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Thread: New paragraph


    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #1

    Cool New paragraph

    I'm currently translating and elaborating content for a website and my coworker insists I'm doing it wrong when I place a single spacing using the space bar at the beginning of a new paragraph. I can't use other word processing functions as I'm limited by the editing software I'm using. I know this is a silly quible but could someone help resolve this issue. I mean does the space have to be a certain length, where does it say that?

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: New paragraph

    Are you referring to the indentation of the first line of a new paragraph? Traditionally, it should be five spaces.


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    #3

    Re: New paragraph

    Thanks for your reply. Is that a hard and fast rule? I did it on purpose to place just one space so it would be almost imperceptible, I didn't really need to place any indentation at all as it has almost become redundant on the web.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: New paragraph

    There's no hard and fast rule about paragraph indentations, but it is, as Ouisch said, traditionally about five spaces.

    However, writing for the web is not the same as writing for print, and actually you shouldn't use this technique for indentation. There's a complicated technical reason for it, but in laymen's terms, depending on the editing software you use, it'll either not work at all, or it will work but add some junk to your code.

    It's not necessary anyway. Unless you fiddle with stylesheet controls, browsers add one line of space between paragraphs (more accurately: paragraphs have top and bottom margins set to 1 em), so it's easy to see where a new paragraph begins without indenting the first line.

    If you type spaces at the beginning of a paragraph in a word-processed document, that's bad practice too. You need to set the indentations in the paragraph properties or stylesheet and the program will do the indentations for you. Typing a row of spaces is something that was necessary with mechanical typewriters.

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    #5

    Re: New paragraph

    What does your co-worker suggest, NWM?

    MrP


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    #6

    Re: New paragraph

    My co-worker would like to see no indentations at all and I guess its more like a little rebellious streak in me trying to break with tradition and convention by placing a single space. Thanks for all the input.

  3. rewboss's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: New paragraph

    If you are only one of many contributors to a website, the chances are there is a style guide which you should follow. You may be of the opinion that indentations are necessary, but if the style guide says "no indentations", you have to follow that rule.

    The reason is simple: you can't have the various pages of a website (or any other kind of publication) each looking different. The styles have to be the same for the entire publication.


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    #8

    Re: New paragraph

    Yes, I suppose that makes sense. This is the first time that I have posted here and I didn't expect to recieve much feedback, I was pleasantly surprised.
    Also I must admit that I am quite careless as to language usage and need to brush up on many aspects of the English language. I got this job because its more a case of that in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. I live in a region that does not have that many English speakers and it also follows that I don't get to speak much English with anyone.
    Can anyone help me correct my work or is that asking too much?
    Would it be unethical to post a link here?
    What about my posts, anything wrong?

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