of" that would look better in the next line rather than hanging out at the right end. Say your paragraph has a first line indent; a soft return will let you carry on in the same paragraph, whereas if you enter a ordinary carriage return you will get an indent where you don't want it.

                                                    But whenever the text is re-formatted (due to text editing, usually), the soft return will
                                                    i keep on breaking
                                                    at that exact point. In this case I prefer to either insert a non-breaking space between the small word and the next one, or select the small word and (part of) the next word and apply 'No Break'.

                                                    You might argue "yeah but that's about the same, innit?" since these texts will not ever be brokenjust as with a Soft Return. It's not the same: if the text re-runs, the fix becomes unnoticeable, and whenever it re-runs
                                                    i again
                                                    and the joined words come near the margins, they'll keep on sticking together. Just the way you want.
                                                    • 23. Re: Soft return ?
                                                      Steve Fairbairn Community Member
                                                      Yep, I'll drink to that :-)
                                                      • 24. Re: Soft return ?
                                                        M Blackburn Community Member
                                                        > I hope I am clear on explaining some of these uses.

                                                        Clear enough but all bad. I'm adding to jongware's comments.

                                                        Paragraph spacing should be controlled with paragraph spacing and a new style. Rag is much better controlled with No Break, and even that should be used with discretion. Hyphenation should be controlled with H&J and discretionary hyphens. If text is to be indented, use an indent. And there is absolutely no reason for a soft return after the first line of a bulleted paragraph.

                                                        I'm with the Captain, I never (hardly) use soft returns. If I were asked for legitimate uses one would would be to give a contextual break to a headline. Another would be to break lines in an address - sometimes.
                                                        • 25. Re: Soft return ?
                                                          The Artworker
                                                          No Break can be just as bad as a soft return in certain situations. At least with a soft return with invisibles on you can see what is going on when text flow isn't behaving as it should. No Break doesn't show up you can waste several minutes trying to work out why text doesn't appear to be flowing properly because subsequent edits to the copy have made existing No Breaks wrong.
                                                          • 26. Re: Soft return ?
                                                            M Blackburn Community Member
                                                            > No Break can be just as bad as a soft return in certain situations.

                                                            That would have to be a rather singular situation and/or the result of rather indiscriminate use of No Break.

                                                            Many No Breaks, even to shape a rag, are applied to words that could logically stay together under any situation. Generally the worst they can do is make the rag as bad as it was before they were used in the first place and they have to be at the end a line to do even that. Soft returns on the other hand will always cause problems when they come anywhere in the text other than at the end of the line where they were put: they are much more disruptive and several in a row can throw a whole layout out of whack.

                                                            Bottom line even if No Break could be a problem in 1 out of 100 times that would make it 1% as bad as using soft returns.
                                                            • 27. Re: Soft return ?
                                                              MT.Freelance Community Member
                                                              Non Breaking Space does show up with hidden characters visible.

                                                              It is not a character attribute that can be inherited by accident (which can result in overset text if a whole paragraph acquires the attribute, for instance) as with the no-break character attribute.

                                                              Now, if only there was a Discretionary Non-Breaking Space setting that would apply a non-breaking space before the last word of a paragraph. I wonder if a GREP style would cover that?

                                                              -mt
                                                              • 28. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                Harbs. CommunityMVP
                                                                Michael_Trout@adobeforums.com wrote:
                                                                > I wonder if a GREP style would cover that?
                                                                >

                                                                Yes:

                                                                "\s\S+\s?$"

                                                                (or "\S+\s\S+\s?$" depending on what you want...)

                                                                --
                                                                Harbs
                                                                http://www.in-tools.com
                                                                • 29. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                  MT.Freelance Community Member
                                                                  Thanks Harbs.

                                                                  That is all parseltongue to me as I am a total neophyte when it comes to GREP. I've only recently opened the door to what is CS4 at home (being on ID2 prior to that). Although it was ordered at work, it has not yet arrived, so I remain on CS2.

                                                                  BUT, I will plug it in and give it a go.

                                                                  What is the difference in the syntax used?

                                                                  Or, perhaps more importantly, what is a good printed or online resource for all things GREP?
                                                                  • 30. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                    M Blackburn Community Member
                                                                    I think I prefer the character attribute though the difference may be nominal. It seems a bit easier to apply because your selection can include part of the word, and it is easier to get rid of: simply click Clear Overrides. Granted this is only safe if you're in the (good) habit of using character styles instead of local formatting.

                                                                    Having a paragraph style that applies No Break could be disconcerting but doesn't seem that likely. Though I should add that I have found occasion to use just such paragraph styles (it has to do with using an Align To Character tab within one character width of the right margin) and that has given me some headaches when I was careless with Based On.

                                                                    > That is all parseltongue to me

                                                                    For me as well and that's been keeping me from trying to learn it. There is book by Peter Kahrel that has been recommended in this forum.

                                                                    http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596156008/?CMP=AFC-ak_book&ATT=GREP+in+InDesign+CS3%2FCS4
                                                                    • 31. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                      Community Member
                                                                      Frozen Tundra wrote: "I always appreciate an obscure reference."

                                                                      Wait..."H.M.S. Pinafore" is obscure...? It's basic cultural knowledge, like knowing how to pronounce "pwn3d" or "Fifty Cent".

                                                                      If W.S. Gilbert, the greatest writer of comic verse in English, is "obscure," then what in the world has become of us?:-)

                                                                      Thanks,

                                                                      Ole
                                                                      • 32. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                        [Jongware] CommunityMVP
                                                                        >..basic cultural knowledge..

                                                                        "Parseltongue" seems to be added to basic vocabulary.

                                                                        Oh -- and my introduction to "Pinafore" was, in fact, through "Star Trek -- Insurrection". But it roused my curiosity enough to delve a bit deeper.
                                                                        • 33. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                          Michael Gianino Community Member
                                                                          Why didn't you just learn it like the rest of usfrom Sideshow Bob?
                                                                          • 34. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                            claidheamdanns Community Member

                                                                            Grep is total awesomeness. It can be used to take much of the tedium out of typesetting, and allow the designer to concentrate more on the design. When making templates, it also makes the templates more fool-proof for the person who will actually be putting the templates to use.

                                                                             

                                                                            That being said, I would have to totally disagree with those who think that soft returns are evil. Soft returns are a very powerful typesetting tool, and while yes, they can be used for evil by those who don't understand how they are properly used, they are not evil in and of themselves.

                                                                             

                                                                            One of the most basic legitimate uses of a soft return is when your editor wants to change the wrap of a paragraph. A soft return is the most logical way to do this, without picking up the before/after space of the paragraph style, while still honoring the keep rules in the paragraph style.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                              BobLevine CommunityMVP

                                                                              Not correct if you have the paragraph composer in use. A soft return could easily rewrap the entire paragraph and make it look like crap.

                                                                               

                                                                              Bob

                                                                              • 36. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                                Joel Cherney CommunityMVP

                                                                                One of the most basic legitimate uses of a soft return is when your editor wants to change the wrap of a paragraph. A soft return is the most logical way to do this, without picking up the before/after space of the paragraph style, while still honoring the keep rules in the paragraph style.

                                                                                I wonder if this is actually the most logical way, as you claim, or if it's a matter of preference. I'd assume that nonbreaking spaces and the No Break attribute would be superior ways to affect the wrap of a paragraph, but I deliberately say "superior" instead of "most logical." In my case, No Break is the best, because both the nonbreaking space and the soft return would interfere with my translation memory tool. However, sometimes I use the NBSP and the soft return anyways, because it's the least-bad solution in a given circumstance.

                                                                                 

                                                                                So, if "logical" == "least bad" then I might be willing to agree. However, different people obviously have different ideas of what is "most logical."

                                                                                • 37. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                                  P Spier CommunityMVP

                                                                                  I'm with Jongware on this. The biggest problem with using a forced linebreak anywhere except where you ALWAYS want a line break is that any number of things -- adding or deleting a word or correcting a typo, changing the column width, for example -- can leave you with a line that breaks at the beginning instead of the end. Non-breaking spaces and No Break are less likely to cause this kind of trouble.

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                                    [Jongware] CommunityMVP

                                                                                    Well put.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    The soft line break inserts a new line as sure as a paragraph break (regular Hard Return) does. You wouldn't want to insert hard returns and change justification to "Full, all lines", just to avoid a single badly broken word -- even when the result looks the same as with a soft line break!

                                                                                     

                                                                                    It's sort of the same as using a tab instead of a single space, somewhere in the middle of a running paragraph. Sure, it might work for that one occurrence, entirely indistinguishable from a "regular" space, but as soon as the text reflows due to editing, the tab will jump out in a most inconvenient way.

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Soft return ?
                                                                                      claidheamdanns Community Member

                                                                                      A non-breaking space or changing to non-breaking would do the same thing, if there was change in the paragraph content. So, at this point I think it is just a matter of preference. Personally, I would prefer to just let InDesign do it's thing. But editors always want to tweak something, even if it's not the same way that they tweaked the exact same paragraph last time.

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