I'm working on a sports event banner with about 34.000+ names on it. Each full name is separated with a bullet (•) and the banners is about 14 meter wide. At the end of my text frame some first and last names get separated and since the banner is this large this is unwanted.

This is the format of the names: • First Last • First Last • First Last • etc

My workaround now is to manually adjust this... but as you can images this takes a lot of time since everything changes when making adjustments to such a large text and leaves a lot of room for error.

Question: is it possible to tell InDesign to never break the line between bullets so that the first and last names always stay together? And never start or end a line with a bullet?


  • 1
    Sounds like something you might be able to do with a GREP. I found this: community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/…
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 29 at 11:35
  • to expand: You will be searching for: (bullet)(some stuff)(bullet). The parens denote GREP groups. You will style group 2 with a character style set with "no break". Regular expressions are not easy to understand, but this particular search use-case is probably one of the simpler ones.
    – Yorik
    Mar 29 at 14:37
  • Of course, you could merely use the menu command Type > Insert White Space > Non-breaking Space before and after each bullet if you are typing the list. But if it's already typed GREP is much easier.
    – Scott
    Mar 29 at 18:14
  • Simple answer: no, it’s not possible to do what you’re looking for – not just because InDesign can’t do it, but because it’s physically impossible. If there is more than one line, you cannot avoid line breaks between names and around bullets: names and bullets is all there is, so those are the only possible places to break the line. You’re essentially trying to avoid line breaks before or after any word or any bullet, which translates to avoiding all line breaks – that’s not compatible with having the text on multiple lines. Mar 29 at 22:16
  • If you only want to keep names unbroken and accept that lines will then always either begin or end with a bullet, you can easily use GREP styles to achieve what you want. Apply a no-break character style (as per Billy and Yorik’s comments) to something like (?<!•)\h+(?!•) and you should be fine. Or if you want to keep it so that lines may end with a bullet but not begin with one, (?<!•)\h+ should do. (This is assuming you’re using • as your bullet character, of course.) Mar 29 at 22:21


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