Remove Multiple Returns and Replace with Space Between Paragraphs
You know how people love typing extra returns between paragraphs in a story to insert extra space between paragraphs? They obviously don’t know about Space Before or Space After, which is the proper way of handling inter-paragraph spacing. So how can you remove all those returns?
The easiest way is to open the Find/Change dialog box and choose “Multiple Return to Single Return” from the Query pop-up menu. That switches to the GREP tab and types in a bunch of grep code for you. When you click Change All, it removes all the extra spaces — whether there were 2 or 20 returns in a row.
But what if you really did want space between each paragraph? Can you replace the returns with a little “space before/after”? Sure! After choosing from the query pop-up menu, click in the Change Format area at the bottom of the find/change dialog box. (If you don’t see that, click More Options.) Then assign some Space After in the Change Formats dialog box. Or, far better: Apply a paragraph style that uses Space After.
Now when you click OK and then click Change All, the returns will be replaced with a single return… and the paragraph before those returns will change to the new formatting (with space after).
Now, personally, I prefer using Space Before, but I know others who like Space After (like my co-author Ole Kvern). It’s just a different way of thinking. Anyone want to take a crack at the grep code required to modify this to use space before instead?