Creating a Q&A document: How to enter line feed with Style → Next Style

Hello, I find the style → next style feature very useful when I write up a Q&A document (one line question in black, next line answer in red). I configured the style so that the question in black and the answer in red. The style → next style allows me to avoid having to change font colors as I am typing the Q&A.
My only problem is that the next style seems to force me to write the answer on one line only. As soon as I type enter, I switch to the question format. I tried Opt-Enter which does not solve the problem.
It’s a problem because the question is usually “one line ” (ie no line feed) but answer is often multi line (sometimes lists).
thanks in advance for your time and help

I’m assuming that “Next” for the Question Paragraph Style is Answer Style, and “Next” for the Answer Paragraph Style is “Question”.

In that case, after entering a Question Paragraph, pressing enter will give you an empty Paragraph styled as Answer. Then when, as you say, you press Enter in the Answer, then an empty Question Paragraph is entered.

While in Answer (or Question) paragraph you could press CONTROL-Enter to get a new line inside that same paragraph and it would be styled as Answer (or Question in that paragraph). I think that is what you attempted when pressing OPT-Enter, but that doesn’t do the same as CONTROL-Enter for a new line.

Or, you change the “Next” in Answer to be “Answer” so that any new paragraph after is still styled as Answer. Then when you run out of Answer paragraphs and want to enter a new question, just change that paragraph to Answer Style.

There are admittedly a lot of words above. It’s not as complicated as that. But trying to be exact.

It is worth noting that inserting a line feed inside of a paragraph is very different from having two adjacent paragraphs. It may mess up formatting down the road, particularly where whitespace formatting such as indents or spacing may be used to signify paragraph boundaries.

Generally it is better thought of as a tool for adding lines within a singular block concept, like a list, address block or verse, where the end result wouldn’t really be thought of as a traditional paragraph, let alone two adjacent paragraphs.

You do mention there being lists though, and so for lists it would be the right sort of tool.

Something to consider: if the problem is that answers are often multi-line, then I would question whether setting the next-style to Question rather than Answer is the right move? To me it seems if there is optimisation to be done, it is best done there.

But I suppose if you’re looking for a way to keep this strict alternating style approach no matter what, you could employ some shorthand technique, like typing in a pilcrow ¶ and then later, when you’re done transcribing, run a search and replace. Since replacing characters with line breaks doesn’t constitute “pressing return”, it won’t change the style for the second half (or more) of the original paragraph.

That’s interesting. Never heard of this nor have noticed a problem with adding new lines inside paragraphs. I can see how for those who don’t pay attention to the “invisible” characters could get confused; but, could you elaborate on why new lines are not a good idea and if so, why then is CTRL-Enter provided? Or am I mis-understanding what you are saying?

For example, try setting your paragraph formatting to have a first-line indent, and then insert a line break. The second “paragraph” won’t have an indent, because it isn’t technically the first line in the (technically speaking) paragraph. So if you don’t write with formatting that makes that obvious, but compile that way or send it along to be formatted by someone else, then it can be the sort of layout problem you are not aware of until it is in print.

It’s enough of an issue that it caused numerous “bug reports” for some time, before it was realised that Shift-Enter was way too easy to press on accident, and the shortcut for adding them was made more difficult to hit. :slight_smile:

I suppose if it is just a casually formatted document though, it doesn’t matter too much what you do, but even so it’s still good to know what is being done, so if weird things happen down the line you know what tell-tales to look for with invisible characters displayed.

Gosh. Never in a million years would I think of the above as a “bug”. It makes perfect sense that a new line that is not a “first line” would not be indented if the paragraph set for for first line indent. Pity that so many apparently think that. I keep “invisibles” on all the time so I’m not fooled by that very often. Other things fool me, of course! :wink:

I would like to thank you both for your comments.

I think that if it is a question of a simple summary of a meeting, I would choose RMS’s Ctrl-Enter approach, and for a longer document AmberV’s approach.

thanks again very much