Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- What is the Readability Index of Your Writing? - November 20, 2017
- Should Technical Writing be Boring? And if Yes, Why? - November 15, 2017
- How to Create a Custom-Designed Header in MS Word that Would be Available to All Other Word Documents - November 13, 2017
© 2010 Ugur Akinci
You can create documents with complex column and header layouts. I’d like to show some of those possibilities on this sample one-column document:
(Click on all images to enlarge them)
As you can see, this document does not have any sidebars and a sidebar is always a nice layout feature to have in a technical document.
Select Format > Page Layout > Column Layout from the menu to display the all-important Page Layout dialog box:
To create a side bar, select the Room for Side Heads check box. Enter the appropriate value for Width (1.5″), Gap (the distance between the right edge of the sidebar and the left edge of the text area), and Side (Right, Left, Side Closer to Binding, Side Farther from Binding).
Click Update Entire Flow to apply the sidebar. Once you update, you cannot Undo anything. Here is a 1.5″ wide Left sidebar with a 0.25″ gap applied to the same document:
To create a two-column document, enter 2 in the Columns field and then click the Update Entire Flow button:
What if you wanted to make sure the header runs across all columns?
Launch your Paragraph Designer (Ctrl + M) and select the Pagination tab:
The default value is In Column. After selecting your Header, select the Across All Columns option button and click Apply to stretch your header across all columns:
To have the first word of the body text start right after the Header, select the Run-In-Head-Default Punctuation option button. The default punctuation is a period but you can change that with any other symbol you like. Here is TRIPLE PIPE symbol used for that purpose:
To have your header run across both all columns AND the header, select Across All Columns and Side Heads option button and click Apply:
What if you want to print your header INSIDE the sidebar? That usually creates very handsome-looking pages indeed.
Select your header and then select the Side Head-Alignment option button. To shift the headline’s position relative to the body text, click the associated drop-down list and select one of the following values: First Baseline, Top Edge, Last Base line. Experiemtn to see which one you like the most. Then click Apply:
NOTE: No matter which option you select, clicking the Update All button will make your format changes permanent for that document.