Chapter 17. Specifying Paragraph Attributes


  • Understanding paragraph fundamentals

  • Changing basic and advanced paragraph formats

  • Applying automatic bullets and numbering

  • Working with hyphenation and justification

  • Modifying other paragraph formats

As is an individual character, a paragraph in InDesign is treated like a basic typographic unit. When you create a new text frame and begin typing, you create a paragraph each time you press Return or Enter. A paragraph can be as short as one character or word on a single line or many words strung out over many lines. When you press Return or Enter, the paragraph formats of the preceding paragraph are automatically used for the subsequent paragraph (unless you create styles that automatically change paragraph formats).

In general, paragraph formats control how the lines of text in the paragraph are constructed. Changing paragraph formats doesn't change the appearance of the individual characters within the paragraph. To do that, you must highlight the characters and modify character-level formats.


This chapter focuses on modifying paragraph-level typographic formats; Chapter 16 focuses on modifying character-level formats. Chapter 19 covers the creation and use of styles for both characters and paragraphs.

Understanding Paragraph Basics

To select a paragraph, simply click within it using the Type tool. Any change you make to a paragraph-level format applies to all the lines in the paragraph. (In contrast to how you modify character-level ...

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