STYLE support for run-in (aka in-line) headings
Currently there is no Style setting that can produce a run-in heading. This is a very widely used style in documents using more than 2-3 heading levels, and I have needed it for years now.
NOTE: Using Nested Styles does not fulfill the need for run-in headings. Using a nested style is a work-around based on character styles, and this technique does not allow a heading to be "promoted" or redesigned!
A quick solution:
Create a new Style setting checkbox to be used by the run-in heading style: "Run-in". When checked, the paragraph is given 0 leading, and its total length from the left margin is saved globally as "lastLineLength" or some such. The user can append a fixed-space character to the end of the heading text to control the spacing before the next paragraph's text begins.
Create a new Style setting checkbox to be used by Body styles: "Allow run-in heads". When checked, the first line indent setting is ignored, and the effective first line indent is set to the global lastLineLength value.
The type size and Space Before of the heading would also automatically override the settings of the following paragraph.
When a run-in heading is actually a real heading, then the user can promote this heading to one that is formatted differently. With nested styles, that can't be done because the heading text is embedded in a paragraph of some other style.
Please bring InDesign up to date by implementing real run-in Paragraph Styles. Numerous professional style guides will finally be much easier to support.
Tragic, but probably true.
I first encountered a solid implementation for run-in headings in Ami Pro (later Lotus Word Pro, and then butchered beyond all recognition as IBM Lotus Word Pro for Teams). It was even possible in Lotus Manuscript, a DOS-based super document designer with a graphical "preview" mode, before we settled in the land of GUI. It may even be possible in PageMaker or FrameMaker (a weird pair of not-quite-equivalent tools if ever there was one).
Mainly, though, it's a STANDARD design style, as Andy points out, that's been around since books. Why it's not supported -- except by a clumsy, inflexible work-around -- is proof that the InDesign product management isn't really dedicated to the full possibilities of digital document design.
Andy MacBride commented
FrameMaker did this many years ago (I haven't used Frame for 15+ years), so it's not like Adobe doesn't know this is out there. I suspect Allen is right; it's not a request understood by many users. If it was built, I think some people would come. But Adobe is probably looking at the demand and concluding it's not worth the engineering time.
Here's a simple example (attached). The problem is that CHARACTER STYLES have been used, instead of Paragraph Styles. As a result, the design is inflexible, and you can't globally change these run-in headings into separate headings.
I have to conclude that this request either isn't well understood by other users, or it's so old that nobody ever sees it.
A paragraph style for a HEADING should provide complete control to reproduce ALL COMMONLY USED HEADING STYLES in books and magazines.
InDesign does a great job on most styles, but it doesn't allow a heading ON THE SAME LINE as the paragraph that follows. This is very widely used in all sorts of publications. With InDesign, you can FAKE it, but when the heading needs to be changed to a different style, it can't be done with styles! This is because the run-in APPEARANCE can't be achieved with a paragraph style.
(The work-around is to use nested styles, but that means the "heading" is not a separate paragraph with its own style, so it can't be changed to another style.)
This missing functionality prevents documents from fully using Styles for all design elements. A big nuisance, and a big obstacle to making best use of InDesign.
Why not provide support for this? It is a very standard type of heading, and the only way to do it in InDesign is to fake it by pasting the heading text into the following paragraph. And this means you can't change the heading style. It completely defeats the purpose of stylesheets!
Fred Gratzon commented
This is a great improvement. InDesign should go for it.
Sure, they can put a man on the moon, but they can't create a control for run-in headings? Now is the time!
Jay Hammersmith commented
Please, oh please, add some settings that will permit us to create REAL run-in headings!
I can't believe there is still no way to make run-in headings!
Sure, I can fake them, but not as actual headings. Anonymous's suggested solution would work great!
I used to use settings just like what he's saying back in Lotus's AmiPro word processor. It seems incredible that InDesign can't do this.