How to get spacing right after a caption.

I have set the styles of my Text Body as I like (0 pt before, 12 after), except I ran into an issue. I have inserted a Text Box and put a caption below it. The next paragraph is too close to the words in the caption and I can’t figure out how to get them equal. I have attached an image which has This Space in red to show which two spaces I would like to match. I have the Text Box anchored As Character, but I still don’t see how to get the spaces to match.


Are you sure you inserted a text box? The standard method is to insert a frame. A frame can receive a caption with Insert>Caption, creating a combined frame which can be moved and arranged at will. Frames can be assigned a frame style simplifying formatting.

As a general rule, never use text boxes (and other controls) outside forms. Flow properties of controls are radically different from those of frames which are designed to be part of text flow.

Yes, I inserted a text box. I will have to look into frames, as I have not used them before. What is meant by saying a text box is a control?

A “control” is a button, a check box, a radio button, a slider, a drop-down menu, a text entry box, … in short a UI widget with which you can build a form or a “dialog”. These widgets are positioned in the page without any relation with the text. As a consequence, it is safer to have them in a page without text so that you have no interference with text. These conflicts are very difficult to manage.

In frames, wrap mode modifies text flow so that it can avoid in various ways the frame. Though not immediate, it offers versatile relations and positioning. And the frame will follow the paragraph it is attached to if editing deletes or ads text before it.


So I finally got around to trying it and a frame works pretty well except the caption is INSIDE the box rather than outside! That is not good.

What do you mean inside/outside? When you Insert>Caption, you get two frames: the inner one for the target object (image, text frame, …) and the outer one containing the caption and the inner frame. You can create a border either on the inner frame (enclosing only the image, text frame, …) or on the outer frame (enclosing everything).

I only see one frame. When I click on it I get the drag handles but only one set. How would I set the properties such as border on each one separately if I can’t select one of them.

What does Navigator show? When you have difficulty clicking on an object, go to the Navigator and double-click on a name to select the object. Much easier if you rename the objects with descriptive names.

See the image at the link below:

Thanks to the image provided in the last comment (as of today) in the question, I better understand the need.

Your frame is a text frame. I was misled by the initial screenshot, thinking the frame contained an image, which effectively creates two nested frames.

You have two options.

#Playing with paragraph style properties

Text inside a frame is formatted by Frame Contents paragraph style unless you forced another paragraph style. Caption is formatted by Text which is another paragraph style. There is therefore no interference between the entities.

Customise Frame Contents with a right-click on its name (in the side stylepane) and Modify.

In the Borders tab, create the border with Properties Merge with next paragraph (which groups all consecutive identically styled paragraphs as a whole border-wise) and use Padding to set the distance between text and border.

The other parameters of the paragraph style, notably Indents & Spacing allow you to position the paragraph between the margins and consequently the border.

Of course, remove the border around the frame.

#Creating a nested frame

In case your text is formatted according to several paragraph styles, it is nearly impossible to get a unified border around all paragraph. In this case, proceed differently.

  • Create the frame and add the caption. Eventually, delete the empty paragraph before the caption.
  • Add a frame anchored to the caption.
  • Enter your text inside the inner frame.
  • Adjust dimensions and properties of both frames until you’re satisfied.
  • Add a border only to the inner frame.

This procedure is less user-friendly than the first one and requires more manual adjustment unless you decide for fixed frame dimensions (at least width) which can be stored into a frame style.

Tip: frame styles are not as “reactive” as the other styles. To see the effect of a change, you need sometimes (but not always) to assign another style to the frame and reassign the original style.

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Ok. This seems like a LOT of trouble compared to doing what I did, which is to simply use text boxes. I see no advantage to doing all that. Thanks for the answer though. It may be handy as a reference.

If you want to head into trouble, use text boxes. Text boxes don’t integrate in the document flow. They are just courtesy graphic decorations. They are even inferior to their counterpart in Draw. Always remember they are graphic object (even if they contain text) and text inside cannot be formatted as thoroughly as elsewhere.

Before using frames, examine your document structure to see if borders around paragraphs are sufficient. The next more complicated item is frame but not that much if you apply style frames. Anyway, avoid as much as you can graphic additions (I mean graphic shapes not images) in a text document. They have no the same nature and are not managed seamlessly.

I will answer this, since I figured it out. Even though I had the Text Box anchored As Character, the Caption was still anchored To Paragraph. Once I set the caption to anchor As Character the spacing aligned.


Figure captions are standard. I think it delineates the figure description to the readers eye much more neatly than leaving it out.