About Paragraph Formatting

You can affect the look and behavior of paragraphs in various ways. These settings can be applied locally or to the style used for the paragraph. Modifying the style is typically preferable to changing the settings locally for a single paragraph.

Following are some of the more common ways that you can format paragraphs.

  • Alignment You can format a paragraph so that the text is aligned right, left, centered, or justified. See Aligning Paragraphs.
  • Autonumbering You can apply an autonumber format to paragraphs so that certain content and/or incremented numbering displays with it. This is useful for numbering elements such as chapters, figures, or tables. See About Autonumbers, Creating Autonumber Formats for Styles, and Creating Autonumber Formats for Paragraphs.
  • Background You can set a background color and/or image on a paragraph. See Setting the Background for Paragraphs.
  • Borders You can add borders around a paragraph. Borders can be added on any side of a paragraph (left, right, top, bottom), or all around it.  See Setting Borders for Paragraphs.
  • Borders—Rounded For most output formats, you can use CSS3 border-radius style properties to create rounded borders on block elements, such as paragraphs and blockquotes.  See Creating Rounded Borders on Paragraphs and Tables.
  • Breaks For print-based output, you can apply a page or column break to a paragraph or heading (either via styles or local formatting). For example, you might do this if you want the paragraph or heading to start at the beginning of the next page or column. Alternatively, you can insert a page break on a line by itself, independent of any HTML element. You might apply a frame break if you want to make sure that only certain text, such as a heading, appears in a certain body frame in a page layout. These features are used for print-based output. See Setting Page and Column Breaks and Setting Frame Breaks on Paragraphs and Headings.
  • Drop Caps/Initial Caps You can create an effect on a paragraph so that the initial letter is different than the others and drops down to the lines below. See Creating Drop Caps Effects and Creating Initial Caps Effects.
  • Hanging Punctuation You can use styles to create hanging punctuation on block items such as paragraphs in Flare. Hanging punctuation lets you "hang" certain punctuation characters outside the block element, allowing the text to align.  See Creating Hanging Punctuation.
  • Hyphenation You can specify whether words at the end of a line in a paragraph should be hyphenated before continuing to the next line. You can also determine minimum word and character settings to be used for hyphenation. See Setting Hyphenation.
  • Indentation You can indent paragraphs so that they start or end at a certain distance from the left or right side of the window or page frame, whether that means the entire paragraph or just the first line (like a traditional "tab"). See Indenting Paragraphs.
  • Line Spacing You can specify the amount of spacing between lines in a paragraph. See Setting Line Spacing.
  • Moving Paragraphs You can move paragraphs and other block content (e.g., lists, images) around through the use of structure bars. See Moving Paragraphs and Other Content with Structure Bars.
  • Next Style You can specify that a particular style should be used when you press Enter at the end of the current style. For example, after you type text for a heading and press Enter, you might want the next style to be something like p.TopicText, rather than the main p style. See Setting a "Next" Style.
  • Positioning After you add a paragraph or heading to a topic, you can adjust its positioning on the page. For example, you can float it to the left of the page layout frame to create a side heading. You can do this by applying a positioning setting on the style used by the paragraph. See Using Absolute Positioning on Elements and Using Floats for Positioning Elements.
  • Short Line Elimination You can use this feature to automatically adjust word spacing if the last line of a paragraph is only a certain number of characters long. Therefore, the spacing may be widened to make the last line longer, or the spacing may be narrowed to bring the words in the last line up to the previous line. See Setting Short Line Elimination.
  • Spacing Above/Below You can set the amount of spacing above and below paragraphs. See Setting Paragraph Spacing Above and Below.
  • Transform Effects In CSS, the transform property is used to create a 2D or 3D transformation effect. When working with the transform property in the Stylesheet Editor, you can open a popup containing additional fields that let you choose various transform functions. This makes it easier to create the kind of transform you want. See Creating Transform Effects.
  • Widow and Orphan Control You can use widow and orphan control to avoid instances where "leftover" lines from a paragraph are shown at the top or bottom of a page or column. This feature is used for print-based output. See About Widows and Orphans and Setting Widow and Orphan Control.