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  1. #1
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    Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    I'm having a strange paragraph spacing problem. Say I have two styles: Body Text and Heading 1. I also have two blank documents that are formatted identically, except for the way lines numbers are set up in the header (they're legal docs). (In one doc, the line numbers are in the header in a text box, the way Word's Pleading Wizard does them. In the other doc., the header contains a strange 2 column table, and the line numbers are contained in the left hand column. The latter approach works better than the former for a variety of reasons, except for the behavior described below.)

    In one of the docs (the one with the line numbers in a text box in the header), if I'm typing Body Text (which is set for exact line spacing at 24 pt (so 12 pt. type is effectively "double" spaced), if I hit Enter and then change the style of the next para. to Heading 1 (which is formatted for exact line spacing at 12 pt (effectively "single" spaced)), the Heading 1 para starts 12 pts after the preceding para., which is exactly what I want. (I.e., it appears as though there is a "double" space between the text and the heading).

    In the other doc, using exactly the same styles, the heading style starts on the very next line! (I.e., it appears as though there is no double space.)

    Example:

    Doc. 1:

    Here's some body text.

    And here's part of the same body text para.

    I. And this is heading 1.
    And this is more of heading 1 in the same para..

    *******

    Doc. 2, however, looks like this:

    Here's some body text.

    And here's part of the same body text para.
    I. And heading 1 ends up here.
    With more of heading 1 in the same para.

    Both styles in both docs have "space before" and "space after" set to 0, so I can't figure out what accounts for this difference.

    I've done more testing with a lot of other styles and it appears to be the case that the space between paras. in Doc 1 is determined by the para. spacing of the preceeding para., whereas the space between paras. in Doc 2 is determined by the para. spacing of the succeeding para. (I.e., in Doc 1, if, after a heading, I want to revert to Body Text, and I want a "double" space after the heading, I have to set Heading 1's "space after" to 12 pt.)

    I hope I've made myself clear. If anyone has any idea what causes this difference, I'd love to know.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    Even though the headings in the second doc purport to have the correct style applied, is it possible that they are auto-numbered and the auto-numbering template has overridden the style definition?

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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    i'm not sure if i completely understand your problem, but it sounds similar to a case where...

    going into Tools | Options, selecting the "Compatibility" tab and then checking the box named "Don't Center Exact Line Height Lines" solved the problem. (in Word 2000, lines with exact line heights specified align at the bottom of their line height (leaving blank space above the text); double-spaced lines align at the top (leaving blank space after the text). Never mind the term "Center" used in the compatibility option.

    hope this helps.

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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    Whoa! I think you DO understand the problem, because that solution fixed most of it. Your solution, however, raises an additional question, and (unfortunately) an additional problem:

    New problem: Setting the options as you suggest fixes the before and after spacing anomoly. However, now, if the first line on a page is formatted with 24 pt. spacing, most of it is cut off by the top margin. Moving the top margin up, just moves the margin up, but it moves the first line up as well, still leaving it cut off. Ideas?

    New question: What's the purpose of this "center exact line hight lines" option? Why would you want to set that if you then have to fiddle with both the space before and space after parameters all the time?

    Thanks very much for your suggestion. A little more work and this problem will be history.

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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    i couldn't replicate your problem, but if you attach your document, I'd be happy to see if I can determine what's wrong.

    i also have no idea why microsoft decided to "center" or "bottom align" text with exact line height. possibly (and i'm out of my league here) a typesetting standard?

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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    This "Don't center..." is a very old compatibility option, but cycling through the various options in the dialog never seems to select it. Unclear why it exists. Microsoft's description is factual and not illuminating:
    <hr>Changes the vertical position of text between the top of the line space and the bottom of the line space. With the option off, any extra space is split between the ascender and descender. With the option on, all the extra space goes to the descender. (WD2000: Description of the Compatibility Tab in Options Dialog Box for Word 2000 (Q193266))<hr>
    However, the result of turning it on is to make the line behave like double spacing (see below before-and-after picture). It really would be nicer if it behaved like the "At least" setting, aligning text at the baseline, but without the "at least" setting's ability to expand vertically. <sigh>

    Other articles referring to this setting are very much oriented toward pleadings, so if you feel as though you have been beating your head against a wall, at least you know you are not alone:

    WD: Text, Line Numbering Don't Line Up in Pleading File (Q160854)
    WD97: Text, Line Numbering Don't Line Up in Pleading File (Q181384)
    WD2000: Text, Line Numbering Don't Line Up in Pleading File (Q211309)

    As for the new problem, is there any superscript or "raised" font setting for the paragraph that's getting cut off?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    Here's a 3-across comparison of how the text is aligned within its 24-point space.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    Thanks for the explanation. Sort of seems like using the option is necessary if you use line numbers created by Word's pleading wizard, but not if you use another method. Too bad, because with the option off, to get exact line spacing to work properly between paragraphs (so that they line up with evenly (and exactly) spaced line numbers, you have to specify both a "space before" and "space after" parameter for every style. I say too bad, because "space before" is not supressed at the top of a new page, so that you're wasting space in a document (which can be a problem in pleadings, which generally are subject to page, not word, limits).

    As to my new problem, I cannot reproduce it in a new, blank document, so I'm assuming that it's caused by some other options setting in the template in which it's occurring. I'll just have to fiddle more.

    If you have time and inclination, however, I'd like to learn a little more about "at least" line spacing. From your examples, it appears that it aligns the text at the baseline. So, if I have a para. formatted at exactly 24 pt. spacing, with 12 pt. type, that will appear as though it has a double space *before* the para? (I.e., sort of the opposite of what happens when you turn the centering option off?) That's what it looks like to me when I try it, at least.

    I suppose I could live with that option, except for your comment re expanding upwards. Does the expansion only occur if I increase the pt. size of the font, or will it also occur if I have a superscript in the para?

    Thanks for all the help!

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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    > ..."space before" is not supressed at the top of a new page...

    In fact, there is a compatibility option to do this in that same dialog.

    Regarding Exactly and At Least, you can only choose one. If your line numbers were created in the header using Exactly, then the At Least wouldn't line up with them. If they were created with Single spacing, however, then it would line up better than Exactly.

    But you should not need Space Before on every style, only on the ones that need to be single-spaced internally, such as the argument headings. I'm not sure when you need Space After.

    So... if you stick with all Exactly heights, the ones that double space internally, such as body paragraphs, could be 24 pt with no Space Before and no Space After; the ones that are single spaced internally, such as argument headings, would be 12 pt Line Height with 12 pt Space Before. Turn on the option to suppress blank lines at the top of pages, but turn off the Don't center option. Does this get all the way there? If not, tell your lawyers they'll need to finish a few hours early so it can all be typed by hand on a manual typewriter, pursuant to the latest court rules. <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    Actually, with 12 pt type, it turns out that "single space" headings (i.e., exact 12 pt. line spacing) need to have space before set to 9 and space after set to 3 to make them line up with line numbers properly. Yuk.

    BTW, I **AM** "the lawyers! I work for the state, and so we don't have great Word support, and I double as the Word template/macro guy because of my former life doing computer modeling in grad. school. Thanks for all the help. Now. at least, I understand what's going on.

    . . . Most of it. What I still don't understand is -- given how many lawyers use Word, and how many state/federal courts require line numbering, why Microsoft doesn't make things easier. Ok, stupid question.

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    Re: Paragraph spacing problem (2000 sr-1)

    sorry it took a couple of days to get back, but if you're still toying with this...

    i was able to re-create a pleading document in which the text began appearing above the margin at the top of the document as you described. And the culprit was--the Tools | Options | Compatibility option titled "Suppress extra line spacing at top of page". It appears that this option suppresses too much extra line spacing when the other compatibility option is set to "Don't center...".

    I also looked at how our California pleading template was set up--and it is set up with a text box with exact line height set to 23.5 and a font size of 13; the text in the pleading itself is set to a font size of 13 with exact line height of 23.5, except that a single-spaced style is set up with exact line height of 11.75. (i'm told that this is the specific rule in California (but i'm not a lawyer), except that some courts require a 14 point font size). the only option selected in Tools | Options | Compatibility is set to "Don't center." (NOTE: the text box must be set to have no internal spacing between the edges of the text box and the actual text inside the text box).

    Finally, I simply ran a MS Word pleading template to see what it's defaults were! And, Word's pleading template produces a document with double-spaced styles specifying an exact line height of 25.4 with single-spaced styles having an exact line height of 12.7. I think these point sizes are chosen instead of 24/12 points to allow for leading between lines of text. More interesting, the MS Word pleading template produces a Compatibility set that selects three items: (1) the "Don't Center" option; (2) "Adjust line height to grid height in the table" (i have no idea what that does!) and (3) "Suppress extra line spacing at BOTTOM of page" (to avoid having the blank space under the text on the last line of a page causing the entire line to skip to the next page--which should help you out on meeting your page limitations).

    nonetheless, NOTE that all text in these documents ONLY use exact line heights with particular attention to using exactly the exact line height of the pleading line numbers (or half that to simulate single-spacing). This, in turn, requires that users do not copy the formatting of non-pleading text into a pleading (lest the pasted text comes into the document with double or single spacing instead of exact-line spacing). Since most people will not be able to adhere to the law (thou shalt only use exact line spacing paragraph formatting), you would probably need to have a macro that you could run when you're finished with the pleading that would scan through a document and change the formatting of any single- or double-spaced paragraph to be replaced with the appropriate exact line height dimension. If you go this route, post back and I or someone else could help you with creating such a macro.

    hopefully, this will be easier than trying to directly apply space-before and space-after. HOWEVER (and sorry if this is all too discouraging), since pleadings often contain footnotes--you should be advised that tinkering with line spacing, line height, space-before and space-after settings EXCEPT WITHIN THE DEFINITIONS OF PARAGRAPH STYLES will invariably cause footnotes to start appearing on the wrong pages, at least in Word 97 and Word 2000. (i can't think of a macro approach that would correct any exceptions to this rule). And since pleadings often contain footnotes, this further demonstrates the ugliness of using Word in legal settings.

    Oh, the wonders of market share...

    in any case, hope this helps!

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