[OT] Page layout & first line indent

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mrennie
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[OT] Page layout & first line indent

Post by mrennie »

Dear all,

my question is slightly off-topic (for which I apologise), but I know that many talented and experienced users frequent this forum, and so I thought it might be a good place to obtain an answer. I am about to start my thesis (in Nisus Writer Pro, of course), and I have a question concerning indents.

I have read that you should either use a "space after" setting for body text or apply a first line indent if there is no "space after" setting. The combination of first line indents and "space after" settings is apparently frowned upon in page layout, and I can easily see why. I have also read that there is no need for a first line indent for a paragraph that immediately follows a heading, for instance, as it is clear to see where the regular text starts.

I have now decided to use indents for my thesis, as I am required to use a line spacing of 1.5 for my body text, and it simply does not look good in combination with a "space after" setting. My question is: what is the recommended solution for body text that follows a graphic, for instance, or a quotation (which is indented and in a different font, with a different font size and colour)? Should I use a first line indent for the body text that follows, or leave it out, as it is once again clear where the paragraph starts?

You can have a look at the attached screenshot if my question needs clarification. To rephrase my question: does the paragraph that starts with "§3" need a first line indent, or should it look just like §1?

Many thanks in advance for your help!
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Elbrecht
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Re: [OT] Page layout & first line indent

Post by Elbrecht »

Hi -

I would go with §3 as with §1 - because the previous is indented already. I.e. I would indent only, if the line before is NOT indented - to make the difference.

My cup of tea...

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exegete77
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Re: [OT] Page layout & first line indent

Post by exegete77 »

It depends...

If the thought of the following paragraph after the quotation continues the thought of the preceding paragraph, then use #1. However, if this paragraph after the quotation begins a new thought, then use the indented paragraph.
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Elbrecht
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Re: [OT] Page layout & first line indent

Post by Elbrecht »

Well -

it depends on what the "§" stands for - I took it for "new" paragraph...

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exegete77
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Re: [OT] Page layout & first line indent

Post by exegete77 »

Yes, I took it as a new paragraph symbol as well, :) but which paragraph style is proper is the question. Should the paragraph style that follows a quote be flush left like paragraph 1 is in the example, or should it have the first line indented paragraph style, like paragraph 3 in the example?

Thus, it is a new paragraph, but which paragraph style is appropriate can only be determined by context. That is why I wrote that it depends on the role of the follow-on paragraph relative to the other content in the preceding paragraphs.
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greenmorpher
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Re: [OT] Page layout & first line indent

Post by greenmorpher »

I like what you have done, mrennie, but you've cheated -- you didn't do it in 1`.5 line spacing, but a much closer spacing where you can use a bit of space between the head and the first paragraph.

With the 1.5 spacing, I would prefer all normal paragraphs with the first line indented as in the sample here. You could indent the first line or not after an indented quote (or whatever) according to whether that material followed on from the indented quote, i.e. the indented quote was in the middle ofa paragraph.

Personally, I would avoid putting indented quotes in the middle of paragraphs. I would construct the material in such a way as to avoid them and thus allow me to set all normal paragraphs with an indent. :-)

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard
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Win business with the recession-busting "How to make great ads for (sm)all business: 99 real world advertising ideas to kickstart *your* business today". See http://www.worsleypress.com
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mrennie
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Re: [OT] Page layout & first line indent

Post by mrennie »

Dear all,

thanks for your input; it has been most helpful. The way I understand your various comments, the situation is as follows: if the paragraph that follows a picture or an indented quote introduces a new idea (i.e. is a new paragraph), it should have the first line indent. However, if the paragraph is in fact a continuation of the paragraph before the quote, I should leave out the first line indent.

Geoff: since my thesis is going to be a semi-scientific piece of work (Education), I sometimes need to quote an author and then comment on the details contained in that quote. As a result, I often need to resume a paragraph after inserting a quote.

Again, thank you all for sharing your expertise!

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