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I'm formatting a play using Pages on macOS. I cannot figure out how to get character names to be associated with their dialogue. I'm formatting like

[centered] JOHN [\centered]
Yes, that’s me.

But I constantly get orphaned character names because the newline after the character name causes the two things to be treated as separate paragraphs. It looks super unprofessional.

I'm using Pages specifically, but also could switch to Word if this is impossible in Pages but possible in Word.

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  • My guess is Word is not what you want. Have you looked for screenwriter programs that you might use? scriptreaderpro.com/free-screenwriting-software – DPT Jan 15 at 23:04
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    I’ve looked at those a little, but it’s not a screenplay, so i don’t want or need the strict screenplay format. And because play workshopping involves editing the play so frequently, I don’t want to use non-standard file formats/editing software. – Clayton McCray Jan 16 at 5:41
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I could do this in Word very easily -- Create a Style called "Character Name" Indicate that the style "Dialogue" is what follows next. (that's on the first area of the create-a-style dialogue). Then in the PARAGRAPHS section of that Character Name Style, the second/advanced tab, choose "Keep-with-next"

I do this to keep my H4s with my body-paragraph text.

I do most of my editing in drafts-view, because it's easy to see in the left pane which template is being used, and to remember to make changes via Style, not direct-formatting.

If most of what you write are plays, then you can add these Styles to your Normal.dotm template -- if not, save a template (File, Save-As, choose "file-type as .dotx or .dotm, then name it) for all playwriting styles.


I will be editing this post to add screenshots throughout the day (3/21), but I wanted to throw the quick-answer out there. -- April

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