Thursday, April 12, 2007

Enter is not Return

I was reminded of this today by a note from a training client (thanks Laurie!): don't get the Return and Enter keys on the keyboard mixed up. They are not interchangeable in InDesign and QuarkXPress. Here's why:

When you are typing text in either program, the Return key starts a new paragraph. Hitting the Enter key (on the numeric keypad) inserts a Column Break in InDesign and QuarkXPress, which forces the text that follows to jump to the top of the next column in a multi-column text box, or to flow out of the box if it is a single-column text box.

So if you accidentally, or out of habit, press the Enter key when you should press the Return key, your text may "disappear", jumping to an unexpected location.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you do if you only have enter keys?

Keith Gilbert said...

To clarify: If your keyboard has two "Enter" keys, one above the Shift key and the other by the numeric keypad, then the main Enter key by the Shift key acts as a paragraph return, and the Enter key by the numeric keypad inserts a column break. If you have a keyboard without a numeric keypad, then Function (Fn) + Enter or Return inserts the column break.

Anonymous said...

Fn Enter worked! Finally! I can stop copying and pasting a carriage return! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have inserted column break (Enter) to split half a table at desired row in InDesign CS3. Minutes later I wanted to undo this but couldn't find the column break special character that usualy appears, to delete it. I even tried with find/replace, but with no luck. Any suggestions?

Keith Gilbert said...

When you press the "Enter" key with the cursor in a table, the table does indeed "break" to the next column or frame, but it doesn't actually insert a break "character" in this case. Instead, it sets the attribute of the current row to start the row "In Next Text Column." To undo the break, place your cursor in the row that appears at the top of the column or page, and choose Table > Cell Options > Rows and Columns, and change the "Keep Options" to "Start Row: Anywhere."

Marko Drpić said...

This works perfectly. Thank you for you answer.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY, I have searched and searched for an answer to why my text kept getting overset!!
Why can't Adobe make this little detail clear. Would have saved a lot of anger, frustration, and TIME.
THANK YOU

Anonymous said...

I have just installed InDesign CS4 on my PC and usual functions like the return/enter key are not working?! Is there some setting I need to save so that the enter key works as a carriage return to start a new line in text? Help! Thanks..

Anonymous said...

FN and the Enter key (not the one on the number pad) will work

Anonymous said...

Hi, if I need to generate a column break command in xml how would this be written?

Keith Gilbert said...

I don't think an InDesign column break can be coded in XML. I think you would need to put some sort of unique character string in the XML data, and then do a find/change after the XML is import to change the unique character string to a column break. Or, this could be probably automated with XML Rules Scripting.

Anonymous said...

I'm using CS2 and am trying to find/replace two paragraph returns with one frame break. Each time the result places the actual characters ^R instead of a true frame break.

Keith Gilbert said...

If I recall correctly, I don't think CS2 allows you to find/change a frame break character. This feature was introduced in CS3.

mypress said...

When I pressed 'enter' the text used to dissappear. I thought my version of Indesign CS3 is corrupt and spent quite a few months trying to find the fix. Finally, I have found the fix here. Thanks anonymous now when I press fn+Enter the text doesn't dissappear.

Marc said...

I have a multi column table design spread across a few pages in CS3 and I import XML data to populate it. I'm stuck, however on how I can insert a column break character using find/change on a string in the XML. If I create a new tag in the middle of the table (between cells) It messes up the layout when I import it. When I perform the coloumn break, it breaks up the table correctly but the coloumn remains messed up. Any ideas?

Tim said...

I'm using QuarkXPress 8 on my laptop. There is no enter key on this keyboard. Is there an alternate way of inserting the invisible page break character?

Keith Gilbert said...

@Tim: Most laptops have an alternate way to access an "enter" keystroke, often "Fn"-return.

Vici said...

oh you beautiful beautiful blog post I love you you have just saved me a major headache - Fn and enter (above shift key) works now. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank god, a useful tip, but why cant you find these tips within QuarkExpress help?

But Thank you!!!