6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 22, 2011 7:42 AM by peter minneapolis

    Side-saddled column elements vs. Auto Layout Adjustment?

    ChaptersUnwritten

      So here is my issue. I am trying to write a gaming supplement and I wish to have a two column layout, with a third sidebar space on the outside of the page. This third column space is smaller than the main two columns; it is used sort of like in a textbook, for important notes or comments about the pages.

       

      The problem I have is that if I use this layout, the left and right pages are side-saddled mirrors of each other. If I add a page, it will screw up all the subsequent pages' layouts. The obvious answer is to use layout ajustment, and this works great, but only for the inner two-column text frame. The outer bits in that other column end up aligning to the middle of the page seam instead of mirror from one side to the other like I want.

       

      I've tried it a few different ways. Here is the standard page setup, on pages 2 and 3:

      Clipboard01.jpg

       

      ...and here is what happens with layout adjustment active, when I swap the two pages with one another:

      Clipboard02.jpg

       

      As you can see, the main text flips and realigns perfectly, but these bits and pieces on the far fringes link themselves up to the inner borders of the neighboring page colums, instead of the outside. I might have found this sooner but I am an old schooler from the news biz and we refer to these columns as side-saddled, which apparently is not what the rest of the web calls them these days.

       

      Can anyone help me sort this problem out!? I have tried it with the page columns brought in as you see above, but I had similar or worse results with three columns with the gutters dragged out and other options. This is with the default settings for layout adjustment, but bear in mind that I had comparable results will all kinds of different options checked for that.

        • 1. Re: Side-saddled column elements vs. Auto Layout Adjustment?
          Migintosh Level 4

          The solution depends on how you have this book laid out. There are a number of ways you could go, depending on how you want/need to work, and it's not clear what you have done so far.

           

          I imagine that the material in the sidebar is directly related to the material in the two interior columns, but probably isn't directly in the flow of text (e.g. flowing into all three columns in sequence). What makes sense—and probably what you did—is to flow only through the interior two columns and treat the sidebars as separate, right? If so, you could have created master frames for the sidebars that only flow text through each other, but that might have you making manual adjustments to the content if a page moved or the text in the main article shifted.

           

          I would probably anchor the sidebars in the text, which it looks like you may have done also. What you need to do is to set the Anchored Object Options to place the sidebar relative to the spine so that it always sits at the outside of your spread. I would also set the X and Y positions relative to the page so they don't move around. The downside is that I'm not sure you can thread text from one anchored frame to another, so this would only work if the sidebar is one column or less.

           

          If you have to thread text through the sidebar frames, I'd probably go with the master frames and manually adjust the content relative to the main story. It's not a great solution, but something to consider until you get a better option.

          • 2. Re: Side-saddled column elements vs. Auto Layout Adjustment?
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            If you are going to be adding pages in odd numbers, I'd avoid any master text frames or other palceholders like the plague. As soon as you swap sides any overridden master items are recreated in the original locations.

             

            I would, though, consider uaing anchored objects for all of the sidebar content. They can be positioned realtive tothe spine so they should swap sides if the anchor point moves to an opposite page.

            • 3. Re: Side-saddled column elements vs. Auto Layout Adjustment?
              Migintosh Level 4

              P Spier wrote:

               

              As soon as you swap sides any overridden master items are recreated in the original locations.

              Good point. I was half-way remembering another thread about master frames (which I rarely use myself), about keeping the ability to adjust the frame size and position linked to the master frame by not editing those things on the document page. I had forgotten that, while they keep their link in those aspects, they lose their position in the spread, to take a position relative to the page they are on when released. Not really a problem if you add/move pages in pairs, but disasterous if you do single pages.

               

              But what if the OP needs content to flow from one sidebar to another? Is there a way to do that with anchored text frames?

              • 4. Re: Side-saddled column elements vs. Auto Layout Adjustment?
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                Harbs has some pretty good plugins for flow control over at In-Tools.com

                • 5. Re: Side-saddled column elements vs. Auto Layout Adjustment?
                  ChaptersUnwritten Level 1

                  Well, the sidebars here are a bit of an odd case. I want the intention of the supplements' rules to be clear, and to save space on the page by only showing those intentions when it is relative. So basically, alongside some rules text, I have placed a simple box for each comment in that side-saddle area; there is no column and each box is a stand-alone piece that is not relevant to others. I don't even need them to appear directly across from what they refer to. The other section is a fairly standard header text frame across a two column text frame.

                   

                  I didn't know that I could anchor an element in such a way as to make it relative to the spine. I could probably add the image to the headers and automate that a bit as well.

                   

                  I have seen this technique used in many instructional manuals and textbooks but I haven't been able to replicate it without the issue of the side-saddle content being incompatible with the automatic layout adjustment features.

                   

                  And regarding the master frames on a book like this, I am learning the hard way that this was a bad idea, hehe. Fortunately this is a proof of concept, so it's not a full book just yet.

                  • 6. Re: Side-saddled column elements vs. Auto Layout Adjustment?
                    peter minneapolis Level 4

                    ChaptersUnwritten wrote:


                    I have seen this technique used in many instructional manuals and textbooks but I haven't been able to replicate it without the issue of the side-saddle content being incompatible with the automatic layout adjustment features.

                     

                    Many instructional manuals are created with Adobe FrameMaker, which has true side headings that don't need special construction efforts. This is not meant to say that InDesign is not the right tool; it is meant to say that perhaps you're looking at documents that were either made with FrameMaker, and trying to reproduce the appeareance with InDesign's automated layout-control features. The best InDesign minds on this forum may have more suggestions on how to achieve your goal, so keep trying the suggestions and reporting your results and questions.


                    HTH

                     

                    Regards,

                     

                    Peter
                    _______________________
                    Peter Gold
                    KnowHow ProServices