Examples: Margins, indents and offsets

The following examples illustrate how margins, indents and offsets can work together to achieve the desired layout. The following example boxes show how the same text will appear with different paragraph settings. The settings used in each example will be placed within the preceding text in the form [LM,FL,LO]. Thus a setting of [2,-2,0] would indicate a Left Margin of 2 picas, a First/Left indent of -2 picas, and a Label Offset of 0 picas.

Consider a paragraph that contains a sub-paragraph. In the diagrams below, the Parent Margin is marked in yellow, while the other settings are as shown above.

If the sub-paragraph is mapped as a block with default settings [0,0,0], the following effect occurs:

In this example the sub-paragraph sets with a flat left margin that is the same as that of the parent. The margins are indicated by dotted lines. To move the whole paragraph, set the Left Margin property to 2 picas [2,0,0].

By contrast, setting the First/Left indent to 2 picas [0,2,0] indents the first line only.

Alternatively, set both margin and indent [2,2,0].

A hanging indent can be created by setting the margin to 2 picas and the indent to –2 picas [2,-2,0].

Increasing the margin to 4 picas [4,-2,0] producers an indented hang.

On rare occasions you might even need a negative margin [-2,0,0].

Note that no setting will force text beyond the left column boundary. Any attempt to do so (e.g. [-9,0,0]) will be truncated.

Now consider the standard setting if the sub-paragraph has the form of a bullet list item [0,0,3].

Reducing the offset [0,0,2] shifts the label, but has no effect on the body of the text.

On the other hand, changing the margin [2,0,2] moves the whole paragraph, label included.

Applying a first/left indent [2,2,2] moves the first line only. Remember that the label is positioned relative to the start of the first line.

Finally, by reducing the label offset [2,0,0], the first line text follows on immediately after the label. This feature comes in handy when you have an exceptionally long label, such as "(xviiiAA)" which is wider than the offset.