Paragraph Indents in Story/Galley

You can identify paragraph starts and ends in Galley/Story view by turning on Hidden Characters so you can see the non-printing characters like paragraph symbols, tab chevrons and spacebar dots within the text. Any line ending with a paragraph symbol is the end of that paragraph. To turn on Hidden Characters, click the pilcrow — the paragraph symbol — in the Command toolbar or choose Show Hidden Characters from the Type menu.

But, since the hidden characters are always the same color as the text (with a slightly lighter shade), long stories sometimes appear as huge blobs of undifferentiated text. Having more control over how much paragraph formatting Story/Galley can show is in my top five feature requests for the next version of InCopy.

Take paragraph indents, for example. I think it’d be easier to identify paragraphs in a long article in Galley/Story if the first line of every paragraph had the same indent as they have in Layout view. (Or if they don’t have a first-line indent, then Galley/Story would show the space above/below the paragraph.)

In the meantime, though, there’s a little-known feature in CS2 and CS3 that helps to visually indent the first line of every paragraph in Galley/Story. It doesn’t affect formatting — the lines aren’t actually indented in Layout view — it’s just for visual navigation.

Go to the View menu and choose Show Paragraph Break Marks. Nothing changes in Layout view, but in Galley/Story, you’ll see a new special character indenting the first line of every paragraph, even if the paragraph has no actual first-line indent. The special character looks like a double-right chevron and pushes the first line in approximately 2 em’s worth of space.

The next time you’re in InCopy, give it a try. I think you might like it.

One Response to “Paragraph Indents in Story/Galley”

  1. Riley says:

    This is very good information, but could you please tell me when I am supposed to indent? How do I know when I should start a new paragraph?

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