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Removing Paragraph Breaks at the beginning of Text Frames

New Here ,
Oct 19, 2023 Oct 19, 2023

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Hello! I'm laying out text for a very, very long book and am getting the occasional gap at the top of text frames from paragraph breaks. I've attached a screenshot showing what I'm talking about. Is there any way to keep this from happening or to remove those spaces without manually removing the paragraph break?

 

For reference, I do have the Keep Options turned on to avoid Widows and Orphans.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , Oct 19, 2023 Oct 19, 2023

Hi @KMToney09:

 

Turn on Type > Show Hidden Characters. I'm guessing you will see that someone entered double hard returns at the end of each parapgraph and a ¶ is at the top of the right page. 

 

Indesign knows full well that typists can't stop doing this and they give us a very quick fix.

  • Click in the Story
  • Edit > Find/Change
  • Open the Query list at the top of the dialog box and choose Remove Trailing White Space
  • Change All

 

Before you do this, note that it is going to pull out all of the do

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Community Expert , Oct 19, 2023 Oct 19, 2023

To make it clear, double paragraph returns should NEVER be used in any layout. Always use paragraph spacing features to adjust the space between paragraphs — body, headings, captions, etc.

 

An extension of that is that there should NEVER be more than one whitespace character of any kind in a row  — space/tab, space/space, space/return, etc. Strip these all out using Find/Change. And soft returns (line return, shift-return... a line break instead of a paragraph break) should be used very, very s

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Community Expert ,
Oct 19, 2023 Oct 19, 2023

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Hi @KMToney09:

 

Turn on Type > Show Hidden Characters. I'm guessing you will see that someone entered double hard returns at the end of each parapgraph and a ¶ is at the top of the right page. 

 

Indesign knows full well that typists can't stop doing this and they give us a very quick fix.

  • Click in the Story
  • Edit > Find/Change
  • Open the Query list at the top of the dialog box and choose Remove Trailing White Space
  • Change All

 

Before you do this, note that it is going to pull out all of the double returns (along with random spaces at the end of paragraphs with nothing after them—another common mistake made by typists), which results in eliminating all space between paragraphs. That is actually the desired result because we should be adding spacing between paragraphs using the Space Before and Space After commands in our paragraph styles, and not hard returns.

 

 

~Barb

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New Here ,
Oct 19, 2023 Oct 19, 2023

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Thank you so much, that was exactly it. I'm still new to typesetting for books, so this helped immensely. Thank you, Barb!

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Community Expert ,
Oct 19, 2023 Oct 19, 2023

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To make it clear, double paragraph returns should NEVER be used in any layout. Always use paragraph spacing features to adjust the space between paragraphs — body, headings, captions, etc.

 

An extension of that is that there should NEVER be more than one whitespace character of any kind in a row  — space/tab, space/space, space/return, etc. Strip these all out using Find/Change. And soft returns (line return, shift-return... a line break instead of a paragraph break) should be used very, very selectively if at all. There are better options and practices for all these common "Word user" faults. 🙂


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

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Community Expert ,
Oct 19, 2023 Oct 19, 2023

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Welcome to the community forums! Come back next time you get stuck. We are always happy to help.

 

~Barb

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