Removing the Paragraph Return at the End of Story
I don’t like to have extra stuff floating around my InDesign documents. For example, I don’t like to have blank, empty frames sitting around — I always take the time to delete them. Similarly, I like to remove the blank carriage return at the end of text frames so that the story ends without an extra return. There’s no pressing reason why you need to do this. In fact, if there’s a chance that the frame will someday be threaded together with another frame, you probably do want the extra return there (or else you’ll get the last paragraph of one frame merged with the first paragraph of another frame).
However, let’s say you want to remove those extra returns. (That’s one of the email requests I received this morning.) How to do it? In CS2, you’re probably stuck with manually clicking and deleting. Perhaps someone has a script that will do it.
But in CS3, you can use GREP. Open the Find/Change dialog box (Command/Ctrl-F), switch to the GREP tab (press Command/Ctrl-2), make sure the Search pop-up menu is set to Document, and type this in the Find What field:
Leave the Change To field blank and then click Change All. InDesign should remove the blank return at the end of every story in your document.
This appears to work because of a hidden, undocumented code: backslash-Z appears to mean “at the end of story.” So this GREP code says “find one or more spaces at the end of the story.” Note that \A seems to mean “at the beginning of the story,” so if you want to remove extra white space at the beginning of the story, you’d type
Thanks to Gerald Singelmann who pointed out on the Adobe forums that someone told this trick to him, but he can’t remember who. Sounds very mysterious to me!
Warning: I don’t guarantee that these kinds of undocumented tricks will work; save your document before running large GREP searches, proof your work afterward to make sure it didn’t mess anything up.