InDesign tip : #23

sometimes you get a reminder that what is obvious to you may not necessarily be obvious to others. and this is why sharing information on blogs and forums is important. knowledge only becomes obvious once you possess it.

this post was inspired by seeing an experienced InDesign user forcing text to the next column with multiple returns. there are a bunch of different break characters in InDesign. this post is about the big four :

1. return — also called a line break or hard return — the most common break, this designates the end of a paragraph.

2. soft return — also called a forced line break — place a soft return using shift-return — you use these when you want to force a line break within a paragraph. the difference between a return and a soft return is particularly noticeable when using paragraph styles or space after/space before settings.

screen grab showing four different break characters

3. column break — THIS is what you should use if you want to force text to the next column. why? because if you use multiple returns, and then later edit the text before those returns, there’s a pretty high likelihood that you’ll stuff up your neat columns. if you have a keyboard with a number pad, you can use the enter key to place a column break. with a truncated keyboard you use function-return (the function key is the fn at bottom left). you can also use a right-click (or the type menu) to access the conditional menu :

screen grab showing how to select break characters from conditional menu

4. page break — similar to the column break — hopefully the name makes its purpose obvious. also accessible through the conditional menu.

work smarter, not harder. and get in the habit of using returns and breaks correctly — this will make you a better layout artist.

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