PDA

View Full Version : On indentation



Chiffon
10-10-2014, 06:17 PM
To me, it looks normal in a book or e-book and unusual on a webpage. Weasyl's stories are better, but I'm specifically thinking about places like SoFurry that have more clutter in the reading area. Is this just because I'm so used to reading forum posts or blogs without it?

Do you think it's better formatting or a visual annoyance?

Manna
10-11-2014, 12:35 AM
White space in general is so important in keeping your work "clean"

There are a lot of people out there who see a full page crammed margin to margin with words and feel incredibly overwhelmed

without proper use of white space, such as indentation, the work becomes needlessly stressful for your reader

RedSavage
10-13-2014, 04:11 PM
I suppose it depends on the amount of text being thrown down and how tight the paragraph spacing is. If there's already a mile of space between paragraphs, an indent is a bit arbitrary.

Gnarl
10-13-2014, 07:23 PM
I suppose it depends on the amount of text being thrown down and how tight the paragraph spacing is. If there's already a mile of space between paragraphs, an indent is a bit arbitrary.
Down with the paragraph spacing! Long live the Indent! or something like that....!
VIVA the new English E-revolution! Joy to the ragged right! and lets do away with double spacing and go with 1.5 spacing!
Let us now change the world by changing the way we write! Hooray for the fatfingers and typo-ses!
Join the revolution and center all your headers!

Manna
10-14-2014, 01:37 AM
Down with the paragraph spacing! Long live the Indent! or something like that....!
VIVA the new English E-revolution! Joy to the ragged right! and lets do away with double spacing and go with 1.5 spacing!
Let us now change the world by changing the way we write! Hooray for the fatfingers and typo-ses!
Join the revolution and center all your headers!

a small indent for each paragraph and no spacing between them is hardly new :v

That's how people have been formatting their work for centuries, all the white space we see now came about with the advent of the computer. Space between paragraphs reads better on computer screens. Given that authors format their work on computer screens, and want to format their work to look "the best it can", they tend to optimize it with the white space to make it look as clean as possible on the screen

This trend has been accidentally helpful for readers who sometimes suffer from sensory overload (as a symptom of another mental illness), such as myself, so I'd really rather we kept to it :v

piņardilla
10-14-2014, 01:53 AM
The tab key doesn't even work for web forms, so nothing on forums ever gets indented and if you're insistent on using some [indent] tags then it just ends up looking out of place.

Manna
10-16-2014, 02:50 AM
Lobar confirmed for not reading thread before posting in them </3

Frank LeRenard
10-16-2014, 09:19 AM
Apparently, proper rules for this sort of thing do exist. Like, I read the other day that a habit I have, double-spacing after every sentence, is apparently incorrect and is a relic from typewriter days where all characters had the same column width. I'm not aware precisely what the rule is for indenting, but I'm guessing it's still correct to do so since pretty much all typesetting software these days does it automatically for you.

I just use LaTeX now, which does all that formatting crap for me.

Kaedal
10-17-2014, 04:18 PM
I tried perusing the 'net a bit, but I only found some claims that indentation is considered "outdated" or decrepit. Which I find ridiculous. I personally prefer properly indented, paragraphed literature because it doesn't hurt my eyes to read. Trying to read e-books that haven't been properly formatted is like deciphering a language you're familiar with, but written backwards. You'll get through it, but you might end up losing a bit of your sanity in the process.

Of course, I use an indentation for each paragraph, and one line of space between paragraphs, so I don't know if that makes me weird. It's how I personally prefer it when I read, as I feel it makes it easier on the eyes during longer reading sessions.

Onnes
10-17-2014, 07:37 PM
I think the main issue with using vertical space to separate paragraphs is that it can be perceived as a greater separation between the paragraphs' content compared to indentation.


The tab key doesn't even work for web forms, so nothing on forums ever gets indented and if you're insistent on using some [indent] tags then it just ends up looking out of place.

It would really just be a matter of parsing a double linebreak as a linebreak plus an appropriate indentation when the text is parsed for markup.


Apparently, proper rules for this sort of thing do exist. Like, I read the other day that a habit I have, double-spacing after every sentence, is apparently incorrect and is a relic from typewriter days where all characters had the same column width. I'm not aware precisely what the rule is for indenting, but I'm guessing it's still correct to do so since pretty much all typesetting software these days does it automatically for you.

I just use LaTeX now, which does all that formatting crap for me.

My impression has always been that the story that double spacing is principally due to typewriters is incorrect. That is to say that while typewriters necessitated using two equal spaces, they did not invent the convention of inserting additional space after a full stop. Hence the double space is proper if the text will not be otherwised rendered to include additional space at the end of a sentence. (See http://www.heracliteanriver.com/?p=324.)
By default, LaTeX inserts additional whitespace between a sentence ending period--or whatever it thinks is one--and the next character.

Kaedal
10-17-2014, 08:11 PM
I think the main issue with using vertical space to separate paragraphs is that it can be perceived as a greater separation between the paragraphs' content compared to indentation.

Yeah, I think that's actually a pretty good argument against it. I think I might start changing that habit, as I have used vertical spacing to signify content seperation in the past, and I'd rather not run into any issues with it.

Gnarl
10-18-2014, 07:03 PM
I tell you what, I got the office 2013 and it nearly drove me nuts. Every time I would hit the period and then the enter to go to the next line, the dumb thing would add lots of extra lines as it thought I was doing a paragraph. It took me a week to figure out how to change that stupid thing in the format, and it was not where you would expect it to be. It also had an issue with the left justify, for some reason it would put the first line all the way to the left then every line after that was in 8 spaces. The spell check in it is even worse, just try to create fictional names, I dare you! God forbid that someone should ever do dialect in a different language... it always tried to correct the spelling to a word in English. boy.....

Manna
10-19-2014, 08:20 AM
try shift and enter at the same time

Frank LeRenard
10-19-2014, 09:53 PM
I tell you what, I got the office 2013 and it nearly drove me nuts. Every time I would hit the period and then the enter to go to the next line, the dumb thing would add lots of extra lines as it thought I was doing a paragraph. It took me a week to figure out how to change that stupid thing in the format, and it was not where you would expect it to be. It also had an issue with the left justify, for some reason it would put the first line all the way to the left then every line after that was in 8 spaces. The spell check in it is even worse, just try to create fictional names, I dare you! God forbid that someone should ever do dialect in a different language... it always tried to correct the spelling to a word in English. boy.....

This is precisely why I don't use Microsoft products. They think they know better than you do what you want to type, and trying to figure out how to turn off all the auto-correct nonsense is infuriating.

You could try LibreOffice. It's free to download. It does do a lot of the same auto-correct nonsense, but it's not nearly as bad, and it's much easier to turn it all off. I also know someone who uses a Chinese bootleg knockoff of Microsoft Office that he says is much more user-friendly than the real thing, but I can't recall what it was called.