25 Replies Latest reply on Jul 11, 2013 7:40 AM by Eugene Tyson

    Soft return and justify

    sPretzel Level 1

      Hi,

       

      When in a paragraph, I apply a soft return (shift+return) to force a line break, and that the paragraph's alignment is set to justify, InDesign fully justifies the line where the forced line break is inserted. The behaviour I would expect (that I'm looking for) is for InDesign to simply break the line at that point on the line without further justifying...almost as if it was the end of the paragraph. (If I left aligned instead of justified with last line aligned left the paragraph, it would be fine)

      The reason I would like such behaviour is to have a new line within the same paragraph, but without the space before or space after of that paragraph. I guess I could accomplish this by creating several paragraph styles to be used in the same paragraph, as follows:

      1- paragraph style P1: paragraph style with space before and space after (to be applied whenere there is no soft return within the paragraph)

      2- top paragraph style: the paragraph style P1 with the space before and zero space after

      3- middle paragraph style: the same paragraph style P1 with zero space before and zero space after

      4- bottom paragraph style: the same paragraph style P1 with the space after and zero space before

       

      Obviously, this adds a lot of complexity to a single paragraph and is also difficult to keep trakc of in case changes are to be made to the paragraph later (e.g. removing the soft return would imply re-applying paragraph styles to other parts of the paragraph again). For instance, if there is only one soft return in the paragraph, I would apply #2 to the part before the line break and #4 to the part after the line break. But if there are two soft returns in the paragraph, I would apply #2 to part before 1st line break, #3 to part after 1st line break and before 2nd line break, #4 to part after 2nd line break!

       

      I have come across threads here reporting this issue but am not clear on what the best (better) workarounds are.

       

      This is for CS4. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Soft return and justify
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          What you are seeing is absolutely normalŠit's your workflow that flawed.

          Soft returns should be avoided except in rare instances. Using them as a

          matter of course is a recipes for disaster.

           

          You'll need to create more than one paragraph style and apply them

          appropriately .

          • 2. Re: Soft return and justify
            sPretzel Level 1

            Hi Bob. I realise that a line break within a paragraph may not be the standard practice in typesetting. But creating new styles to accomodate a seemingly simple line break means creating quite a few styles and then having to reapply styles as the content is edited. So it's a lot of added complexity both in terms of number of styles and the need to keep track of changes.

            In essence, I am using the line break within a paragraph, so even though there is a line break, it is still the same paragraph.

            Note that if I didn't justify but only left aligned the paragraph, InDesign would do just what I need without any tweak!

            • 3. Re: Soft return and justify
              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

              I agree completely with Bob's statement.

              But if you want to do what you want to do, write SHIFT+Tab before the SHIFT-RETURN.

               

              (I don't like the expression soft return, nothing soft, it is a forced line break!)

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Soft return and justify
                peter minneapolis Level 4

                Since you're manually tweaking where specific lines break, consider applying the No Break property instead of the forced line break. You can create a character style that applies No Break to selected text, apply No Break to a selection as an override rather than as a character style. Alternatively, you can replace one or more normal spaces with non-breaking space characters, to force two or more words to move to the next line if they don't fit on the current line.

                 

                Also, have you tried using the Single-Line Composer instead of the Paragraph Composer? Search Google for "indesign single line composer " without quotes for details.

                 

                HTH

                 

                Regards,

                 

                Peter Gold

                KnowHow ProServices

                sPretzel wrote:

                 

                Hi Bob. I realise that a line break within a paragraph may not be the standard practice in typesetting. But creating new styles to accomodate a seemingly simple line break means creating quite a few styles and then having to reapply styles as the content is edited. So it's a lot of added complexity both in terms of number of styles and the need to keep track of changes.

                In essence, I am using the line break within a paragraph, so even though there is a line break, it is still the same paragraph.

                Note that if I didn't justify but only left aligned the paragraph, InDesign would do just what I need without any tweak!

                • 5. Re: Soft return and justify
                  sPretzel Level 1

                  Thanks for the replies.

                  peter at knowhowpro, there is a thread on here discussing a problem that is close but different to mine, dealing with forcing a new line within a sentence (and no-break). What you are suggesting appears to be directed towards that issue.

                  http://forums.adobe.com/thread/324938

                   

                  Willi Adelberger, I tried what you suggested and it works fine (right indent tab). It scares me a little to introduce tab in this context but I will look further into it to see if it breaks something else.

                   

                  How do you guys deal with a topic within a paragraph that further expands on the main topic of the paragraph but wouldn't really call for a new paragraph? Yet, it would still need to stand out within the paragraph. This is what I was using the line break for!

                  • 6. Re: Soft return and justify
                    SJRiegel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Maybe italics, or bold (or bold italic). A change of font might also work (change to serif, or san serif - opposite of your body text)

                    A screen shot of an example would be helpful in making pertinent suggestions.

                    sPretzel wrote:

                     

                    How do you guys deal with a topic within a paragraph that further expands on the main topic of the paragraph but wouldn't really call for a new paragraph? Yet, it would still need to stand out within the paragraph. This is what I was using the line break for!

                    • 7. Re: Soft return and justify
                      BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      A tab scares you and forced line breaks don't?

                       

                      IMO, I think you need to revisit your thought process here.

                      • 8. Re: Soft return and justify
                        Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                        It is not a TAB it is a RIGHT INTENTED TAB, which will foll the rest of the line with free space up to the next character or character group which is in your case the forced return.

                        • 9. Re: Soft return and justify
                          Apurva@Cygnet Level 1

                          A justified paragraph will always try to fill up the line and reach the right margin. But you can easily control this by inserting a flush space after the last word on the line and the line break. The flush space will "Eat up" all the extra space and that perticular line will behave as if that one line was left aligned and not justified.

                           

                          Does this solve your problem?

                           

                          I exactly know the situation you are talking about. I encounter it regularly in typesetting "songs" where four lines of the same paragraph are set differently and last two lines are set differently but I don't want extra space between those paragraphs. I have often used another workaround: All my paragraph styles don't have space above or below. I have a special "Space" paragraph style, which I insert wherever needed. Not very elegant method, I agree... but is very useful in certain odd cases.

                          • 10. Re: Soft return and justify
                            Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                            Sorry, the first statement does only fill the space, that does shift tab too!

                            But your second statement is completely wrong. A wrong workflow. Nobody should do it. Because when it comes to column, frame or page breaks you will find this extra paragraph as extra space. And when it comes to headlines which keep options will keep the next paragraph on the same column, frame or page, the next paragraph with text will break away.

                            An empty paragraph should be avoided in any case.

                            • 11. Re: Soft return and justify
                              Apurva@Cygnet Level 1

                              I entirely agree with both.

                               

                              Shift Tab and Flush space will do the same thing.

                               

                              The empty paragraph is a strict "No" in a structured workflow, but in the case that I describe it indeed is a boon. In my case these are poems and each will start on a new page so there is no question of free-flowing or uncontrolled break. It saves me from creating so many identical styles with only space above or below differences. Anyway, this is deviating from the main discussion.

                              • 12. Re: Soft return and justify
                                sPretzel Level 1

                                Hi apuCygnet/Willi. I just compared the two solutions (flush space and right indent tab, both followed by shift return) and they yield different results in terms of text reflow. The right indent tab matches the text reflow that a paragraph return would yield, but the flush space doesn't.

                                 

                                I have another case where space before/space after is giving me trouble. Let's say I have two headings, h1 and h2. h1 can be followed by body text or by h2. Both h1 and h2 can also be preceded by body text.

                                When h2 follows h1, the space after for h1 is good enough and h2 does not need any space before. However, when h2 follows body text, h2 needs space before.

                                Instead of putting space before in h1 or h2, I can deal with it in body text and create a style for the last paragraph of body text before h1 or h2, and append space after to this body text style. However, this becomes quite complex when in addition to body text, h1 and h2 can also be preceded by tables, figures, and other objects. I would need to create a style with space after for each ot those.

                                What this problem seems to call for is a generic entity that is only space, and that I could use whatever the preceding or following style is (text, table, figure, heading, other object). So the "space" paragraph style apuCygnet mentions is along the lines of this generic entity.

                                • 13. Re: Soft return and justify
                                  Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                  THese methods are only workarounds. The best is to create all paragraph styles needed. What hindes you to create 2 styles for your heading?! Every workaround causes more work. Why are so many users avoiding to use and to create styles. There is no reason to do so!

                                  • 14. Re: Soft return and justify
                                    Ellis home Level 4

                                    Interesting discussion. In terms of the OP question regarding how to highlight content within a paragraph, I guess it's a matter of style. I would use an em dash to separate related content that can stand by itself.Or if you need more dramatic contrast you can go with the suggestions in post 6. Regarding the paragraph style, I have used style for poems where sentences have a certain width and you cannot just apply a unique style for a whole paragraph. You just have to go line by line and separate them with a paragraph return. And to separate groups you use the space after in the last line. I'm sure there's other ways to achieve the same goal.

                                    • 15. Re: Soft return and justify
                                      Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                      In a poem I use left-justify, and if the line is longer, so that a part of the line has to be in the next line I use a forced return followed by a shift-tab. (In German in such a case a broken line has in the second line to adjust to the right edge.

                                      If a verse in a poem has always the same font, I use forced return (shift-return), one of the view cases where I apply it.

                                      If there is a change to italic, I use a different Para Style. If there is a regularity, I use the next style property.)

                                       

                                      If the last line contains the Author at the right edge or a Bible Verse has its reference at the end, even it is the same font style, I use a character style written as follow: RIGHT-TAB + EM-Space + NAME/REFERENCE. The character style is automatically applied via nested styles (or GREP is better but needs mire know how) and includes the EM-Space and the reference or name at the end. This ensures that there is a little bit more space between the reference and the text than a word space would normally do and if there is not enough room in the same line it is moved automatically to the next line. The spacing can also be changed to other fixed spaces and combination of them.

                                       

                                      I use in German only the N-dash with spaces before and after, because the Germany typography does not use very often the M-dash as English does. The N-dash (in German Halbgeviertstrich or 1/2-Geviert-Strich or Gedankenstrich or Spiegelstrich) is used as Bullet and as interruption in text. The M-dash (Geviertstrich or Streckenstrich) is only used for a distance between several Cities (like »München—Wien«) but also the N-dash can be used instead. The N-dash requires in German always a space before and after and should not appear at the beginning of a line (except as bullet), so I write it with a fixed space before (I replace via GREP the first space).

                                      • 16. Re: Soft return and justify
                                        Apurva Ashar Level 1

                                        As Willi said in his earlier post, it is very dangerous to let an empty paragraph flow in your text. Not good practice at all. I suggested it from my experience but that case was entirely different and I still believe that in my case that 'sin' is acceptable because without it I would have 18 para styles instead of 6...

                                         

                                        Anyway, what you describe here about h1 and h2 is also an interesting case and yes, I have encountered it also. Here the problem can be simply solved by two versions of h2: one without space above (when it occurs after h1) and one with space above for all other places.

                                         

                                        Your problem is when "space after" of first para and "space before" of the second para "add" in InDesign. In Ventura, in such cases the space added is the larger number of the two. The theory is to give minimum space which will satisfy the requirement of both the styles. Suppose a chapter-hd has a "space after" of 2 pica and sub-hd has 'space above' of 1 pica. When Body Text follows chapter-hd it starts exactly after 2 picas but if sub-hd follows it, it starts after 3 picas. We usually don't want that to happen, do we? If we followed Ventura's method, we would still get 2 picas because it satisfies requirement of both the styles and when sub-hd appeared elsewhere, we expect it to have 1 pica "above"...

                                         

                                        Any thoughts on this?

                                        • 17. Re: Soft return and justify
                                          Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                          I think 18 para styles are not much. It is not much work to use a para style system with a tree of depending on. So maintainance is minmum. I have prepaired a whole tree of predefined para styles. Which I use and this gives me the oportunity to use in every document para styles with the exactly same name which has advantages when it comes to book files and its synchroization and with exchange text via copy and paste.

                                          The char styles are defined as minimu, only when it comes to the font styles, I define both, font family and style because the naming of the styles is different in many fonts. So it gives me the oportunity to change style definitions via the search font dialog, which makes it really fast to adjust whole documents.

                                          Another advantage I see I can prepair a css which uses always the same elements, classes and id (for objects).

                                           

                                          What you have with space before and after is solved similar in FrameMaker. I am wondering why Adobe has not adapteed it for InDesign yet.

                                          • 18. Re: Soft return and justify
                                            Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            I think this is a case of "six of one and half a dozen of the other".

                                             

                                            You'll need to make appropriate changes to your workflow to accomodate what you are trying to do. The software isn't designed the way you want it for a reason, because it doesn't make logical sense for a large portion of the users. It would drive most people barmy if this was "normal working conditions" of Indesign.

                                             

                                            You've been given more than enough workflow suggestions to accomplish what you need to do - it's time to review your process and find out which one will work best for you.

                                             

                                            For me, the right indent tab or a flush space isn't a great idea in my opinion, although it accomplishes what you need, it's far too easy to make an error this way.

                                             

                                            I think paragraph styles are the best option and applying them appropriately throughout your document will be the most accurate and efficient way to control your work.

                                             

                                             

                                            If styles are an issue and you need tips on how to utilise styles more efficiently I suggest you get this book http://www.amazon.com/Adobe-InDesign-CS4-Styles-Layouts/dp/032160606X

                                            • 19. Re: Soft return and justify
                                              Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                                              I agree completely what you write.

                                               

                                              When I mentioned the shift-tab before, I statet that this is a workaround which I do not recommend.

                                               

                                               

                                              It is also important to look forward. When it comes to epubs and electronic publishing. Spaces without content are NOT found in the resulting epub file and forced returns (I don't like the term soft return, because it is anything else than soft) can be stripped out by command, which makes sense in the most cases. Even so, if you think today you might never export to epub, you might change your opinion and will have to change all your documents too.

                                              • 20. Re: Soft return and justify
                                                sPretzel Level 1

                                                Hi. I appreciate everyone's feedback; my original post aimed out finding out how others approach this problem and a variety of views were provided.

                                                 

                                                Willi, oddly enough, in my case, it appears that creating additional styles would increase housekeeping. For the heading example, I would need several heading styles depending on what precedes the heading (another heading, body text, figure, table, etc.). If I make a change to what comes before the heading, then I need to go back to the heading and change its style too, when the heading has in fact not changed in function or position...only what precedes it has changed! In addition to multiple heading styles for the same heading, I guess InDesign could incorporate a GREP condition within the styles option so that some parameters could be adjusted based on what styles precede or follow, but that seems complex too! This is why in my case, a generic spacing entity style might make more sense. I'll keep looking at whether I can create a sensible workflow with multiple "regular" styles, instead of the spacing entity paragraph style.

                                                 

                                                Regarding sub-paragraphs within paragraphs, I must say I have not come across this in style guides. However, I often encounter books where I feel there is either overuse or underuse of paragraphs, in other words too many short paragraphs or paragraphs that are too long. In both cases, it dilutes the visual and semantic separation a paragraph provides the reader.

                                                 

                                                e-pub and forward-looking approaches is an interesting statement. I guess if an empty space entity is the chosen path, a hidden or transparent character in the space entity might be accounted for in e-pub.

                                                 

                                                Thanks.

                                                • 21. Re: Soft return and justify
                                                  Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  If you get that book I mentioned it will demonstrate how to make Master and Child styles so you only have to edit 1 master style to have the changes reflected in any child styles.

                                                  • 22. Re: Soft return and justify
                                                    peter minneapolis Level 4

                                                    Willi Adelberger wrote:

                                                     

                                                    ...

                                                     

                                                    What you have with space before and after is solved similar in FrameMaker. I am wondering why Adobe has not adapteed it for InDesign yet.

                                                    The more requests for "inter-paragraph spacing determined by larger of space after/before" like FrameMaker and Ventura, the better the chance of achieving it. Anyone who wants the feature should consider filing a formal feature enhancement request here: Wishform. It probably should be an option, so that InDesign users who have become acccustomed to the sum of space after/before, can continue their accustomed mode. Like the single-line/paragraph composer, and keep-with settings, the reasons for some confusing composition behaviors won't be obvious without inspecting the paragraphs with the style designer. Perhaps it would be helpful to request a feature enhancement for indicators of line/paragraph composer, space after/before, and keep-with settings - something like the color highlights that indicate composition problems like tracking, etc.

                                                     

                                                    HTH

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Regards,

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    Peter

                                                    _______________________

                                                    Peter Gold

                                                    KnowHow ProServices

                                                    • 23. Re: Soft return and justify
                                                      peter minneapolis Level 4

                                                      sPretzel wrote:

                                                       

                                                      Hi. I appreciate everyone's feedback; my original post aimed out finding out how others approach this problem and a variety of views were provided.

                                                       

                                                      Willi, oddly enough, in my case, it appears that creating additional styles would increase housekeeping. For the heading example, I would need several heading styles depending on what precedes the heading (another heading, body text, figure, table, etc.). If I make a change to what comes before the heading, then I need to go back to the heading and change its style too, when the heading has in fact not changed in function or position...only what precedes it has changed! In addition to multiple heading styles for the same heading, I guess InDesign could incorporate a GREP condition within the styles option so that some parameters could be adjusted based on what styles precede or follow, but that seems complex too! This is why in my case, a generic spacing entity style might make more sense. I'll keep looking at whether I can create a sensible workflow with multiple "regular" styles, instead of the spacing entity paragraph style.

                                                      Another FrameMaker-like feature request that would be useful is paragraph-context-formatting. In Structured FrameMaker, which is really *GML - documents that are controlled by a Document Type Definition (DTD), something like an HTML style sheet, it's possible to specify that paragraphs take on properties based on context. For example, in a sequence of list paragraphs, it's possible to define that the first, last, notfirst, and/or notlast, paragraphs take on specified properties, like space before the first list paragraph, space after the last list paragraph, auto-numbering for the first paragraph restarts, and auto-numbering for subsequent paragraphs continues. With this method, only one such "intelligent" context-aware paragraph style is needed for a particular list; the paragraph's position in the list controls its behavior. If a paragraph within the list is moved to or from the first or last or not-first or not-last position, it adjusts according to the defined context rules. InDesign's XML feature can work with a DTD, but in its current state of development, such automatic context-aware formatting isn't available.

                                                       

                                                      Enter your votes here: Wishform.

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      HTH

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Regards,

                                                       

                                                       

                                                      Peter

                                                      _______________________

                                                      Peter Gold

                                                      KnowHow ProServices

                                                      • 24. Re: Soft return and justify
                                                        sPretzel Level 1

                                                        Eugene Tyson wrote:

                                                         

                                                        it will demonstrate how to make Master and Child styles so you only have to edit 1 master style to have the changes reflected in any child styles.

                                                         

                                                        Hi Eugene. I suppose you are referring to basing a style on another (parent-child relationship). I am familiar with that...and in the heading example I mentioned, if multiple styles were to be created for h2, all styles with changing space before/after for h2 would be based on a parent h2.

                                                        • 25. Re: Soft return and justify
                                                          Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                          Yes they would

                                                           

                                                          But that behaviour can be released by editing a child style altered in the spacing, thus breaking that portion of the relationship - but everything else, font, size, colour, etc would remain - just the link between spacing would be disassociated with the styles.

                                                           

                                                          I'd make a folder with Master Styles and inlcude all the headings in there.

                                                           

                                                          Then I'd make a Sub Heading of the H2 style called H2 child

                                                           

                                                          I'd then break the spacing in H2 child to be what is required.

                                                           

                                                          Then I'd generate sub headings of H2 child and call them H2 grandchildren.

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          This way - H2 will have different spacing.

                                                           

                                                          H2 Child will have different spacing

                                                          H2 GrandChild will have same spacing as H2 Child

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          To adjust H2 spacing you can do this independently without affecting the child styles

                                                           

                                                          and to adjust the H2 Child spacing would adjust the H2 grandchildren

                                                           

                                                          So you really only need to Adjust 1 style to make an overall document change.

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          I'd set Keyboard Shortcuts for H2 styles

                                                           

                                                          CTRL 2 for H2

                                                          CTRL ALT 2 for H2 Child

                                                          CTRL ALT SHIFT 2 for H2 Grandchild

                                                           

                                                          Then CTRL 0 to go back to body style.

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          You could set it up with "Apply Next Style" in the H2 to Apply H2 Child

                                                           

                                                          Then H2 Child to Apply H2 Grandchild

                                                           

                                                          And selecting the text from H2 to H2 Grandchild text you can apply all the paragraph styles in one click using the Apply Next Style Command.