9 Replies Latest reply on May 12, 2014 3:13 PM by Brian2025

# Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

Lets take a simple example. No space before or after paragraphs or table

Paragraph

Table

Paragraph

The actual space between the first paragraph and the table is 0.

The actual space between the second paragraph and the table is a function of leading. This really messes things up!

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Simple fixes include adjusting the space before/after paragraph and table.

BUT this creates a problem in the real world where I have random combinations of paragraphs, tables, figures.

Paragraph

Table

Table

Table

Paragraph

Figure

Etc.

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A few options (none of which are great)

- Control the actual spacing between the various elements (paragraph, table, figure) via a paragraph dummy space. A couple different sizes would be need. I know this is against best practices, but is that for more straightforward layouts?

- Do a baseline shift of the paragraph style. This creates and even amount of space before and after the table (first example). I have heard that using baseline shift in this manner can be really risky though.

- "Somehow" capture this with paragraph/table/figure styles. Problem is that the random combination of them makes it difficult to set up (especially considering the first example and how the paragraph following a table/figure has a built in gap due to leading).

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Any ideas for how to set this up? Nothing strategy is working too well for me.

• ###### 1. Re: Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

When you use a table it has to be in its own paragraph. The distance between a table and pre- or succeeding tables or paragraphs is determined by space before and after of the uses paragraphs and of the setup in the table.

I recommend to set up the paragraph style where you put in a table with automatic leading, if baseline grid is use, only for the first line, so it will increase if more space is needed.

All paragraphs have—of course—to be set up with paragraph styles. The table also with its containing paragraphs as styles. I would not use baseline grid inside a table because it messes things up, but I determine exactly distances between cells and in paragraph styles.

When it comes to figures, they are either outside the text flow, anchored or not—seems not to be the problem here—or inside a paragraph. Here I use also a paragraph with automatic leading. The distance between the previous and succeeding paragraph is also determined by the space before and after but also by the figure's frame property in text wrapping, which will cause a minimum distance to surrounding text, but only to text which comes after the graphic. But this is not a problem when the figure's frame has its own paragraph. Here you will need a paragraph style where the figure's frame is and an object style for the figure's frame itself.

• ###### 2. Re: Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

Yeah, I do understand what you are saying. But I don't think it answers my question very well. I do realize that my question is rather specific and a bit tricky actually.

The major problem is that the distance between a paragraph and the bottom of a table is non-zero (due to leading) whereas the distance between the top of a table and a paragraph is actually zero (goes to the baseline). This difference means that if I set the paragraphs and tables to any single given set of parameters it may not work because the arrangement of paragraphs, figures, and tables is random. Yes, I can manually adjust everything, but that would be a nightmare.

• ###### 3. Re: Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

No, don't adjust manually. Never! Use well prepared style sheets. Important is the distance of paragraphs, the inset of cell styles, take in account the used stroke.

And the distance from a table is defined by the table setup, and in the paragraph where you insert the table use a paragraph style with automatic leading which will fit the distance according to the needed space.

• ###### 4. Re: Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

Hmmm, it seems I understand what you are saying, yet fail to achieve my goal.

The distance (white space) between the bottom edge of a table and the following paragraph is controlled by the leading of that paragraph (correct?). How can I get that space be to actually be zero to the top of the text (assuming I have a reasonable leading)? In other words, the top of the text should be aligned with the bottom edge of the table.

• ###### 5. Re: Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

@Brian – hm, I think it would help, if you provide some screenshots here.

You can insert them using the forum software with the camera icon:

Uwe

• ###### 6. Re: Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

Brian2025 wrote:

The distance (white space) between the bottom edge of a table and the following paragraph is controlled by the leading of that paragraph (correct?). …

No, it is not! Use an automatic space for the paragraph where you insert your table.

The space between text and table is determined by space before/after of the paragraph styles and of the table set up. All should be fixed for future use in styles.

• ###### 7. Re: Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

In the following picture, there are no APPLIED space before/after on the table or the paragraphs (not aligned to any baseline grid).

What Will did was adjust space after the table to get it to be an equal amount of space. BUT...this works only for this single case (paragraph/table/paragraph). Like I mentioned, this creates a problem for the general case since I may have two tables in a row (again I have random combinations of paragraphs, tables, figures). So what works for one scenario creates a mess for another.

Btw, this is for a technical book where the equations are placed in tables. So you have paragraphs, equations (tables), figures and their arrangement is random in general.

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Yeah, I can create styles for each of the scenarios that may occur, but this seems backwards and more work (have to remember which particular style to use). At that point, it seems easier to just place paragraphs with a few different heights to do the space compensation (though I have known from day one this is frowned upon in general).

The other thing that I can do is a baseline shift of all text. If I do this, then I can get an equal amount of space between the start and end of the tables (see following figure). Therefore, I don't have a before/after issue when dealing with random combinations of paragraphs/tables/figures. But I have heard doing a baseline shift in this manner is also a no-no and can present problems. Not sure if this is an accurate statement though. I would have it would be OK, but have been warned not to do this.

• ###### 8. Re: Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

I can only say, not table without style, no text without style. No excuse for not using styles.

The -2mm are - because they have to substract the value from space before.

If you create useful styles, you have less work than without styles, how many styles you will need how efficient you are defining them.

//// Forget the leading, it has no influence to the distance, when you use automatic.

• ###### 9. Re: Spacing Between Paragrahps/Tables/Figures

Hmmm, I guess. I will try to construct

Paragraph styles: Need multiple additional styles (not sure how many yet) with various space before/after do address the combinations. Calculating/setup/adjusting could be time consuming. Applying them could be time consuming because there are multiple ones to select from.

Paragraphs: Probably just two dummy spaces to control everything. Simple and easily adjustable.

Baseline shift: No additional styles needed.

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For novels and straightforward layouts with a figure here and there, the basic rules are certainly true (control spacing with paragraph styles). I know in InDesign 101 that is first thing that is taught. But in this case, it just seems to be the least efficient way to go about it. My engineer brain struggles to comprehend why would one do something because it is a "general rule" if in the end it takes the most time to complete.