Separate formatting for lines as opposed to paragraphs



I have another question regarding something I don't think Word can do.

When writing poems, one needs to distinguish lines from stanzas. Currently,
I use line breaks for each line and paragraph breaks at the end of each
stanza. This allows me A) to have line numbering work proberly and B) to
control the spacing between stanzas and C) to keep stanzas together on a page.

The problem comes with long lines. (I am using columns.) If a line is too
long to fit in the column it will wrap like text from a prose paragraph. In
printed books of poetry in columns, a wrapping line usually indents the
wrapping portion of the line to distinguish it from a new line of poetry. I
know how to make a paragraph indent after the first line, but I need to be
able to have lines indent when wrapping. If I set indentation for the
paragraph, all the lines after the first indent in the stanza and not just
the ones wrapping due to length.

Moreover, a long line messes up line numbering.

What I want:

Blah blah blah blah,
Blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah
4 Blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah.
Blah blah,
8 Blah blah blah blah.

What it does:

Blah blah blah blah,
Blah blah blah blah
Blah blah blah
5 Blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah
Blah blah blah blah.
Blah blah,
9 Blah blah blah blah.

Is there a solution to this problem?

Peter T. Daniels

Most book designers dealing with poetry will try to avoid breaking
lines if at all possible, so perhaps columns isn't the ideal way of
setting your poetry.

A way to deal with this problem is to have more than one paragraph
style -- use an auxiliary paragraph style for the long line and the
paragraph above it, provided with hanging indent and Space After of
zero. The result will be indistinguishable by the reader from using
all line breaks.

The automatic line numbering, though, will follow the number of lines
Word makes, rather than the number of line-breaks or paragraph-breaks
that you type (otherwise, it wouldn't work in ordinary prose!).

Suzanne S. Barnhill

In cases such as this, I don't use a hanging indent; I insert a line break
as needed and then use a tab character at the beginning of the runover line.

But that's not going to help with the line numbering, I'm afraid, and I
don't see *any* solution for that other than to make the margin width long
enough to accommodate the longest line (not always an option).

Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA

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