10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2013 2:17 PM by max_drawdown RSS

    Switched or Conditional Page Size

    Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

      Some recent work has involved manuals for export products, and the issue of page size could be on the horizon. We presently render to US letter size (USL), but A4 might become needed ...

       

      ... ideally from a common shared set of book files ...

       

      Content scaling is not an option, as some graphics are 600 dpi bitmap. optimized for our 600 dpi pub engine, and they develop visible artifacts if
      rescaled.

       

      The USL page layout contemplated this possibility way back when, so we have a column layout solution that allows keeping the same column and gutter sizes, yet leaves ample margins for printing and hole punching on USL or A4.

       

      The content already re-flows onto the taller A4 page with no particular difficulty. And it does reflow, because condition codes switch some content on and off depending on target English-speaking market. Update Book is required in the workflow already.

       

      The issue is how to quickly switch between USL and A4 page layouts.


      FM 7.1 does not have conditional page layouts, and it's not clear if later versions (we do have FM9) have anything comparable.

       

      Two workarounds that come to mind are:

      • Create (one time) two separate sets (USL and A4) of empty book component files, used only as the source for Master Pages.
        Workflow:
        Open each book component
        Import MPs (Master Pages)
        Set Condition Codes
        AMP (Apply Master Pages)
        Update Book
        Print
        Rinse and repeat for other page size
      • Create (one time) a single separate set of empty A4 book files, used only for printing. These call in the entire Flow A of the USL files content as Text insets imported by reference.
        Workflow:
        Open A4 clones
        AMP
        Update
        Print

      _______

      Any other ideas?

        • 1. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
          Reviewer1066 Community Member

          I would avoid the text inset (second workflow you mention) workflow, because you will have problems with cross-references.

           

          In the first workflow, you can save some steps by naming the master pages in each version (letter, A4) the SAME. It is even better if you use the default names Left and Right. When you import the master pages from the OTHER template, the change is immediate; no need to reapply master pages, because the imported ones write over the existing ones with the same names.

           

          In addition, whenever importing any formats and EDDs, you can select ALL files in the book file (no need to open them) and import the master pages from the other template. No need to open each one separately. Again, no need to reapply master pages. When you open any of the files, it will have the correct master pages automatically.

           

          Of course, you have to update the book, because changes in pagination.

          • 2. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
            BEPubs

            The way our company gets around this is to use a special paper size with the smaller width of A4 and the smaller height of US letter. We use a 210 x 279 mm page size. Since our documents are usually distributed/downloaded as pdf files and available worldwide, a user can print locally at 100% using his local paper (A4 or letter) and no scaling occurs, provided he has set his Acrobat/Reader properly. Acrobat just centers the content on the page and the extra margin is either top/bottom or side/side. There is a paper size called PA4 which is close to this (210 x 280 mm) that Wikipedia lists as a transitional size.

             

            For high-end printing we use this size as well and the service bureau just cuts the paper to size (I think they would typically do this anyway because of running 4-ups, 8-ups, etc.). Since we need to provide a pdf file for printing (haven't found a service bureau yet that wants FM files), this could be sized to whatever size you want, provided you have the bleeds extending far enough off the page.

            • 3. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
              Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

              I would avoid the text inset (second workflow you mention) workflow, because you will have problems with cross-references.

               

              Roger that. I can see that I would indeed have Xref problems. Sad, because it would have allowed a common set of authoring master files, and two sets of print-only files that were just insets (and already had the necessary condition codes preset for switching content between domestic and export variants of the product).

               

              In the first workflow, you can save some steps by naming the master pages in each version (letter, A4) the SAME.

               

              Wilco.

               

              ... no need to reapply master pages, because the imported ones write over the existing ones with the same names.

               

              Perhaps not so, as the content is going to reflow due both to page size and condition codes being changed for each edition. Some content is apt to end up with an incorrect MP. And by the way, selecting AMP in Update Book is broken in Unix FM7.1. Content often ends up with an incorrect MP. Have to do AMP separately.

               

              No need to open each one separately.

               

              Well, I do, because some book component files (TOC, IX) have different layouts for the same MP name. I might be able to fix that with some Master Page Mapping Table creativity, but I had no luck with that years ago when developing the layouts (I knew less then, but may not know enough more now).

               

              Meanwhile, this is a surprising state of affairs for a DTP app that once promoted itself as "write once - publish everywhere". Frame has more powerful conditional capabilities than some apps, but is apparently weaker than others.

              • 4. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
                Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

                The way our company gets around this is to use a special paper size with  the smaller width of A4 ...

                 

                I basically already have that. Our column, header and footer widths were selected so that our PDFs could be printed on USL or A4 without rescaling (as long as the user turns off scaling in Reader - most people have it on by default).


                ... and the smaller height of US letter.

                 

                If we decide to recast for A4, one reason for doing so would be aesthestic - fully using the A4 page space as we do the USL space. If the extra top/bot whitespace is not a problem, we can just print to A4 from today's PDFs.

                 

                ... haven't found a service bureau yet that wants FM files ...

                 

                Apparently they used to exist. My guess is that FM revision churn, plus a large heap of font issues (largely solved by .ps or .pdf with embedded fonts) made it easy to decide to cease accepting jobs in native DTP formats.

                • 5. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
                  Reviewer1066 Community Member
                  Well, I do, because some book component files (TOC, IX) have different layouts for the same MP name. I might be able to fix that with some Master Page Mapping Table creativity, but I had no luck with that years ago when developing the layouts (I knew less then, but may not know enough more now).

                  You could have separate book files, each with its own special files (TOC, IX). Typically, such files don't have content other than the generated content. So, multiple versions should not be difficult to manage. Of course, both book files link to the same set of primary files.

                  • 6. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
                    Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

                    You could have separate book files, each with its own special files  (TOC, IX).

                     

                    As yes, of course, and that would have another advantage in having the desired [different] default .ps printfile name.

                     

                    Typically, such files don't have content other than the  generated content.

                     

                    Actually, all but the BODY file would be generated and rarely need touching.

                     

                    I don't think I'm going to need to do this, but I;m going to use some of these tips on another aspect of the current challenge. Thanks for all the help.

                    • 7. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
                      max_drawdown Community Member

                      @Error7103,

                       

                      Looks like it's been about 18 months. What approach did you take for managing to USL and A4?

                       

                      I'm facing the same issue now.

                       

                      Best regards,

                      • 8. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
                        Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

                        > What approach did you take for managing to USL and A4?

                         

                        That leaf hasn't yet fallen from the tree.

                         

                        We do have a requirement to re-flow for badge-engineering, onto different page layouts, and domestic/export English manuals, but these are as yet still USL.

                         

                        We use multiple Books, with the subordinate books importing main BODY Flow A as a text inset. This is working well, Xrefs included.

                        • 9. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
                          max_drawdown Community Member

                          @Error7103,

                           

                          Interesting!  Thanks for the update.

                          • 10. Re: Switched or Conditional Page Size
                            max_drawdown Community Member

                            @BEPubs,

                             

                            When you produce the PDF, do you select separate sets of joboptions, one for A4 and the other for USL?


                            Best regards,