Space Before/After a Paragraph: What’s the Increment???

The other day, a member of the Planet Quark community emailed me with a question about what strange logic may be behind the increments that QuarkXPress uses to increase and decrease the amount of “Space Before” and “Space After” a paragraph:

“I haven’t yet upgraded to 8 because I still use Xpert Type a lot and am a bit surprised to see that even 8.02 has not corrected a problem with the little ticker that you click to increase “Space Before” and “Space After” — instead of increasing or decreasing in whole numbers it goes in increments of something like 2.337. I haven’t seen mention of this on Planet Quark and wondered if you were aware of it and knew if they plan to fix this. It might be the only remaining obstacle to upgrading for me.”

And he’s right. The increments are truly baffling unless you’re working in millimeters. Then, you’ll notice that they increase and decrease in 1mm increments.

The apparent fix for this is for Quark to tie the Space Before/After increment to a common fraction of the current unit of measurement in the document (points, inches, picas, etc.) But that would mean that each time you click the little tickers, a different amount would be added, depending on which unit of measurement you were currently using. 

And THAT, in my opinion, would be much more confusing than asking users to figure out (one time) that it’s increasing and decreasing by exactly one millimeter.

So… there it stands. One click = one millimeter. If anyone has other ideas about this, I’d love to hear them in the Comments section below. Happy ticking!