The only way I can persuade InDesign to start a new paragraph (whichever of my styles I am using, and including the subheadings) on a new page, is to insert a Page Break.

Otherwise it splits the previous para and puts the last two lines of it at the top of the new page, leaving a clumsy white space at the end of the page before.

I don't want to do use Page Breaks, as while editing the book further this will mess with my formatting (if anything is added or taken away in the chapter, before that point).

I've checked the 'keep' options, and I've made sure my styles aren't based on other styles that might have those options ticked.

Does InDesign have something against starting on new pages with the start of a paragraph or a subheading? From a format perpective that would be weird! Or is there something I'm not spotting... aargh

Many thanks if anyone can help me! I'd like to keep as much of my hair as possible...

  • 1
    "I've checked the 'keep' options" but alas, what you describe can be perfectly explained by bad Keep options. It is possible that you not (only) have "Keep with Next" for the appropriate styles, but also "Keep with Previous" in another style. So check the paragraphs above and below your headings.
    – Jongware
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 7:43
  • It was 'keep with next'. There was a little number '1' in that box. And there I was thinking I was intelligent!! Thank you very much indeed xxxx
    – Stephanie
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 8:14
  • I'd like to mark this question answered (usr2564391) but I don't see any checkbox next to the answers made (I've looked in 'help' and it's described as a 'checkmark' that can be toggled from greyed-out to filled-in). I've got a flag to the left of the answers and nothing at all on the right.
    – Stephanie
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 8:27
  • 1
    These are just comments here, to mark an answer, an actual answer needs to be posted (not comments).
    – Lucian
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 8:31
  • 1
    Thank you Lucian :). I understand... so if usr2564301 wants to post his comment as an answer then I'll mark the question answered.. otherwise I'll presently do the 'answer' myself (I'll wait a bit though, as I'd like people to get kudos where they've earned them).
    – Stephanie
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


In InDesign, the Keep Options determine if a paragraph is allowed to break its lines onto a new page. The default is "do nothing at all":

Default Keep settings

– that is, text may break anywhere. You can manually fix text by inserting page breaks, but a far better option is to adjust the Keep Options. Do this in your Paragraph Styles if you have them. (And if you don't, create these first! It may look like an amount of work for not a whole lot of immediate result, but as you work longer on your text, you'll appreciate InDesign automatically applying your settings. It's also easier to change the entire look-and-feel of your text whenever you feel like it.)

For regular body text, use "Keep Lines Together > At Start/End of Paragraph" (the Start and End values of 2 are usually enough). This will automatically avoid widows and orphans – a single first line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page, or a single last line at the top of a new page.

For headings, use "Keep Lines Together > All Lines in Paragraph" so you do not get a page break inside a two-line header, as well as "Keep with Next > 1" so it will always be kept with the following sub-header and/or plain text paragraph.

"Keep with Previous" is not needed (and actually a nuisance) for plain text and headers. It's useful only for a few select cases, such as on the very last item of a list which could otherwise end up on a new page on its own. Keep this deselected otherwise.

The bottom option "Start Paragraph: xxx" can be useful if you want certain content to always start in a new column/on a new page, such as a chapter title. For regular text and headings, leave it at "Anywhere".

If your paragraph style settings are correct but you still see different behavior in your text, check for local overrides on the offending paragraph(s). Also check the paragraphs above and below, because "Keep with Previous" and "Keep with Next" have an effect on other paragraphs.

If you made sure to use Paragraph Styles throughout, you can conveniently check if there are any overrides with the Style Override Highlighter:

Style Override Highlighter

This button will show local overrides on plain text with a colored background, and on paragraph settings with a colored sidebar. In the picture I manually changed the Keep settings from their style defaults and so that paragraph gets marked for closer inspection.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.