I have the following problem:

Hi have a numbered list in which one of the paragraphs has a manual linebreak. Now normally this would not be a problem, however since I have set my text to justified, InDesign spaces that line out to ridiculous extents ...

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InDesign does not show this behaviour with a "normal" carriage return. However by doing this my paragraph is of course split into two entries of my numbered list, which is not what I want:

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Is there a way to format the text so that it does not get spaced out that much? Maybe a special setting for "justify text" which I haven't found yet that keeps InDesign from justifiying text if it reaches a certain threshold.

  • I'm more interested why you would put a manual line break there in the first place. Are you trying to make like a heading inside the list item?
    – Joonas
    Feb 28, 2018 at 12:56
  • yes, correct. I haven't written the text myself (just some legal stuff I know next to nothing about), but from what I could tell that was what they were trying to pull off
    – CrazyQwert
    Feb 28, 2018 at 12:59
  • 1
    This isn't a very common issue, I don't think. One way to do this would be to divide the text into 2 different paragraph styles. So first you format the text the way you have it in your second example image. Then make a copy of the list paragraph style and change List style to none and adjust Indents to match if necessary. Then make sure the original list style has Mode: Continue from last number. That way you can justify them separately and the list numbering will stay intact.
    – Joonas
    Feb 28, 2018 at 13:38
  • would using nested styles also be a viable solution? Maybe making a left aligned text for the first line only. Or do they not affect the text justification
    – CrazyQwert
    Feb 28, 2018 at 13:41
  • 1
    Well there you go. I was already writing that because I figured my comments may have been a bit tight on the details...
    – Joonas
    Feb 28, 2018 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


Here's what I suggested in the comments in more detail.

Indesign list numbering can continue from the previous, meaning that you can divide a list into multiple paragraphs maintaining the list form. So basically you style every second paragraph not to have the list numbering.

You can take the existing list Paragraph style and duplicate it. You can find duplicate option from the context list if you right click the list paragraph style.

For this example, I named my paragraph styles: List - Heading and List - Body

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  1. In List - Heading options make the next style List - Body

  2. Make sure that List - Heading has Mode set to Continue from previous number.

  3. Remove the numbering from the body paragraph style...

  4. Adjust justify and indents of the body paragraph style...

So as long as you format the text just like in your second example image, you now have a list with headings..

enter image description here enter image description here


A workaround: Add invisible characters at the end of the first line. Spaces are not good because you cannot delete them easily with single operation.

Here is added a non-colored text:

enter image description here

Workarounds like this shouldn't be used if you have the time to do all in good order, which obviously is possible. The invisible text is still there and can cause harm when someone meets it surprisingly.

  • Hi! Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely keep that in mind, however given the amount of list entries with this styling, I just realised, I have, I wen't with defining two styles to make use of the next-style feature. Take your upvote, though :)
    – CrazyQwert
    Feb 28, 2018 at 14:06

It's an old question, but I think it's worth posting another answer.

The desired justification can be achieved by preceding the line break by a flush space (Type -> Insert White Space -> Flush Space). This way does not require splitting the text in different paragraphs with proper definition of styles.

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