MacMost Now 924: Paragraph and Line Spacing In Pages

There are many ways to separate lines and paragraphs in Pages. Having proper spacing can make your documents easier to read. You need to tailor your spacing to your content and audience.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 924: Paragraph and Line Spacing In Pages.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at paragraph and line spacing in Pages.

To make your documents look nice in Pages you want to pay a lot of attention to line spacing and paragraph spacing.

So for instance I have some sample paragraphs here. I can bring up the Inspector and in the Inspector I can go to the Text inspector here and under the Text inspector I can see line spacing and also spacing for before and after paragraphs.

Let's select the first paragraph and you can change the line spacing here and it will only change the one in the first paragraph. So typically, in a normal document, you want to select All and then go ahead and change line spacing. Of course wider line spacing means it will be easier to read but it will take up more paper as well. So you want to pick up something that suits whatever it is you are writing and how long it it and your audience.

But in addition to line spacing you've got paragraph spacing. You can see there is a little more space between these paragraphs here and that is reflected over here in After Paragraph. There is 14 points between each one. I can shrink that back down to nothing and now you can see the paragraphs run into each other which may be suitable for some things. You can add more and you can also do before and after which of course kind of look the same depending upon how your document is laid out. But they are slightly different. Here if I add space before paragraphs you can see it is not adding it to the beginning of the document, only between paragraphs. So in this case it is kind of the same.

Now another way to separate paragraphs a little more is to indent the first line of each paragraph. You do that here by going to Tabs in the Inspector. Here is where I can indent the first line and it is measured here in whatever the measurement I have set in Preferences. In this case inches.

So I can bring in that first line here of each paragraph to make it look a little bit better. I can also bring in every other line, like that, so in some cases you might want to do something like this. You can also do it on the right side as well, just to bring it in which helps distinguish a specific paragraph. For instance if I wanted to bring in this one here in particular to bring that one out a little bit or separate it from the rest of the text.

Of course in many cases it is going to be a combination of these things. To have a little bit of a paragraph indent and also have some space after each paragraph to create a very nice, easy to read document.

Now when you make adjustments like this to the paragraph sometimes you end up with different things. Like this paragraph has different line spacing, indentation, and also how much space is after the paragraph. Say I want to apply this somewhere else. Well, I can just have the cursor inside that paragraph and I can Copy Paragraph Style from the Format menu. I can put the cursor in another paragraph and I can paste the paragraph style and you can see it is an easy way to bring that style elsewhere. So I can select All and Paste Paragraph Style and you can see I put it all there.

You can also, of course, make a style from this. So I can bring up the Style Drawer here. I can use these paragraph styles and I can add a new one. I've used the default name there and now I can, if I were to change this for instance, I can bring up the Inspector here, change the line spacing, and then I can apply Free Form 2 (which is that name I gave to that) and you can see it put it back there.

So you can use paragraph styles to take all of these attributes and apply them to paragraphs very easily.

Another thing you can do, and you don't see this done very often, is to put lines between paragraphs. So I can select all of these paragraphs here. I can go in Text and switch over to More. Then in Borders and Rules and I can put a line there. You can see I can set it to the top, bottom, both, or completely surround the area which of course isn't going to divide the paragraphs so I want to probably just to do say the bottom like that.

Then I can set the color, I can set the thickness for each line. So in various situations this could also help not just to separate all the paragraphs maybe but perhaps to highlight a single one. For instance if I were to take this away here and say I wanted to highlight this specific paragraph I could set up a line that completely surrounds it here so it kind of sets it apart from that. While that is not a separate text box, you could of course do a separate text box, but this way the text flows in here if I add more to there it will push this down and the text will flow no matter how I change things throughout the document.

So I hope you found this look at paragraph line spacing useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 5 Responses to “MacMost Now 924: Paragraph and Line Spacing In Pages”

    Kurt Hanson
    6 years ago

    The first letter of the first paragraph to chapters of a tome. I’ve tried to enlarge this first letter by four to ten points to make an impression, only to find that doing so increases the subsequent line space to the second, next line of this initial paragraph. With Word software this second line space can be reduced to conform to the spacing of the rest of the

      Kurt Hanson
      6 years ago

      … but Pages has no workaround.

        6 years ago

        What you are talking about is a “drop cap.” The best way to do this in Pages is to simply create a separate text box, put just the large letter in it, set the wrapping so the rest of the text wraps around it, and then place it at the start of the paragraph.

    Michael Cogan
    5 years ago

    Gary, can you please tell me how to apply paragraph spacing in iOS 7? There does not appear to be an option for this that I can see.

      5 years ago

      Pages for iOS does not have a paragraph spacing function.

Comments Closed.