Wulf's Webden

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Hard and Soft Returns


This morning, I’m working on creating large print lyric sheets for visually impaired people in our congregation. It is fairly time-consuming but, once I’ve made sure the results are clear and readable for the people who need them, I will try and find ways to speed things up. For example, having a library of prepared songs, like I do with chord sheets and other resources for the musicians, would mean just pulling a set rather than starting from scratch each time.

I’m using a font called Tiresias LP, an Open Source font with a heavy weight and good clarity, recommended by the Torch Trust, a charity that seeks to help churches provide well for their VIPs (visually impaired persons). With all the text looking bold, how do I break up the block of text into sensible sections. Vertical spacing is recommended but, if I just put a standard return at the end of every line, the songs typically stretch over a single page, creating other issues.

The solution is to use something called soft returns, a directly inserted equivalent of the space between lines in a paragraph rather than the spacing after a paragraph. In MS Word, these can be inserted manually using the Shift-Return keyboard combination. What though if I am starting with a text that already has the hard returns built in? The Find and Replace (Ctrl-H) tool comes in handy. You can search for the hard returns with the character combination ^p and replace them with ^l (lower case L). While the dialog box is open Alt-F will find the next occurrence of the search term and Alt-R will replace it.

I’m not sure if this information will help anyone else but it will assist me when I do another round of songs next week.

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