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Ed Roseman
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Boxed characters within regular body text paragraphs?

May 13, 2011 8:36 AM

I would appreciate any ideas on how I could efficiently make boxed characters in the midst of body text. (I need to refer to musical rehearsal marks (such as A or B25) which are centered in rectangles, so I want boxed characters for clarity).

 

Specifically:

• I'd like the rectangular box to grow/shrink depending on the number of characters inside it. This auto-resizing ideal is what has me stumped.

• It needs to work within a justified paragraph.

 

It seems that the best way would be a character style that has an auto-resizing rectangle as part of the characters style, for one to three characters.

 

So far, the best way I’ve found is to define an object style w/1 pt stroke, and the font I want, centered. But that means resizing it individually for 1-, 2-, or 3-character rehearsal numbers--not ideal.

 

I’ve also tried using square brackets before and after, with extreme low and high, respectively, tracking values, but the justified paragraph throws the alignment of those off.

 

I even tried messing with a high strike-through and low underline combination, but I’d prefer an actual box, which would require no explanation to readers.

I suppose, if there’s a font that has boxed letters, I could use that, but would prefer to use the same font as the actual music’s rehearsal numbers.

I’d think there’d be a better way, but I’ll be darned if I can think of it. I can use my object style technique above if necessary, but would love suggestions for a better way. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to offer ideas!

 
Replies
  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2011 8:47 AM   in reply to Ed Roseman

    I hesitate to suggest it, but you could make them hyperlinks and turn on boxing of hyperlinks.

     
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    May 13, 2011 8:59 AM   in reply to Ed Roseman

    I don't think ID really does what you want. I was hopeful that a Hyperlink to nowhere with a visible rectangle might be a way to cheat, but alas the rectangle is non-printing even when visible it seems.

     
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    May 13, 2011 12:09 PM   in reply to Ed Roseman

    Ed Roseman wrote:

     

     

    I would appreciate any ideas on how I could efficiently make boxed characters in the midst of body text. (I need to refer to musical rehearsal marks (such as A or B25) which are centered in rectangles, so I want boxed characters for clarity).

     

    Specifically:

    • I'd like the rectangular box to grow/shrink depending on the number of characters inside it. This auto-resizing ideal is what has me stumped.

    • It needs to work within a justified paragraph.

     

    It seems that the best way would be a character style that has an auto-resizing rectangle as part of the characters style, for one to three characters.

     

    So far, the best way I’ve found is to define an object style w/1 pt stroke, and the font I want, centered. But that means resizing it individually for 1-, 2-, or 3-character rehearsal numbers--not ideal.

     

    I’ve also tried using square brackets before and after, with extreme low and high, respectively, tracking values, but the justified paragraph throws the alignment of those off.

     

    I even tried messing with a high strike-through and low underline combination, but I’d prefer an actual box, which would require no explanation to readers.

    I suppose, if there’s a font that has boxed letters, I could use that, but would prefer to use the same font as the actual music’s rehearsal numbers.

    I’d think there’d be a better way, but I’ll be darned if I can think of it. I can use my object style technique above if necessary, but would love suggestions for a better way. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to offer ideas!

     

    This could be a good candidate for an ambitious scripter. You could try posting on the scripting forum.

     

    Or, on the infinite-number-of-typing-monkeys theory, because there are a finite number of rehearsal numbers, and an even smaller finite number of character widths the one-, two-, and three-character rehearsal numbers would require, you could create a collection of the boxes that suit the numbers. Keep them handy in their own file, open and ready, on the pasteboard, in a library, on a master page outside the page boundaries, copy/paste them into the text, and type the number. Perhaps some numbers are so common, you could use pre-filled boxes. For boxes stored on a master page, you'd need to Shift+click to release them then copy/paste.

     

    HTH

     

    Regards,

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2011 1:26 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I was hopeful that a Hyperlink to nowhere with a visible rectangle might be a way to cheat, but alas the rectangle is non-printing even when visible it seems.

    Huh. I was so optimistic that they were visible in Acrobat, but even then they are non-printing. I spent far too much time mucking around with preflight fixups in Acrobat to change make the annotation visible, etc., but to no avail. I guess fundamentally it is because annotations are not objects.

     

    This could be a good candidate for an ambitious scripter. You could try posting on the scripting forum.

    Well, it really wouldn't have to be ambitious... the larger question would be the desired workflow, I think...

     
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    May 13, 2011 4:07 PM   in reply to Ed Roseman

    Here's an approach that's not quite what you're asking for, but which might serve...and it's totally automatic.

     

    You can create a character style that produces a solid tint behind whatever it is assigned to. Simply specify an underline that's as thick as your font, and an offset that positions it squarely behind the text. Experiment with leading/trailing characters to set it off from the adjacent word spaces.

     

    Alternatively, use a combination of underline and strikethru to generate an overbar and underbar. You might also find you can align these effectively with the OR (vertical bar) glyph in the font you're using, to produce an actual box.

     

    Thanks to Jongware for this kind of delightful mis-use of rules. Paragraph rules can be used in this way to hide running heads, or force chapter titles down on the page (using paragraph rules settings).

     

    Allen

     
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    May 17, 2011 6:44 AM   in reply to Ed Roseman

    I'm glad this outside-the-box technique for boxes was helpful.

     

    I especially liked your elaborate microtweaks in technique #3.

     

    I also love when an app reaches a level of feature-richness that there are so many ways to get something done.

     

    Allen

     
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