I am working on a book where the content is basically a list of things, such as, say:
Jack: A boy's name.
Jane: A girl's name.
Joe: A boy's name.
Justin: A boy's name.
Kevin: A boy's name.
The lefthand page running head shows the book's title. The righthand running head is supposed to show the range of content for the *spread*. In the example above, since "Jack" falls at the top of (lefthand) page 20, and "Kevin" falls at the bottom of the (righthand) page 21, the righthand page running head should read "Jack-Kevin". (It's obvious enough how to use nested character styles to pick out just the names.)
My question is: Is it possible to define a text variable that will pick up NOT "first on page" but instead "first on spread"? Because the only thing I seem to be able to achieve is "Justin-Kevin".
I tried putting a text variable on the lefthand pages in a special style sheet in invisible type, and then making the right hand variable pick up *that* content based on the style, but I guess you can't make text variables out of text variables--unless someone else can think of a clear hack for it?
There is no "first on spread" option for text variables, as you have found.
What you can try doing though, is to stretch the text frame on the master page so that its left edge is actually on the verso (left-hand) page. Obviously have the text variable itself right-aligned so that it appears on the right-hand page. IIRC, the text variable will then pick up the text from the left-hand page, even though it will be displayed on the right-hand page.
But if you then need to display the last word on the recto, you'll need to create a separate text frame on the master page that does not stretch over to the verso. Then put the two frames next to each other on the master so that the spacing is right...