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I have a medium which does not have line breaks, and a few paragraphs of text. How can I separate the paragraphs from each other visually, clearly? I additionally cannot add information which isn't either the content or this paragraph separator, so the separator must be intuitively understood by the reader.

This is the best I've got so far:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer congue laoreet sapien eu sollicitudin. Vestibulum et iaculis dui, nec elementum enim. Suspendisse ultrices ipsum vitae neque auctor, ac ullamcorper neque molestie.    ***    In molestie scelerisque lectus. Maecenas gravida odio massa, ut sollicitudin enim suscipit ut. Duis vehicula auctor orci in sagittis. Proin vitae nulla vel eros gravida elementum ut vitae nisl. Vivamus gravida dignissim metus a ullamcorper. Pellentesque mattis odio felis, eget malesuada dolor ullamcorper ornare.    ***    Aliquam quis nunc neque. Donec in hendrerit ipsum. Phasellus augue nisi, vulputate non posuere at, suscipit nec dolor. Praesent tristique ullamcorper sapien facilisis mattis. Duis pharetra interdum sagittis. Curabitur varius eget elit sit amet suscipit. Vestibulum leo velit, tempus eget tellus ut, ultricies vestibulum odio.

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To force SE to put in those spaces you need to use the non-breaking space HTML character, which I've done for you. –  Lauren Ipsum Jun 21 '13 at 10:05
    
I've seen people use / or | to indicate line breaks in poetry, when people don't want to take up space with adding all the line breaks, but if they omit them it would ruin the poem. –  Tannalein Jun 21 '13 at 14:36
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3 Answers 3

Frankly, I do sort of like the way the asterisks and spaces look. You could also do the same with bullets or pluses.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer congue laoreet sapien eu sollicitudin. Vestibulum et iaculis dui, nec elementum enim. Suspendisse ultrices ipsum vitae neque auctor, ac ullamcorper neque molestie.  •   In molestie scelerisque lectus. Maecenas gravida odio massa, ut sollicitudin enim suscipit ut. Duis vehicula auctor orci in sagittis. Proin vitae nulla vel eros gravida elementum ut vitae nisl. Vivamus gravida dignissim metus a ullamcorper. Pellentesque mattis odio felis, eget malesuada dolor ullamcorper ornare.  +  Aliquam quis nunc neque. Donec in hendrerit ipsum. Phasellus augue nisi, vulputate non posuere at, suscipit nec dolor. Praesent tristique ullamcorper sapien facilisis mattis. Duis pharetra interdum sagittis. Curabitur varius eget elit sit amet suscipit. Vestibulum leo velit, tempus eget tellus ut, ultricies vestibulum odio.

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Jwpat7's ¶ suggestion is the right answer for "marking the paragraph breaks clearly" when it's intended for further processing, e.g. editing or parsing. If it's intended directly "for human consumption" - eg. text reader, "ticker" style LED scroller, a banner tape, and the likes, the approach for visual media is at least two tabulators worth of blank space:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer congue laoreet sapien eu sollicitudin. Vestibulum et iaculis dui, nec elementum enim. Suspendisse ultrices ipsum vitae neque auctor, ac ullamcorper neque molestie.                In molestie scelerisque lectus. Maecenas gravida odio massa, ut sollicitudin enim suscipit ut. Duis vehicula auctor orci in sagittis. Proin vitae nulla vel eros gravida elementum ut vitae nisl. Vivamus gravida dignissim metus a ullamcorper. Pellentesque mattis odio felis, eget malesuada dolor ullamcorper ornare.                Aliquam quis nunc neque. Donec in hendrerit ipsum. Phasellus augue nisi, vulputate non posuere at, suscipit nec dolor. Praesent tristique ullamcorper sapien facilisis mattis. Duis pharetra interdum sagittis. Curabitur varius eget elit sit amet suscipit. Vestibulum leo velit, tempus eget tellus ut, ultricies vestibulum odio. 

Depending on width of the space (scalable font etc) that converts to 8 to 16 spaces.

If your medium doesn't allow for consecutive spaces, use any other least obtrusive character, e.g. full stop . . . . . or middot · · · · · ·

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It's a fair size text area. The only problem is the lack of line breaks. It's for human visual consumption. –  Core Xii Jun 21 '13 at 12:52
    
@CoreXii: Does it do word wrap? (split on spaces and not in the middle of the word). If so, use a row of _ underlines, like this: ___________________________________________________________________________________ Make it only slightly shorter than the width of the textarea and it will nicely introduce a forced line break and separate the paragraphs. –  SF. Jun 21 '13 at 14:14
    
A good thought, but unfortunately the size of the area is variable. –  Core Xii Jun 21 '13 at 15:07
    
Whitespace alone doesn't work because the gap may end up at the end of a last line in a paragraph, which makes it less noticeable (as words being wrapped create gaps too). Some nonwhitespace characters are definitely needed. –  Core Xii Jun 22 '13 at 9:36
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For works in a medium where you can't use line breaks to separate paragraphs, consider putting a pilcrow (or paragraph mark, or paragraph sign, ) between paragraphs. Also consider using a bullet (eg, •) between paragraphs, or perhaps a construction like -)(- between them. If you use something other than a pilcrow or bullet or some dingbat between paragraphs, it would be reasonable to mention at the outset of the work how you are going to divide one paragraph from the next.

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I've seen Wired magazine do this when a large intro section has multiple paragraphs. –  Lauren Ipsum Jun 21 '13 at 10:06
    
A pilcrow beset by single spaces on each side doesn't separate them clearly enough visually. I also cannot introduce the convention at the outset, it has to be intuitively understood without explanation. –  Core Xii Jun 21 '13 at 12:49
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