Manual or Automatic Paragraph Spacing?

Discussion in 'Word' started by SallyAnne, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. SallyAnne

    SallyAnne

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    Hi everyone.

    When it comes to setting the line space between paragraphs I have always figured there are two main ways:

    1. Manual - you press Enter twice at the end of each paragraph.
    2. Automatic - you modify the Normal style to include paragraph spacing of 12 pt after.

    I have been setting up Word templates for a while now and have always preferred to go with the manual method, because once you start changing the Normal style it has impacts everywhere else. For example, in tables, your text will have 12 pt after as well.

    This has always worked well for me except in one area: when a document has multiple pages and a paragraph ends at the end of one page, meaning the top of the next page has an extra space (where the Enter is) before the next paragraph starts. Of course, I would never recommend deleting that extra enter, in case additional information is added above, moving the paragraph around.

    My question is for those who regularly work with setting up templates: what do you do to resolve this? Do you:

    a) Accept that this will sometimes occur and leave it as is OR
    b) Modify the Normal style to include paragraph spacing of 12 pt after then change all the styles that are based on the Normal style to NOT have the paragraph spacing after OR
    c) Use a different style (e.g. Body Text) for the plain text in your document that has the 12 pt after built into it and leave Normal untouched OR
    d) Some other clever alternative?

    Thank you for your time!

    Sally
     
    SallyAnne, Dec 7, 2017
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  2. SallyAnne

    macropod Microsoft MVP

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    The preferred way of managing this is via the use of paragraph Style formatting with the appropriate before/after paragraph spacing.

    If you employ an appropriate 'after' setting, with a 0 'before' setting, you will never end up with the situation of the text on an new page starting on different 'lines'. The downside of that is that it makes it harder to have, say, a paragraph that leads into a series of bullet points where you want the bullet points to have less than the standard spacing between them and the preceding paragraph. What you'll end up with is a large gap before the first bullet point and a small gap between the last bullet point and the next paragraph. Consequently, I tend to work with a standard 'after' spacing of 6pt and a 'before' spacing that varies according to the Style in use - and accept the fact pages starting with a new paragraph will be offset 6pt lower than pages where the text continues in a paragraph started on the previous page. Most people won't notice the difference.
     
    macropod, Dec 7, 2017
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  3. SallyAnne

    SallyAnne

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    Thank you for replying. You are right that most people won't notice the difference, but unfortunately, I do! I guess I was wondering if anyone had a resolution that dealt with these issues, but doesn't sound like it :-(
     
    SallyAnne, Dec 14, 2017 at 3:21 AM
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