How many paragraph stacks?

I have a feeling that there may be more than one answer to this query.
I’m working on a site for a writing group and, by its very nature, there are some long text pages.
Should I use just one paragraph stack for the full page or break it down into one paragraph per stack? I cannot foresee any changes in the typography aspect of the paragraphs but maybe I’m missing something.
Any suggestions please?

I don’t know if there is a definitive answer on this but I encountered a similar situation myself recently and opted just to have a single paragraph stack. It would seem logical that this will cut down on both page coding and time building the page.

Previously I had a single column stack for each written paragraph inside a paragraph stack with precise padding between each one but a simple tap on the return key between written paragraphs produces the same result on the page with a lot less effort.

As I said Ashley, there is probably more than one answer here. I am by no means a typographer but I really do appreciate nice looking text both on screen and on paper. With most typefaces a return space seems to give just that little bit too much paragraph spacing but this could be a matter of taste.
Let’s wait and see if there are any more responses but thank you for your comments.

I was admittedly looking at a page that wasn’t very important and receives few visitors. On my main pages I tend to place paragraphs in single columns but there are other factors involved such as images and general page layout to consider. Recently I’ve been looking at ways to cut down on the number of stacks for the sake of page coding efficiency.

If you want top-notch control over your paragraphs, then take a look at Paragraph Pro from Big White Duck. It’s a monster of a stack and available as donationware.


Thank you for your feedback Rob. I have Paragraph Pro and agree with you on its power. Would you use it for one paragraph per stack or one stack for the whole page please?
The more I think about this the more I agree with Ashley that there is no definitive answer. I’m just trying to get some kind of “majority” opinion. At the end of the day I just hope that visitors will stay with the pages I produce. The more I can do to encourage this the better. It’s a bit of the old adage, you can’t tell a book by its cover but if you don’t want to read what’s in it then the book is pointless.
Thank you again.

Always one paragraph per paragraph stack Paragraphs shouldn’t have carriage returns in them.

Would the columnist stack from joe workman be an option if you are doing a lot of text?

I seem to remember that @tav had strong and well thought out opinions on this - maybe it was mentioned in the old Google Group? I can’t track it down but maybe he’d come along and summarise for us.

Rightly or wrongly I have always believed webdeer’s point about not having carriage returns after paragraphs. Just had a quick look at the columnist stack and it may have possibilities. Much depends there on how I get on with mastering FontPro when the new, shortly to be released, videos appear.
You mentioned both BWD and Tav Rob and I have much to thank them for. The donationware has helped me considerably and Tav has been most supportive. I am seventy-eight and almost housebound through illness. The computer and websites keep me going. My good lady is also very supportive.
Sincere thanks to you all for your comments - I’ll let you know how I proceed.
Take care,

If you have a very long text that you may need to edit from time to time, I would definitely say use one paragraph stack for the entire text. I virtually always use one paragraph stack for lengthy texts. If I need to cut and paste the text into Word to do some edits, I only have to cut and paste once. If every paragraph is a new stack it would be a ludicrously long task.

The only hard and fast rule in typography has to do with not using two spaces between sentences. Everything else is up for grabs, with the eye always being the ultimate judge. If you can make it look correct with one paragraph stack, and I bet you can, that is how I would go.

Terry Vosbein

Good one Terry and thank you.
Had a sleepless night so have been playing around with this.
Thankfully, I should not need to edit the bulk of my pages as they are other people’s stories or poems.
I’ve ended up using Paragraph Pro with one paragraph per stack. I made this easier by creating a partial from the first paragraph and then just pasting the following paragraphs into the partial.
I’ve also changed the font from the theme default to Source Sans Pro and played around with line, paragraph, word and letter spacing. To my untrained eye it doesn’t look too bad
It seems to have worked but I still want to wait and see what Font Pro has to offer once I know how to employ it.
If any of you care to take a look it is all at This is a temporary home until it’s completed.
The last item on the top bar menu is Sample. This is my new version of the original which can be accessed via the left arrow on the Sample page. A right arrow on the original will bring you back to Sample.
Please feel free to comment or criticise as you wish. I’m far too old to take offence and always willing to learn.
My thanks for all your comments. Very much appreciated.

Tav created a great post here on this topic recently.

That’s a great article.
Thankfully, I think I’ve complied with most of it.