Simple Formatting Question

I am using the block quote style in my document. I’d like to have a blank line before and after the block quote. However, if I leave a blank line in the editor, then when I compile it for word, I get the symbol inserted to indicate a new scene of the chapter. I would like the scene separators when I leave blank lines… except when doing block quotes…

How can I get a blank line before and after my block quote without signaling to the compiler that it is a new scene?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.


Matters of aesthetic spacing should be handled with paragraph padding, rather than inserting empty paragraphs into the document. Try this:

  1. Put your cursor into the block qoute.
  2. Use the Format ▸ Paragraph ▸ Line and Paragraph Spacing... menu command.

As you adjust the before & after paragraph spacing values, toward the bottom of the dialogue, you will be able to preview the result in the main editor. Once you get a look that you like, confirm your settings, and then update your Style. All of your block quotes should update to the new look.

There is one caveat to this, and that is that unlike more complex style systems, such as those found in word processors, it does not have a concept of contiguous formatting vs “endcap” formatting. You can’t say, add space to the beginning of a sequence of block quote paragraphs, but not in between each block quote paragraph, if that makes sense.

Consequently, you may find it best to save this layout tweak for after you compile. With the text fully styled, it would be a simple matter to implement the padding in a way that works well with multi-paragraph quotes, in Word or LibreOffice.

Of course, if you only have single-paragraph quotes, you can skip that.

And I suppose another approach could be having two additional styles: “Block Quote - Start” and “Block Quote - End”, with the use of regular “Block Quote” for middle paragraphs. The “Start” style would pad before the paragraph and the “End” style would pad after. Honestly some people use that approach in regular word processors as well.

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Couldn’t you get between-block-quote spacing with linefeeds? Reads as a single paragraph during processing, but has some manually added tween linespacing.

I would hesitate to suggest that as a solution for “formatting” a sequence of paragraphs, since line breaks do not technically create new paragraphs—as you note. Rather, they add new lines within one single paragraph. They are thus better for unmarked lists, multi-line headings, address blocks, verse and other such things that have multi-line constructs within what we would conceptualise as a singular block.

Four paragraphs in a quotation would not fit that description in any sense, and having it considered as one single paragraph across the board, in both a formatting and statistics sense, could potentially become problematic. For instance, what if the publisher gets back and asks for APA style block quotes, where subsequent paragraphs are first-line indented within the block, rather than spaced vertically. With a properly styled sequence of paragraphs that wouldn’t be a big deal to change. It would be quite a lot of work to fix that if one used the illusion of paragraphs within a paragraph, though.

Thank you so much. This is a very helpful response!! I appreciate the time you took to respond!