Setting Poetry, Flush Left, Center on Longest Line

Every so often I hear a cry for help on the subject of setting poetry. The request is usually something like “how do I set a poem on a page so that the longest line is centered.”

It’s easy to center all the lines on the page, but that’s rarely what publishers want. So how can you keep your text flush-left (left aligned, ragged right) and center that longest line?

My favorite trick is:

  1. Place the whole poem inside a text frame. Make sure no extra blank lines are in there. (The last line should not end with a return.)
  2. Double-click the lower-right text frame handle with the Selection tool. This resizes the frame to fit the text along the right and bottom edges.
  3. Cut the frame to the clipboard with the Selection tool.
  4. Paste the frame into a larger text frame (probably the main text frame that spans from margin to margin on the page) with the Type tool. This pastes the frame in as an inline object on its own paragraph.
  5. Click outside the poem frame, in the larger frame, and choose Horizontal Alignment to center it.

Once you do it two or three times, it goes much faster than it takes to read the above instructions.

Here it is in pictures… first the original text frame… View original post

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