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Postby agyth » Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:34 pm

Is it possible to format an "inserted" text block with columns. If so, please give this doddery wrinklie precise instructions!
Thanks a bunch (English saying!)
Alan Cox
Swanage, UK
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 4:00 pm
Location: Swanage, UK

Re: Columns (Oops!)

Postby Barry » Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:45 am

Alan emailed me today with a note that his question referred to doing this in Pages. My instructions below refer to AppleWorks. My error.

Anyone else care to tackle the question in the PAGES context?


agyth wrote:Is it possible to format an "inserted" text block with columns. If so, please give this doddery wrinklie precise instructions!
Thanks a bunch (English saying!)
Alan Cox
Swanage, UK

Apparently not, if it's contained in a single frame. I get a 'beep' when clicking the multiple column button in the ruler, whether the textr frame is in a WP or a Draw document. I also tried opening the frame (as I'd do to format a spreadsheet frame inserted in a WP doc), but Open Frame (in the Window menu) was greyed, even with the frame selected.

You can put the text into columns using linked frames, though. Here's a set of instructions for three columns. (WP document assumed)

1. Turn on Frame Links and create three linked frames:
•Click the red toolbox at the lower left to show the Tools.
•Click the Selection tool (Arrow) at the top of the Tools.
•Select the frame currently containing the text, then go Options > Object size, and note the width and height of the frame (first two numbers in the right column). Divide the width by the number of column you want (3 for this example), If you want the three columns to fit into exactly the same width as the original single column, you'll also need to consider the gutter (space between columns) in this calculation. For three columns there'll be two gutters, so subtract twice the space you want between columns before doing the division.
•With the frame still selected, go Options > Frame Links to apply frame linking.
•Two small rectangles will appear on the frame; an empty one at the top, another at the bottom containing a downward pointing triangle.
•Click the bottom rectangle. The Frame will be deselected, and your cursor will change to an I beam with a line across it about 1/3 from the top.
•Drag a new frame, the same height as the original, and the width you calculated above.
•Repeat the previous two steps to make a third linked frame, the same size as the second.

2. Resize the original frame to match the other two.
•Click on the original frame to select it (you may have to reselect the Arrow Tool), then change its width by typing the new value into the Object Size dialogue. Press Tab to exit the box and put the change into effect.
-The text should flow into the two new boxes as the first changes sides. As there's less space (because of the gutters) in the three linked frames than in the original, and some space taken up by the necessity to wrap three times as many lines of text, the text will probably overflow the last frame. This is indicated by a small box containing an x at the bottom of the last frame. Ignore it for now.

3.(Penultimate step) Align the three frames.
•Select the First frame and drag it into position. Place the top and left edges exactly where you want them.
•Select the Last frame. Place its right edge exactly where you want it. Place its top edge slightly lower on the page than the top edge of the First frame.
•Select the Middle frame(s). Place it (or them if you have more than three columns altogether) horizontally between the First and Last frames' positions and vertically lower than the First frame. The exact position is not critical.
•Select all three frames, then go Arrange > Align Objects.
•Click Align Top edges (top to bottom) and Distribute space (left to right), then click OK.

4. Resize the frames to hold all the text.
•With all three frames still selected, click in the box in the Object size dialogue box.
•Type in a slightly larger number, then press Tab to exit the box and reset the size.
•Repeat as necessary until all text shows in the three frames (and the overflow indicater disappears from the bottom corner of the Last frame.

Once completed, you may want to Lock the frames into position. In Mac OS 9 and earlier, this can be done by pressing command-H. In OS X, this key combination Hides the active application, so you'll need to go Arrange > Lock. Note that Lock affects only the position (and size) of the frame. The content is not locked, and may be edited.

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