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The tag formatting language can be used to specify all the paragraph attributes found in QuarkXPress.


It is important to remember that paragraph attributes apply to ... paragraphs. This means that there should be at the most one of each of the paragraph attributes tags described below in between each pair of paragraph marks (carriage returns). If the QuarkXPress encounters tag formatting where more than one of the any of the paragraph attributes tags occurs in between 2 carriage returns, then the current paragraph will use the attributes of the last paragraph attributes tags before the next return.


Alignment Tags


These tags set the paragraph alignment to left, center, right, or justified, respectively.


<*L>        Left-aligned paragraph


<*C>        Center-aligned paragraph


<*R>        Right-aligned paragraph


<*J>        Justified paragraph


<*F>        Force-justified paragraph


Basic Paragraph Settings Tag


Basic paragraph setting use the *p tag which controls a variety of paragraph settings. It has this general syntax (spaces appear here only for legibility and should not occur in actual formatting tags):


<*p(left indent,first indent,right indent,leading,space before,space after,

lock to grid,language)>


The parameters used with the *p tag are*:


left indentLeft margin (minimum 0 pt; maximum is the current text column width; default is the current paragraph's left indent setting).


first indentFirst line indent (minimum is the negative of the left margin setting; maximum is the current text column width; default is the current paragraph's first indent setting).


right indentRight margin (minimum 0 pt; maximum is the current text column width; default is the current paragraph's right indent setting).


leadingLeading (minimum 0 pt; maximum is the current text box height; default is the current paragraph's leading setting). Placing a plus sign before this parameter specifies incremental leading; making this parameter zero requests "auto leading".


space beforeSpace before the paragraph (minimum 0 pt; maximum is the current text box height; default is the current paragraph's space-before setting).


space afterSpace following the paragraph (minimum 0 pt; maximum is the current text box height; default is the current paragraph's space-after setting).


lock to gridA one-character code indicating whether or not to lock the lines of the current paragraph to the baseline grid (use G to lock to the grid, g to unlock from the grid; default is the current paragraph's lock-to-grid setting).


language(currently ignored by Q++Studio, the value will always be "US English").


* Note that the above list of parameters used with the *p tag are for QuarkXPress versions 8-2018. Additional parameters were added in QuarkXPress 2019 and then again in QuarkXPress 2020.


Drop Caps Tag (optional)


The *d tag allow you to create a drop cap:




This tag gives the current paragraph a drop cap consisting of the next chars characters (minimum 1; maximum 8; default 1), sized to extend for the specified number of lines of text (minimum 2; maximum 8; default 1). The default is, effectively, no drop caps.


"Keep" Tags (optional)


The *kn and *kt tags are used to set paragraph keep together and keep with next attributes:


<*kn onoff>

The *kn ("keep with next") tag specifies whether to keep at least part of the current paragraph with the next, across column breaks. Its parameter onoff must be either a 1 (keep with next) or a 0 (don't keep with next).


The *kt ("keep together") tag controls "widows" and "orphans" (roughly, lines in a paragraph left at the bottom or top of a text column).



The first form, <*kt(A)>, requests that all lines in a paragraph be kept together (i.e., appear in a single column).

<*kt(start lines,end lines)>

The second form specifies how the DTP may break the current paragraph over text columns. Start lines  specifies the minimum number of lines that should be kept together (without breaking) at the start of the paragraph (minimum 1; maximum 50; default 2), and end lines specifies how many lines should be kept together at the end of the paragraph (minimum 1; maximum 50; default 2).


The final form, <*kt0>, turns off all widow and orphan control.



Hyphenation and Justification Tag  (optional)


Q++Studio does not use hyphenation and justification tables for the moment (ie. the hyphenation and justification used are the ones set in the DTP and Q++Studio has no feature to modify these).


Tab Settings Tag


The *t tag sets tab stops using the following syntax:


<*t(position1,alignment1," fill1",position2,alignment2,"fill2",...)>


<*t()> turns off all tabs


One tab stop is set at each specified positionN, with alignment alignmentN, having a fill character of fillN., where N runs from 1 to the total number of tabs to be applied to the current paragraph.


Tab alignments are specified using the following codes: 0 means left align tab, 1 means centered tab, 2 means right align tab, 4 means decimal-aligned tab, 5 means comma-aligned tab, and "x" (where x is any character) means align on the specified character (e.g. "/" means align on slashes). Note that the quotation marks must be included. (3 is a deprecated code for decimal-aligned tabs.)


Fill characters have the form "1xx" or "2xy" (include the quotation marks), where the letters indicate the desired fill character(s). The 1 form specifies a single fill character (repeated twice), and the 2 form specifies two alternating fill characters. For example, "1.." specifies a period as the fill character, and "2. " specifies a fill composed of alternating periods and spaces (beginning with the former). Use "1 "—one followed by two space characters—to signify no fill (which is also the default if this parameter is omitted).


Rules Tags


The *ra and *rb tags specify a horizontal rule above and below the paragraph, respectively.


<*ra(thickness,style,"color",shade,from left,from right,offset)>

<*rb(thickness,style,"color",shade,from left,from right,offset)>

<*ra0> Turn off rule above

<*rb0> Turn off rule below


The *ra and *rb tags have the same parameters:



Vertical thickness of the rule (minimum 0 pt; maximum is the height of the current text box; default 1 pt).


A numeric code specifying the line style: 0 for solid, 1 for short dashes, 2 for long dashes, 3 for dot-dashes, 4 for dotted, 128 for double line (medium, medium), 129 for double line (thin, thick), 130 for double line (thick, thin), 131 for triple line (thin, thick, thin), 132 for triple line (thick, thin, thick), 133 for triple line (thin, thin, thin). (Default style is 0 (solid).)


Rule color (default Black) using either of the preset colors K (black), C (cyan), M (magenta), Y (yellow), and W (white) or one of the colors obtained from scanning.


Rule shade (minimum 0%; maximum 100%; default 100%).

from left

Indent from the left margin (minimum 0 pt; maximum is the width of the current text column; default 0 pt). If this value is prefixed with a T, then both from left and from right indents are "text-relative," i.e., relative to the left and right horizontal extents of the top (*ra) or bottom (*rb) text line.

from right

Indent from the right margin (minimum 0 pt; maximum is the width of the current text column; default 0 pt; see note immediately above about text-relative indents).


Offset from the text baseline (up is implied by a positive value), either in absolute terms (a distance; minimum is the negative of one-half the rule thickness; maximum is the height of the current text box; no default) or in relative terms (a percentage of the space between the previous (*ra) or next (*rb) paragraph and the current paragraph; minimum 0%; maximum 100%; default 0%).


The special tags <*ra0> and <*rb0> turn off the corresponding rule altogether.


See also: charactertags, header, style sheets definitions, text description.


Topic 177995, last updated on 06-Feb-2024