4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2009 3:01 PM by Molyodhana

    Variable vertical spaces between paragraphs

      I am working as a freelancer for a publishing house that often has to lay out series of books with thousands of pages (text only). The paragraphs often have space before and after.

      I am looking for a way to make some of those spaces variable, with the idea to get an automatic page layout (even pages) without having to manually change hundreds and thousands of spacing values (and without "widows").

      I am not a programmer but in an Adobe CS4 presentation the lecturer told me that this problem can be solved, either with a script or with Indesign XML.

      I am almost sure I am not the first one to ponder about this but I could not find an existing discussion on this subject. Maybe such a script already exists?

        • 1. Re: Variable vertical spaces between paragraphs
          Level 1
          hi Helmut,

          which platform - PC or MAC ?
          and how script will know where and how big space to add ?

          can you show example of what you need to get ? because maybe you can use VerticalJustification as TextFrame property or you can play with BaselineGrid or ...


          • 2. Re: Variable vertical spaces between paragraphs
            Molyodhana Level 1
            Hi Robin,
            Thanks for your answer. I am working with a Mac. Let me give you an example:

            Text 5

            bla bla bla nlalkj lka js kd jalk jk l.
            bljah lalk djlkaj dlka jdklajd lkajdlaj
            kasjdlkaj sdljalsdklak djlakj lk alsdkj

            Text 6

            bla bla ökla ölkölak lkölkaö lkölkaölkg
            lk j lkjlk lkj lkj lkj ljeklfsdflkj ff

            kj kjkfjg kgj kj
            klj lkjlkl kl kl
            kklkjlkjlkjlkjlk lk
            i oi kjjj k kj

            As far as I can see, VerticalJustification adds equal spacing between all paragraphs on a certain page. Let us say I want to alter only the space before those lines saying "Text 5", "Text 6", etc.

            Is that possible? I also don_t know where the script should find the info. The publisher I mentioned before is still laying out books with an MSDOS programm (!) that reads paragraph definitions from an external file. Those definitions have, for example, space values set like this:

            space above = 3 mm plus 2 mm
            space below = 3 mm

            where plus 2 mm would be the maximal value.

            That DOS dinosaur lays out a chapter with 150 pages in half a minute, with leveled pages and without widows. Can Indesign CS4 do something similar?

            • 3. Re: Variable vertical spaces between paragraphs
              Fred Goldman Level 3
              You might want to take a look at this plugin:


              It will automatically justify your frames for you by adding space
              proportionately in between paragraphs.

              For example, if you have three paragraphs one calls for 3pts. before and
              the others for none. It will only add space to the paragraph that calls
              for 3pts before to justify the frame.
              • 4. Re: Variable vertical spaces between paragraphs
                Molyodhana Level 1
                Looks almost exactly like what I've been looking for. Big thanks!