Formatting line breaks in rich text documents

I need to be able to format a multi-stanza poem in a document I am writing in DTP. I would like to be able to set the spacing between stanzas using the “space before” and “after paragraph” settings in the “spacing menu” in the text editor. This would mean treating each stanza as a paragraph, which I thought I accomplished by hitting shift+enter (line break) at the end of each line in the stanza, except the last one, at the end of which I hit just enter (paragraph break). These are the commands I am used to from every word processing software I have ever used.

However, when I try to set paragraph spacing using the spacing menu, the editor seems to be treating each line as if it were a separate paragraph. Is there a way to do what I want in the DTP text editor?


DEVONthink uses the text engine of macOS like e.g. TextEdit, a paragraph is basically a block of text without any line breaks. Shift-Enter doesn’t make a difference unfortunately.

  1. Select a line of text
  2. Adjust the spacing for that line in the Ruler: Spacing > Other
  3. With that formatted line selected, click in the Ruler: Styles > Other
  4. Select “Document Styles” in the panel that opens, then click “Add to Favorites”
  5. In the next panel, save the favorite (e.g., “Space Before and After”)

From that point, for lines you want to use this Space Before and After style you created, chose those lines and then choose that style in the ruler’s Styles dropdown list.

The style you created here will also be available in TextEdit and any other macOS app that uses Apple’s TextEdit engine.

Styles can also be given global keyboard shortcuts. Open System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts and in the All Applications section create a short cut whose name is “Space Before and After” (or whatever you called the style) and give it a shortcut. From that point, just use the shortcut on selected text. (YMMV – sometimes Mojave refuses to recognize global shortcuts – it’s an Apple bug.)

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Thanks, korm, that’s very helpful. It’s odd, though, that the DTP editor seems to recognize line breaks (shift+enter) created in other programs. Again, thanks.