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Here are some alternative ways of differentiating our paragraphs, alternatives to the First-line indent or Paragraph Spacing. The first of those is to use a pilcrow, or other character, to differentiate your paragraphs, and you can see in this case, I have made that pilcrow character in red. If I turn on my Guides we can see I have applied an em space either side of it. And this is very economical in terms of space usage, and it creates a nice tidy block of text.
For a very continuous reading it would make the text rather taxing to read, so if you're going to use this approach use it sparingly. The pilcrow character, by the way, you can get by holding down the Option, or Alt key, and pressing 7. The second approach is to have your paragraphs be Flush left, i.e. dispense with the First-line indent and Paragraph Spacing altogether, obviously very space efficient, creates a nice straight edge on the left-hand side. If you dislike the rag that our first-line indent will create on your left-hand column edge then perhaps this approach will appeal to you.
The problem with this is that it makes it difficult for the reader to discern where one paragraph ends and the next one begins. And we can see that if I turn on the Guides, right here this paragraph ends as indicated by the hidden character and here is the beginning of next paragraph, but we can't really easily tell that without the aid of a First-line indent or Paragraph Spacing. The third approach is to use an Outdent. Rather than indent the first line of a paragraph we can go in the opposite direction, and this is achieved through applying an indent to the paragraph.
In this case, I have applied 18 points and then applying a negative first-line indent of the same amount, so in this case -18 points. So there we have three different alternatives to either the First-line indent or Paragraph Spacing.
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