Smarter discretionary line breaks

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Lindsey Martin 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #95500

    Sacha Rein

    Hi guys,

    How can we have smarter discretionary line breaks?

    If I had 2 left aligned lines that would look like this:

    > John asked if Amy was willing to do it, but he
    > knew she wasn’t.

    I would like to insert the smart dlb after the comma, like so:

    > John asked if Amy was willing to do it, {sdlb}
    > but he knew she wasn’t.

    The normal dlb will only break if the text frame is reduced in width and it would then maybe break after ‘but’, which still is not what I would want.

    I want to be able to insert a smart dlb that breaks immediately where I insert it, much like a forced line break, BUT with the advantage of being able to modify my text frame later or change some text, without having cut lines everywhere.

    Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  • #95503

    David Blatner

    Sacha, I’m not sure your request makes logical sense. You want a DLB to break where to you want it to, but later, if you change the text frame width, then you don’t want it to break anymore? I think you probably just need to use a Shift-Return (forced line break) and later, if the frame changes size, you can use Find/Change to remove all the forced line breaks.

    Alternatively, you could change the right indent to force it to break differently. Or you could select the paragraph and turn on Balance Ragged Lines — that might give you the effect you want, even without adding a discretionary line break.

  • #95504

    Sacha Rein

    David, I’m not sure I explained it well. Since InDesign came out I have been doing this with line breaks… but I am tired of fixing broken lines as soon as the text or the frame changes.
    I only want specific lines to break when I decide they should (very short words that would stand alone at the end of a line, but would be better in the next line ) AND I want them to un-break automatically when the frame or the content changes (and they are no longer alone at the end of a line).
    I want to be able to place smart line breaks and then forget about them.

  • #95509

    David Blatner

    Interesting… it sounds like what you’re trying to do is adjust the way InDesign handles short words in is paragraph composer. That’s a cool idea, and I can see the value. But I don’t think InDesign has any way to do what you’re looking for.

    Actually, here’s an idea… you could use the “No Break” feature to keep the short words with the words that follow them. For example, you could set up a grep style inside the paragraph style that looks for 1 or 2 letter words followed by another letter. Like this:

  • #95520

    Sasha, your request would be a useful addition to ID’s feature set, if we could define exactly what is needed. ‘Short words’ is probably not an adequate criterion (though it might be an adequate proxy) as I think that the words you want to bring over when they stand at the end of a line fall into grammatical categories: articles, conjunctions and prepositions. I do as you do all the time but I usually avoid your problems by making this sort of adjustment only after text and geometry is final. I can imagine cases where this is not possible.

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