Publishing Assistant 6.1 will provide a significantly improved and more flexible interface for creating and configuring custom page layouts.
This update focuses on 2 major areas:
- An improved interface for creating and defining the content for page frames.
- More flexible options for organizing multiple marker types within a single frame.
The second area of improvement allows a typesetter to make much better use of InDesign paragraph style options (>5.5) which make it possible to easily start a paragraph with a new number of columns (split columns), or span a paragraph across columns (span columns). These and other style options make it possible to flexibly manage the presentation of content gathered into one frame, and reduce the page adjustment tasks required by Publishing Assistant. Depending on the requirements, some layouts can be done much more efficiently this way.
Following is a quick presentation of these updates.
When a user begins a Custom Layout job, they initiate the configuration in the same way as before, by selecting the Custom Layout tab > and then selecting Yes for Custom Layout. Then select Standard (no study content) or Extended Notes Study Bible (i.e. projects with extended study content \e.. markup). The user also selects the categories to include in the job, and what type of style / image support PA should provided for them.
Clicking on the Edit Page Layout button opens the page layout description editor. If this is a new job, a default page layout description is added. There a buttons at the bottom to Add, Delete, or Rename a frame. A list of the frames on the page is shown at the top right.
If a frame is selected on the page, or in the frame list, it is highlighted with a green outline and the frame name is highlighted in the list.
In previous versions of PA, the frame list would also contain a detailed set of specifications for each frame, as well as its marker content. In PA 6.1 the user should instead double-click the frame itself (left) or the frame name (right) in order to open the frame definition interface for an individual frame.
In the following UI screens, the default study Bible page layout frames have been deleted, and only the required body frame and a single notes frame are being used and configured. This setup will help to describe some of what can be done to handle multiple note content types in a single frame, but the example is not meant to suggest that this is the only possible or recommended method. PA continues to support the use of as many frames as needed, with unique content in each frame.
In the image above, the note frame is selected. Double-clicking the note frame opens the frame definition interface:
In this window you can manage:
- Measurements – the location and size of the frame within the main page margins; number of columns, size of gutter, balance columns, and whether the frame should include a rule above. These were all options available for frame definitions in previous versions of PA.
- Markers – the project content which PA should place in the frame.
- Interaction – how the current frame interacts with other frames on the page.
You will see a menu at the top left of the window (Active Frame) which allows you to quickly move to configuring a different page frame, without closing interface and opening it again.
In the Markers section you will see the following interface:
There are two tables. On the left side you see a table with all of the content which is available in the project, and whether or not it has already been assigned to a page frame. When some types of content have had categories applied, you see the main content marker, plus of list of that marker individually with each category.
On the right side is a table showing the content selected for the current active frame. The order of the content listed in the table on the right is the order in which PA will place it in the frame when building pages.
To configure content for the currently active frame:
- Select the marker on the left and click the right arrow between tables to add it to the right side table.
- Do this again for other content to add to the frame.
- To adjust the order of the content in the frame, select a marker row in the right side table, and then click the up or down arrows beside the right side table to change its position.
Every new marker content row will result in a block of this type of content being added to the frame, in the sequence that each element occurs in the project.
It is possible to adjust the collection and presentation of the content in some additional ways:
- By default, the content for a specific marker row will be collected as a single paragraph, without a new line between each new element. A styled space will be added between elements in InDesign. Select the New Line box for the marker to indicate that each element should begin on a new line.
- If you would like the content for two markers to be collected together in a single block – with each element in the sequence it occurs in the project – then hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard and click to select two or more rows in the table. Then click the link icon to the right to Group these markers together. PA will assign a letter (A,B,C etc.) to the new group. You can un-group markers using the broken link icon.
When content for each marker is added to a frame in InDesign, the first element (paragraph) for each marker will have a unique style applied to it (with a suffix “_first”). If there are multiple elements of this marker type added to the frame in InDesign, and “New Line” has been selected for the marker configuration, then this unique style for the first element allows you to optionally apply some unique properties to it, such as a rule above, or a space above.
As mentioned, InDesign style options such as column splitting or spanning can be used to add columns or span columns for a specific marker content within a frame.
The Interaction section of the frame definition interface is for managing the interaction of the active frame with other frames on the page.
It is possible for a frame to be added on top of another frame, and in that case the frame below it is an existing which which the upper frame can be “glued” to. Only frames which are somewhere on the page around the active frame, and should not touch or run beneath the active frame, should be added to the GrowFrames list.