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Create indent for second paragraph with document import

Explorer ,
Aug 13, 2023 Aug 13, 2023

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Hi, 

 

Ik helping out to create a novel. But I am struggling with indent on the next paragraph. I tried the "next style" option What only will work if I do live typing. So after a Return (^p) it automatically will create the next paragraph style. But it is not working when importing a docx, RFT of other file.

 

Also after a double return (^p^p) I want to start the paragraph without intent. Do not know if this is possible of how to make use of it.

 

Somebody knows what to do? Example image how I want it to

 

Ruben Lourens

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How to , Import and export , Type

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Community Expert ,
Aug 13, 2023 Aug 13, 2023

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Okay... let's start with this. Never use double returns (or soft returns, line breaks) in InDesign. All paragraph spacing should be handled with styles and appropriate above/below spacing. If, for example, you want a blank line between an opening paragraph and the next one, add a line's height (or so) of space below to that first paragraph style. And so forth.

 

The other issue folows from that. What you want here is a first paragraph, with no indent, and then a "regular" paragraph, with an indent. Perfectly standard text/novel style. You need two defined styles for this, so if you don't have those already assigned, there's no especially easy way to set it up. The best thing to do is set/convert all of your "body" paragraphs to the regular style — call it Body or BODY for convention — and set up the indent, spacing, etc. and the build all of your body variants as successors to that. That is, create a BODY 1st style (or such), and remove its indent. Then set it to style any next paragraph as BODY.

 

You will either have to manually tag all "first" paragraphs after that, which isn't really as hard as it sounds, or you can find a variation of search and replace (sorry, "Find/Change") that will find, say, the end of a heading style and apply that "first" style to the next paragraph. Honestly, I'd just set up the two styles as above and spend (probably less than) an hour going through and cleaning up the format, assigning that "first:" style and removing all extra paragraph spaces and line breaks. (You can do the last with find/change, as well.)

 

That make sense?


╟─ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ─╢

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Explorer ,
Aug 13, 2023 Aug 13, 2023

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Yes clear so far. So how does the writer end a paragraph without using return. If you say you cannot use return.

 

So would you recommend to start with a document word without any styling. So the next paragraph style thing will work. And is it better to work with inCopy or does word does the job as well?

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 13, 2023 Aug 13, 2023

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No, the rule is "don't use double returns." Each paragraph in a work should be just that, one paragraph, with no empty paragraph added, or line-breaks (soft returns, etc.) used. All paragraph styling, including spacing, should be controlled by the Paragraph Style. And every paragraph should have an assigned style — there should be none left with "Default Paragraph Style" or, after import from Word, "Normal." (You can use 'Normal" as your base body style, but it's best to create another name so that you can spot paragraphs that have not had a specific style applied.)

 

There are some good tutorials out there, including on this site, that go through these basics of page and text layout. You might find the complete, formal presentation useful. It's time to leave (often sloppy and counterproductive) Word practices behind. 🙂


╟─ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ─╢

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Explorer ,
Aug 13, 2023 Aug 13, 2023

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So if you cannot use a double return. How can I seperate the one paragraph from the other one. 

Paragraph 1 with text

within the paragraph new line with indent. 

new paragraph

 

i can do a lot by hand. Just want to learn how to get it done automatically 😉

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 13, 2023 Aug 13, 2023

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You can set up many documents so that almost everything is autmatic — for example, if you apply a heading style to a new paragraph, the next paragraph will be that "first style" without the indent, and every paragraph after that will be regular Body with the indent, all without doing a single thing manually except setting that first style. And it can get MUCH more complicated from there.

 

I think you're not understanding the difference between a single paragraph and a double one. Every paragraph ends with a special character, a "pilcrow" — ¶ — that marks the end of the paragraph for styling and other purposes. You do NOT need to add another, blank paragraph to space paragraphs apart; you modify the Body (for instance) style to have some amount of spacing below. Typically, if you have 11pt type on 13 or 14pt line spacing, you add 3-7 points of spacing below to get a nice, balanced separation of the paragraphs. (Note that most flowing text, like novels and historical narrative, don't use any spacing at all, but rely on the indent to mark the start of a new paragraph.)

 

So instead of:

  • paragraph¶
  • paragraph¶
  • paragraph¶

 

You would use:

  • paragraph-w-space¶
    • (a little bit of space here, automatically)
  • paragraph-w-space¶
    • (a little bit of space here, automatically)
  • paragraph-w-space¶
    • (a little bit of space here, automatically)

 

...where the paragraph style has that small amount of bottom space added. (I can't really show it well in this forum.)

 

It might help if you turn on hidden characters to actually see the pilcrow and other characters like spaces and tabs... of which there should never be extras or two in a row, at all. It's under Type | Show/Hide Hidden Characters, or you can use Ctrl-Alt-I (that's a letter I).


╟─ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ─╢

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Explorer ,
Aug 13, 2023 Aug 13, 2023

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Ahh it is called a pilcrow. It will end the paragraph. I understand the part where I use space before and after. This is how I set up the heading half way ect. As in the example. But how do you call a line break? So the difference between a new line of text within the paragraph and a new paragraph.  

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Explorer ,
Aug 14, 2023 Aug 14, 2023

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LATEST

Oke getting there 😉 I cleaned the word input file. The writer understands MS Word so I will stay on word for now. As in the image, you see that every part is a paragraph.

 

So within a paragraph, we have some line breaks. Within the paragraph, I set "next style" to a new paragraph style where I set a left indent of 8pt. But this is not working for now. Do i need to set it different? As it is not a next paragraph but within the same paragraph I maybe are thinking wrong 😉

 

Also, within the style of the [Hoofdstuk 2], I want it to start on a new page. But the Keep option will place only that paragraph on the next page. The title underneath the Chapter is on a new page. Besides that a before space will only work if I put an extra empty paragraph in front of it. It sort of relates to a paragraph. Only a hard page break in MS Word will fix the issue.

 

Thanks sofar

 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 13, 2023 Aug 13, 2023

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As for styling, if you're going to keep writing in Word (and nothing wrong with that; overall, it's a better writing and editing tool), then you should learn to use styles and these "clean practices" there as well. Import to InDesign becomes very easy if all of your content is already styled. You can even adjust and remap styles at the import stage — the two tools work together very well if you follow some basic guidelines.


╟─ Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Guide to Pro Results (Amazon) ─╢

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Explorer ,
Aug 13, 2023 Aug 13, 2023

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Yes I try to already use the same styling names in word with some of the styling I use inDesign. 

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