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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.

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie “Her Geekness” Concepción is the co-founder (with David Blatner) and CEO of Creative Publishing Network, which produces InDesignSecrets, InDesign Magazine, and other resources for creative professionals. Through her cross-media design studio, Seneca Design & Training, Anne-Marie develops ebooks and trains and consults with companies who want to master the tools and workflows of digital publishing. She has authored over 20 courses on on these topics and others. Keep up with Anne-Marie by subscribing to her ezine, HerGeekness Gazette, and contact her by email at or on Twitter @amarie
Anne-Marie Concepcion

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One Comment on “Paragraph Indents in Story/Galley

  1. 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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