in indesign, I have a paragraph style line number

and another style body text

when a paragraph of style body text is preceded by a paragraph of style line number, I would like to style that body text paragraph differently (like 0 space before)

How can I do that?

  • Do you mean automatically? Otherwise, this is a really basic question that is off-topic. Oct 13, 2011 at 10:08
  • What i mean is, is there a way to say to indesign: whenever you see style a come before style b, style b as c. So that I would not need to assign each occurence of a+b manually as a+c.
    – turzifer
    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


You can't style backwards, no.

What you can do is this:

  • Create "line number," "body text space before," and "body text no space before" styles.
  • Set up "line number" so that the next para is automatically "body text no space before."
  • Set up "body text no space before" so that the next para is automatically "body text space before."

Now, this part is a bit tricky, but it does work.

  • Select your Line Number paragraph and all the text up to the next line number, but do not include it.
  • Right-click or control-click on the "line number" style in the Paragraph palette. This gives you a contextual or "fly-out" menu.
  • You will see at the bottom "Apply Line Number and then next style."
  • This will make the first paragraph Line Number, the second paragraph "body text no space before," and all the rest "body text space before."

You can only select up to the next line number, because if you select all your text, the last style in your cascade (body text space before) has the rule "next paragraph style is the same."

If each section has only three paragraphs (line, no space, space), then you could set "body text space before" to have "line number" as the "next paragraph style," and the whole thing will auto-format.

  • thank you for the detailed answer @Lauren Ipsum. what I needed was a bit tricky and I posted a new question for It.
    – turzifer
    Oct 13, 2011 at 15:21

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