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troubleshooting Question

Parallel column layout persists down odd-even pages

Avatar of scrathcyboy
scrathcyboyFlag for United States of America asked on
Office Suites-OtherWord ProcessorsPage Layout Software
29 Comments1 Solution2346 ViewsLast Modified:
I need a word processor to handle 2 facing pages differently.  The left (even) pages have a separate layout and format that the right (odd) page numbers.  Most word processors cannot do this, especially MS Word.  Lotus Word Pro does 2 columns correctly, but I have not been able to get different column layouts on opposing left-right pages.

I tried 2 separate files -- one for the left pages and one for the right pages -- but this is too cumbersome on screen and for printing -- the lines of text cannot be made to line up, and viewing, scrolling and printing are all a nightmare.  Here are the requirements --

1. In a book of 300 pages, the LEFT pages have 2 columns, each with its own format, font and column width.  The right pages have 2 columns with different formats and fonts than on the left.  Headers and footers for each page spread across both columns, as Word Pro correctly does.

2.  The main requirement is that ALL LINES MUST BE VERTICALLY ALIGNED down the pages -- else the reader can't visually compare the text in each column, which is CRUCIAL to readability.

3.  Page-at-a-time word processors choke on this -- the formats of the 2 columns of the left pages must persist down to the next left page, and the right column formats must persist down to the next right page.

4. So, typing in column 1 of the left page, at the page end, the next word goes DOWN to column 1 of the next left (even numbered) page, with the same format, font, etc.  Similarly for the other columns.  i.e. the text flow and formatting goes VERTICALLY down the pages -- NOT ACROSS the page, like newsletter layouts.

This vertical flow is called "parallel columns" -- each of 4 columns displayed across 2 facing pages is independent of the other columns (except for line height which is set manually).  Once a column format and flow is set, IT PERSISTS DOWN that column to the end of the book -- it doesn't carry across the page.

Most word-processor developers don't understand parallel book columns, so most word processors can't do them -- they think only left to right column flow.  I tried Wordperfect's parallel column layout, but it cannot handle different facing page layouts -- the odd-even page layouts are forced to be the same.

I tried layout programs like QUARK -- same problem -- you arduously set up a layout for each page, and the text still flows across a page, not down to the next odd/even page.  Also, typing into page-design programs like Quark is way too slow -- I need an efficient word processor that can think vertical, not horizontal.

PLEASE HELP!  If you know a word processor where column text and format carries down to alternate pages, not across a page, PLEASE TELL ME.  Think 2 facing pages, total 4 columns, all in parallel.

When I find a word processor to do this, I will buy a 27" monitor to show all 4 parallel columns across the screen.  The program also must be able to print the layout of the different pages as it appears -- in any book layout, even pages are printed on the back of odd pages, right?  Why can't word processors get this?

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Avatar of BitsBytesandMore
BitsBytesandMoreFlag of United States of America imageNetwork Operations Manager
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