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the whole process can be automated with a script..
I don't think the text alignment can be automated using built-in features. but If you use numbering in the chapter title paragraph style the numbers will change whenever you add or remove other chapter titles. The text box will need to extend as far to the left and as far to the right as needed on each page.
That makes sense, and I thought about doing something like that: making the text box the top two thirds of the page. And I could get the text to go to opposite sides by aligning away from spine. But are you saying there's not a means for the text direction to alter?
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Use a variable for the chapter title and set the title on the master page without overriding the text frame on your document pages.
You can use the Section marker, which is defined in the Pages panel under Numbering and Section options. I don’t know if this will allow for multi-line titles, but I know another way. Define a running header. This is a variable that will find any text formatted with a specified character style or paragraph style on a page. So you make a dummy style (formatting is irrelevant) and enter the chapter title. The text frame on the master page, which contains only the variable, copies the text from your dummy text frame and uses that for its content.
Some limitations exist. Variables don’t break, since they are one character, and InDesign currently can’t put a break in a variable. So if you need a two line chapter title you’ll need two variables in the text frame on the master page and two lines for your dummy text, each line using a different style. And you’ll always need to use both lines, even for a one-line title, otherwise InDesign will remember the second line from the last chapter.
You could make your dummy paragraph style have no stroke and no fill, so it never prints, or you could put it on a non-printing layer.
Here’s a file that uses it.
Thank you, I'll try this when I'm at the office tomorrow.
Here's what I ended up doing:
On the "Splash Page" Master (pictured above), I replaced that filler line with a line that has three variables.
The first variable is "From"
The second variable is "Title"
The third variable is "Year"
I used three variables because I wanted it clear for excerpted works that "from" was noting it was an excerpt, and didn't appear in the original title. (Thus "from The Tenmile Range" doesn't look like "From the Tenmile Range".) "From," when it appears, is in a smaller font (50% on width and height). Same with the year for each collection. I wanted these differences reflected both in the splash page itself, and in the auto-populated table of contents.
Back to the variables. I make a text box in which I type out the title, tweaking character and paragraph styles as needed:
"Title" is looking for the character style "Hidden Splash Main." The most recent appearance of this (aka, the one on this page) will appear as the title on the splash.
"From" is looking for the earliest "Hidden Splash Meta" (character style) on the page. If this needs to have a "from," I type "from" and tag it with this character style. If it doesn't, I tag a blank return.
"Date" is looking for the latest "Hidden Splash Meta." Once again, I tag the date with the character style, and voila.
Then I tag the entire thing with the PARAGRAPH Style "Hidden Splash". The character styles reduce the size of the "From" and "date" by 50%. That reduction will be "remembered" when the "Hidden Splash" paragraph style is converted to the "Hidden Splash TOC" character style for the table of contents.
Yes, wheels within wheels. But future editors in this series won't need to sweat it, as it's all been automated. As long as they tag according to the style guide, all will be well.
The upshot is I have what I want: The titles on splash pages will always be along the page's outer edge, whether that page is a recto or a verso, and all the typefaces are playing along nicely.
Thank you, community, for the assist—particularly Scott Falkner!