Working with paragraph Settings

Setting Paragraph Spacing

Paragraph spacing is the space before and after each paragraph.  When working in larger documents, it is recommended that you do not use hard returns to apply space between each paragraph but adjust the spacing between each paragraph with paragraph spacing.  When you use paragraph spacing instead of hard returns, you save yourself the time and energy of searching through multiple pages of text to find out where you have too many hard returns or where you do not have enough.  If you use a Paragraph type style, you will also be able to adjust the settings of your paragraphs in one easy step instead of manually searching multiple pages of text to adjust paragraph settings (see Working with Styles).  12 spaces before and 12 spaces after each paragraph will roughly duplicate one Hard Return.  To set paragraph spacing:

  1. Select the paragraph
  2. Select the Home Tab
  3. Click the arrow in the bottom, right hand corner of the Paragraph Group to launch the Paragraph dialog box.
  4. Set the “Before” and “After” options in the Spacing section of the dialog box by either typing in the paragraph spacing or using the up and down arrows to select the paragraph spacing options you want.
  5. Click the OK button when doneParagraph Settings - Spacing, Step 5

Setting Line Spacing

Line spacing is similar to paragraph spacing but controls the amount of space between each line in a paragraph.  Line spacing can make a difference in the readability of your document.  Setting the line spacing at 1.15 between lines, instead of 1.0 between lines, makes the paragraphs just a little easier to read.   You can also use the line spacing options to select double spaced text.  To set the line spacing in a document:

  1. Select the paragraph
  2. Select the Home Tab
  3. Click the arrow in the bottom, right hand corner of the Paragraph Group to launch the Paragraph dialog box.
  4. Select the line spacing options you would like by using the up and down arrows in the Line Spacing section of the dialog box.
  5. Click the OK button when doneParagraph Settings - Line Spacing, Step 5

Setting Special Indents

There are two types of special indents available through the Paragraph dialog box; First Line Indents and Hanging Indents.

First Line Indents

First Line indents are used when you want only the first line of a paragraph indented.  The second line of text will be flush with the margin.  You will see First line Indents used regularly in the publishing industry.

Hanging Indents

Hanging indents are used when you want content to indent and wrap underneath the first line of text within a paragraph. The first line of text in the paragraph will be flush with the margin and the lines underneath will be indented.

Hanging indents are also used when you want content to line up underneath the tab set of bullets and numbering.

To set hanging indents:

  1. Select the paragraph
  2. Select the Home Tab
  3. Click the arrow in the bottom, right hand corner of the Paragraph Groupto launch the Paragraph dialog boxHanging Indents - Step 3
  4. Under the Special section of the dialog box, click the down arrow to select either a First Line or Hanging Indent
  5. Under the By section of the dialog box, click the up or down arrow to specify what increment of measurement you want to set the indent
  6. Click the OK button when done

Indenting Paragraphs from the Left or Right Margin

There are times that you will want to indent text from either the left or right margin or possibly both, as is the case when entering quotes into a document.  To indent paragraphs from the left or right margin.

  1. Select the paragraph
  2. Select the Home Tab
  3. Click the arrow in the bottom, right hand corner of the Paragraph Group to launch the Paragraph dialog box
  4. Under the Indentation section of the dialog box, click the up and down arrows in either of the left and right entry fields to set the indents from the left and right margins.
  5. Click the OK button when done
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