In MS Word, if two paragraphs have, for example, before and after spacing: 10 pt, the space between each other will be 10 pt. They override each other.

With inDesign the spacing is additive: if two text objects have before and after spacing of 10 pt, the spacing between the two will be 20 pt.

I want inDesign spacing behave like MS Word.

Thank you.

  • 2
    What you're looking for does not exist in INDD. Agree with Wolff, you need to use what's available, and the "Ignore" setting can be useful to control spacing between same-style paragraphs. INDD is built for complex typesetting, and people do use it for complex work, so in my opinion it has everything you need, and there is no comparison to MS Word. Also don't confuse text boxes (what you call text objects) with paragraphs.
    – Lucian
    Mar 2 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


You can't always force a program to behave like another. It's better to accept the logic of each program and get the best out of it.

In InDesign Space Before and Space After are added as you say. You can't really change that.

There is a setting for paragraphs called Space Between Paragraphs Using Same Style but, as the name indicates, it only applies between paragraphs with the same style so its use is pretty limited in my opinion. I never use it myself.

In your case, the real solution would simply be to set Space After to 0.5 inch and leave Space Before at 0.

Why would you even need the Space Before if you want it to be ignored anyway?

  • Thank you Wolff, can't believe I didn't see the space between paragraphs using the same style. That would've been really helpful. I will use it in the future. Also thanks for taking your time to answer my question with great detail!
    – Nicolas
    Mar 12 at 6:07
  • @Nicolas, you're welcome! I also initially thought space between paragraphs using the same style would be useful but as I said, I can't really see the need for it. You can't for example use it for numbered lists because the first item must have a separate style to restart the numbering and then it breaks. Anyway, if you found the answer helpful, remember to accept it.
    – Wolff
    Mar 12 at 7:47
  • Oops, just accepted it. I'm new to the stackexchange. I found some uses. For example, when doing bullet lists, I can set space between paragraphs of same style to 0,2 cm and then normal spacing to 0,5 cm. Same for numbered lists. I don't use the built in lists since they backfired in MS Word when converting the book to EPUB. After 20 days of inDesign, it really grew on me. The word spacing quality is unmatched, and the books I do have really improved in quality!
    – Nicolas
    Mar 23 at 8:59

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