I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
Line Breaks & Spaces: How to Format Instagram Captions for Visibility
While Instagram continues to be an extremely valuable platform for influencers and brands, it’s becoming more saturated by the day and harder to stand out from the crowd. Just having incredible images is no longer enough – you should be formatting your captions and utilizing line breaks to ensure every post (and bio) looks great.
Why you should format your Instagram captions
Instagram is a visual platform and a solid block of unformatted text isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing. Using line breaks (and skipping lines) not only makes your Instagram captions easier to read, but also more attractive to scrolling followers.
When it comes to Instagram, no matter how much you fight to beat Instagram’s newest algorithm, one important metric always stays the same: the more engagement you have, the better off you and your brand are.
Related: 30 Things to Post on Instagram
In this post, we’re going to explore how to format your Instagram captions on both mobile and desktop to ensure they stand out against the competition – let’s get started!
How to add line breaks on mobile
Instagram’s bread and butter is its mobile app so it makes sense that most users only care about the formatting they can do with their phone. The good news is that it’s 100% possible to edit and format captions from your device, it will just take a bit more work than it would via desktop.
You’ve got two options:
Option one: Use symbols or emojis
A creative and easy way to make line breaks is by using symbols or emojis. For this method, you simply type your photo’s caption and use periods, dashes, emojis, etc. to create line breaks which are visible in the caption.
Option two: Add and remove magical brackets
If you’re looking to skip lines entirely without leaving a trace then you’re going to be relying on brackets and a lot of spaces. To start, type your photo’s caption and then copy and paste brackets with spaces between, like this [ ], in the spots where you want line breaks. Remove the bracket symbols and the spaces should remain to create your line breaks.
You can also accomplish this through your Notes app which we’ll cover in the next section.
How to add line breaks on desktop
Let’s be honest, as good as we’re getting at typing on our phones, it’s still way faster to type on a keyboard, especially if we keep changing our minds about what to say.
If you’re someone that likes to create Instagram captions on your computer you have a few options on how best to approach it.
Option one: Notes or other note-taking apps
The best way to create Instagram captions with line breaks from your computer is through Notes (if you use an iPhone) or another note-taking app like Evernote that syncs with your devices.
The benefit of using an app like this is the syncing capability – whatever you type on your computer is immediately available on your phone (and vice versa) allowing you to create awesome captions in far less time than it would take you on your phone.
To start, open up the Notes app and type your caption exactly as you would like it to appear on Instagram. To ensure good looking captions, make sure not to have any extra spaces before line breaks and create your line breaks directly after punctuation.
Once your Notes app has updated on your phone, copy and paste the caption into Instagram and double check that everything looks good.
Option two: Make Instagram think you’re on mobile
It’s possible to trick your computer to behave as if you’re on mobile by changing your user agent. You can do this manually, but if it isn’t something you’re already familiar with, we recommend using an add-on for your browser such as User-Agent Switcher.
You can also make Instagram think you’re on mobile by using an emulator which replicates the functions of a mobile device. Keep in mind this method is better suited for app developers than casual users but if you’re curious you can check out iOS Simulator for iPhone or Android Studio or BlueStacks for Android.
Apps and websites to help you format Instagram captions
The quest for beautiful Instagram captions has resulted in some pretty useful tools to help you get it right. While using an Instagram caption generator can save you time when it comes to social media, we definitely recommend learning how to do it yourself first.
Related: 20 Awesome Instagram Marketing Tools
One of the best tools we found is this website – you simply enter your caption, adjust the formatting, and hit ‘Convert’. It will spit out a perfectly formatted Instagram caption that’s ready to be pasted into your next post.
Yes, the website looks quite basic – but it’s 100% free and does caption formatting extremely well.
Another option is to use a tool like Sked Social which allows you to edit a caption like you would in notes and then schedule it to post to your feed. We wouldn’t recommend getting this tool just for formatting as pricing starts at $25/mo, but it is a great asset when you’re looking to better manage your social media.
Examples of Instagram caption formatting that we love
Let’s take a look at some examples of captions that have great formatting. From separating different ideas or people, to strategic emoji use these captions bring the entire post to a whole new level.
Fashion blogger Leonie Hanne has a lot of people to thank for how amazing her photographs turn out. Thanking everybody and linking to their profile in one giant block would make the post look overwhelming and unprofessional but she gets around this by strategically putting each person and their role on a separate line.
The result is a detailed caption that is easy to read and follow.
The post above has very little text, but still relies on strategic line breaks to separate ideas. By breaking up the poll and hashtag, it draws more attention to the vote they want to take place in the comments. The byproduct of this type of formatting is increased engagement which is not only a good metric to track but also raises the visibility of the post to others.
In addition to being an accomplished actor, singer, model, songwriter, and director, Jared Leto has an excellent Instagram account with skillfully formatted captions. His thoughts are separated and professional and his placement of emojis brings an obvious close to each line/idea.
The anticipation building in this photo’s caption wouldn’t have been possible without Instagram line breaks. Having a countdown encourages users to keep reading and having a different number on each line slows down the process making it both exciting and easy to read.
Remember how we mentioned emojis can be used to make line breaks? The photo caption above cleverly uses this strategy by breaking up text with a relevant emoji. The emoji usage is fun while at the same time it separates a statement from a question and keeps the caption looking clean.
Formatting your Instagram bio captions
Caption formatting doesn’t stop with posts and nothing ruins a user’s experience more than hitting a bio that’s crowded and hard to read. Make sure to spend some time formatting your bio to ensure that it looks as professional as your posts and keep in mind that there is a limit of 160 characters (vs. 2,200 in a caption).
Luckily, it doesn’t take much to breathe new life into a bio and you can leverage almost everything that we discussed above for captions.
Want your bio to look a bit more unique? You can adjust your spacing by entering extra spaces before each line break. You can even have your Instagram bio centered by copying the spaces surrounded by two stars like this: * *. Paste these spaces, without the stars, into your bio and start writing your text after them.
Following the tips above can make your captions start looking more professional right away. A more playful brand might do well using emojis as line breaks where a more serious brand might want to skip lines completely for a cleaner look. Play around with what feels most authentic to your brand.
Feel free to reach out and show us your creative, new captions @ampjarcom – we can’t wait to see what you come up with!
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