How to use indents in documentsGiuseppe Di Grande Published the 03/24/2017 00:00
In word processing there are some mistakes that are unfortunately very common; one of them is to indent the text of documents using spaces or tabs. However, spaces and tabs are elements of word processing that serve another purpose. They might have made sense in the past, when a text editor was used. Today, a Word processor has other tools for indenting text correctly.
A paragraph has certain characteristics. Indents are paragraph settings that are used to move the beginning or end of paragraph text further to the left or right. Instead of using spaces or tabs, indents are more properly used, which are the most appropriate typographic features to do this. Indents are a way to draw the eye to certain parts of text or, in the case of Braille, touch.
Being a Word processor, Biblos allows you to use indents and to exploit them also for the purpose of Braille printing. The indents that we are going to see now are four: left indent, right indent, first line indent and projecting indent.
Let's get the right indentation out of the way right away. This indent is used to make the end-of-line text end sooner, or in other words, to indent to the right the text of the paragraph in which it applies. The text of a paragraph can be spread over several lines. Right indentation is applied to all lines of the paragraph.
Let's take an example: if normally the text is indented at 19 cm, applying a right indent of 2 cm will indent the text at 17 cm.
The left indent is used to make the lines of a paragraph start further to the right in the paper or, in another way, to indent them to the left. As with right indentation, left indentation is applied to all lines in the paragraph.
Let's take an example: if normally the text of a paragraph starts at 2 cm from the left edge of the paper, using a left indent of 1 cm the text will start at 3 cm.
Now we come to two special indents: the first line indent and the projecting indent.
First line indentation is used to move the beginning of the text of the first line of a paragraph to the right, or, in other words, to indent the first line to the left. As mentioned, a paragraph can have text spread over several lines. This indent only acts on the first line of the paragraph and is in addition to any left indent.
Let's make an example: if normally the text starts at 2 cm and we apply a first line indent of 1 cm, the first line of the paragraph will start at 3 cm while the following ones will remain at 2 cm.
The indentation of the first line is used in common printing and in Braille printing to indent the paragraphs of a paragraph. Indented paragraphs are useful for attracting the eye or touch to the beginning of the paragraph.
Finally, the protruding indent which, unlike the first-line indent, maintains the position of the text of the first line and moves the text of all subsequent lines to the right.
Let's make an example: if normally the text starts at 2 cm, applying a protruding indent of 1 cm the first line will remain at 2 cm, while all following lines will start at 3 cm.
The projecting indent is obtained by entering negative values in the first line indent field.
Indents are applied from the Paragraph Type window (Format/Paragraph menu). Each paragraph can have its own indents, but all paragraphs in a document can be indented in the same way. If you apply indents only to the paragraph where the cursor is, you don't need to select the text. If you want to apply indents to more than one paragraph, you must select all affected paragraphs.
All of the above indents are also needed when printing a Braille document. The strength of Biblos is to consider word processing elements and convert them automatically for Braille printing. Left, right, first-line and protruding indents are correctly applied to Braille as well. To facilitate the formatting of these typographical elements, each indent in the Paragraph Type window has a contextual menu from which you can choose the unit of measure in which to display the values. One of the measurement units is the one expressed in Braille cells.
For example, open the Paragraph Type window (Format/Paragraph menu), right-click or press the Applications key on one of the indents and a context menu will appear from which you can choose another unit of measure.
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