I have a text frame that is 300 points wide. It has two columns, with a 12-point gutter. So the columns are 144 points wide. If I set the maximum value to 200 points, then reduce the size of the text frame to 200 points, I get one column. So far, so good, I get that.
But, unlike with fixed-width columns, I am able to make the text frame more narrow, resulting in a single colum that's less than 144 points wide.
I thought that the 144 was the minimum, but that's clearly not the case. Can somebody explain?
I haven't used them much, but here's my understanding: When you set Flexible Width, you're primarily using it so that when your page is resized (think switching a vertical layout to horizontal, like on an iPad), the columns will reformat in a particular way.
You're NOT setting the number of columns. You're setting the gutter. You're setting a current width (or it will be set when the frame is resized). There is a MAXIMUM width, NOT a minimum width.
If you have the dialog open (Text Frame Options) and you turn on Preview, if you click Width values to change them, the widths all increase until you hit the maximum amount. Then a new column is generated, and all the widths are reduced on all the columns.