TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Floating footnotes, tables, anchored frames on double-spreads [was "Re: footnote misconceptions"] From:hedley_finger -at- myob -dot- com -dot- au To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Wed, 29 Nov 2000 14:15:11 +1000
who has fought the good fight
for footnote splitting
since AD 1785
Marcus said ...
> 2) I never said it was easy to get FrameMaker to do so, I simply noted
> that the algorithms, in the context of a powerful publication application
> such as FrameMaker, are simple.
No, they ain't. This problem has been worked on since the mid-70s in the
context of semi-automated newspaper layout, mixing content with
advertisements, and in magazine layout. To my knowledge, all involved a
trial and error approach of copy fitting in a continuum of desirable to
bloody awful layout possibilities.
However, the number of elements to be juggled by FrameMaker is considerably
less. At the least we should be seeing some of these features by release
If you'all had had to make up dummies (rough paste-ups of galleys, tables,
footnotes, and illustrations for the guidance of a film stripper making up
pages) as any book editor of my age would have, you would realise that
automatic placement of multiple elements is a non-trivial exercise, as the
prostitute said to the bishop while free-falling.
The basic problem is that the reference (anchor, footnote ref) points to an
object (table, frame, footnote) that should be on the same page but the
placement of the object forces the reference to the next page. Putting the
object on the next page allows the ref to run back to the previous page.
Thus the ref and object chase each other around in a vicious closed loop in
Unfortunately FrameMaker approaches the basic problem with exclusive ORs
(XOR): you can have Anywhere or Floating placement, but not both. Rather
than forcing you to choose a particular placement of an object to the
exclusion of other placements, the definition of an object should let you
specify a series of placements from most desirable to least desirable, that
is, try Anywhere but if that doesn't work try Floating and if THAT doesn't
work try ... .
RANT BREAK Why don't we have a Figure element which is equivalent
to a single-celled Table element, in that title, caption, graphic
"cell" and footnote are a single object? Why aren't the placement
possibilities of anchored frames, tables, and the (proposed) Figure
element harmonised, so that all have the same Anywhere, Floating,
Below Para, At Insertion Point, etc. options?
This would require both a change to the data format and a fancy algorithm.
And there would have to be a hierarchy of WHICH elements have precedence
over other elements. But we are still not out of the woods. You can still
be trapped in the vicious cycle.
Here are the various stratagems we employed in the Good Old Days:
@ Pages have a nominal depth, but facing pages on a double-spread can be
+- one line in depth; this sometimes lets the ref run over to the next page
and keep its object on the same page. [FRAMEMAKER SHOULD REALLY LET YOU
WORK IN DOUBLE-SPREAD AND ALLOW GRAPHICS AND TABLES TO CROSS THE GUTTER, AS
PAGEMAKER, INDESIGN, AND QUARK DO. HOW ABOUT IT ADOBE?]
@ Feather the text lines sufficiently on a double-spread to push ref onto
same page as object (as this increases line spacing, MUST be done on
double-spread so reader does not see an unfeathered page opp a feathered
@ Combine previous two stratagems.
@ Normally ref and object should be on the same PAGE but in extremis they
can be on the same SPREAD.
@ Let object be placed after the ref., so tables and figures can be placed
on successive pages after the ref page with suitable xrefs at the anchor
@ Let footnotes only split over successive pages.
@ Let footnotes split over successive pages in strata. So, if you have
eight large footnotes within a half page, each begins on the L page of a
double-spread (whether ref on L or R page) but continuations are in bands
on opp page.
@ Let lenghty tables split over successive pages in a SINGLE stratum.
That means the narrative text can continue underneath. In the present
model, a massive table interrupts the flow of the narrative, so that the
reader has to page forward to pick it up AFTER the table.
@ Allow graphic objects to bleed off top or bottom of page, or at least
top or bottom of photo or diagram aligns with header or footer and hides
them (gains no of lines between text margin and header/footer).
Sponsored by SOLUTIONS, Conferences and Seminars for Communicators
Publications Management Clinic, TECH*COMM 2001 Conference, and more http://www.SolutionsEvents.com or 800-448-4230
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.