Poetry has some special formatting requirements. The block paragraph separation method is usually best for poetry, yet you’re not going to want the trailing “after” space as defined above.

With poetry, you want your stanzas tight, yet you need each poem separate from the next. If you code your Normal paragraph style to define a trailing “after” space, the poem won’t look right.

Other content categories that might benefit from the block method but without trailing spaces include learning materials, such as the multiple choice example below, or cookbooks.

For poetry and non-fiction that require this more complex layout, below are two options for your consideration (IMPORTANT: You need to have Word’s Show/Hide feature activated so you can implement this formatting):

1. You can use paragraph returns (don't code them for trailing space. Instead, code them for single spaced lines).

The poem above uses simple paragraph returns at the end of each line, with the paragraph style coded for no trailing space.

2. Use manual line feeds plus a paragraph return coded for a trailing "after" space. This option is a little more complicated, but will get you great results. To create a manual line feed at the end of a line, click Shift and Enter at the same time. A manual line feed creates a line break without invoking the styling of your paragraph style, which in the example below is coded for a trailing 10pt space after each paragraph return. Note how only the question and the last answer have their lines terminated with a paragraph return (created by hitting the Enter key). Use this trick for poetry as well.

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