Columns are balanced when the baselines of type
on all columns on a page line up with each other. This is relatively
easy to achieve in programs such as Ventura Publisher which put type
in frames, and define multiple columns within the frame. You can just
set a paragraph attribute to tell the program to balance columns and
it will add small amounts of extra space between paragraphs so that
all the columns will balance.
Pagemaker, with its separate text blocks for each column cannot
use this method. There is however a way to achieve balanced columns,
but it can be done it just requires a bit of preplanning when designing
Pagemaker allows you to set up an invisible leading grid on which you
must base the styles in your publication. For example, if you choose
a leading size of 12 point for your publication, then set the leading
of your body text as 12 point, you can set up your paragraph styles
so that the baselines of all paragraphs with 12 point leading will be
aligned. Pagemaker does this by inserting a small amount of extra space
after paragraphs which would throw the leading grid of the following
paragraph off the invisible grid.
In order for paragraph baselines to work, the paragraphs to be aligned
must all have their leading set to the same point size (which must be
a specified number, not "Auto") and the paragraph before the
paragraph to be aligned must have the "Paragraph - Rules - Options
- Align next paragraph to grid box checked and the "Grid size"
set to the same point size as the leading of the paragraph to be aligned.
This sounds a bit complicated, but once you have played with the settings
and got a feel for how they work it is very easy to use. It will save
you a lot of time if you are used to manually adding space between paragraphs
to get your columns to balance.
This feature has been available in Pagemaker since version 4. Version
6 has a new Plug In called Balance Columns which does an entirely different
thing to the baseline method of balancing we have just looked at. This
plug in lets you select a number of text blocks and choose some options
for alignment and it will then adjust the sizes of the text blocks as
best as possible to equalise their lengths. Beware sometimes this may
cause text to drop off from the last line, and it will not change any
paragraph spacing to align baselines of text.
A quick way to change a style definition is to click the text cursor
on a paragraph so that the style name is highlighted in the styles palette.
If you then hold down the control key and click on that style name in
the styles palette the edit style menu will appear. Also, to quickly
create a new style from existing formatted text, select it with your
text cursor, then select Define Styles and press New. The new style
will take on the attributes of the selected text. Great if a customer
makes a change of typeface or something and you have done a quick and
rough job and not used styles to start with, as at least once you have
fixed the job using styles and they decide to put it back how it was
it will be easy the next time!
You can also type style names in Pagemaker from your word processing
package or database report generator, just put the style names in <angle
brackets> and select Read Styles when importing the file into Pagemaker.
Wrapping Text Around Graphics
A great design element for many styles of documents is text wrapping
around an object. Adobe Pagemaker allows for this, with a text wrap
To access this, place your image into the publication in the place that
you would like it. Don't worry that it obscures the text.
Next, select the image and click on Element > Text Wrap. This will
bring up the dialog box for the text wrapping options.
There are three main options for the Text Wrap.
- The first is the Wrap option, which decides if
the text should flow over the object (this is the default), or if
the text should wrap around and avoid the object.
- The second is the Text flow option, which decides
if the text stops dead at an image, and continues onto the next container,
or if the text flows both above and below the image, or if the text
flows all around the image, but not over it.
- The third defines the default standoffs from the
object. That is, how far away from the object should the text start
to wrap. The default for this is 4mm. To achieve the same result as
we have here: under Wrap option, select the middle icon (where the
text flows around the object); and under the text flow, select the
right hand icon (where the text flows on all sides of the object).
Leave the standoff at the default of 4mm, and click on OK. You'll
notice that the text is now flowing around a square box the size of
the image. Although this may be the effect you are looking for if
you have a rectangular photo, we can also change the shape of the
wrap to more suit the image that we have.
If you look at your selected image, you'll notice
that in addition to the square handles on the corners and the sides,
there are 4 diamond handles along with a dotted rectangle outside the
To change the shape of the wrap box, simply grab one of the diamond
handles and drag it to a new position. This will change the size and
shape of the box to suit the position of the new corner. If you want
to add a new handle, just click on the dotted line, and it will create
a new 'corner' in the place that you clicked.
With a bit of experimentation, you should be able to use these techniques
to wrap text around pretty well any graphic that you like and add impact
to your publications.
One of the things that makes Pagemaker very simple is the way in
which it will store internal copies of all graphic elements, so you
don't have to worry about a bunch of externally linked files when you
archive your job to disk for backup or to send off for imagesetting.
This feature is great for small simple jobs, but can cause problems
when the files you work on become larger or contain many copies of the
same graphic. Once your level of proficiency moves beyond beginner you
should take some time to learn how the linking features of Pagemaker
work and then use them to your advantage.
Keeping all copies of graphic elements external to the program has a
number of advantages: it saves disk space, allows multiple people to
work with the same set of graphics and allows you to make last minute
changes to a graphic, such as retouching a photo or converting from
RGB to CMYK at any time without risk of the changes not appearing in
the finished job. Also if a graphic is stored externally and used many
times within the publication you only have to keep the one copy on disk,
and don't have to worry about the size of your file blowing out to something
unmanageable after performing a few copy and paste operations within
One point to watch, if you have been working with an externally linked
graphic and have changed the size or shape of it, you will have to delete
and replace each occurrence of the item in Pagemaker, otherwise the
graphic will be distorted to fit within the size of the original object!
In order to work with external graphics you need to change some of the
link settings so that you don't inadvertently end up with a mix of internal
and external graphics, and get caught by making a last minute change
to a graphic which doesn't end up in the file.
Graphics that have been cut and pasted across the clipboard will always
be stored in the publication, however I strongly recommend you don't
use this method if the job is to be professionally printed as the quality
of these type of graphics at high resolution is often very poor.
To change the default settings for a particular publication, make sure
you do not have any graphic elements selected on the screen then choose
Element/Link Options from the menu and make sure the "Store copy
in publication" checkbox is not selected. The default settings
that Pagemaker ships with, and most people never touch, are to store
the graphic in the publication. There is another setting in the Preferences
menu that is used in conjunction with this to warn the operator if the
graphic they are about to store is bigger than a certain size (default
is 256Kb) and give them the option to link to the file instead. These
default settings can lead to some confusion as to which files are needed
to archive a job, as some are internal and some are external, depending
upon whether the operator decided to store each particular graphic they
were warned about when placing.
To change the default settings that Pagemaker will use for all new publications
make sure that you have no publications open and no graphics selected
and then make the same changes described above.
Pagemaker actually keeps track of the update status of all linked and
unlinked files, and provides the facility to copy either all files associated
with a publication, or just those required for correct remote printing
as an option when saving a job. This often overlooked option should
always be used when saving a job to be sent out for imagesetting as
it is the safest way to make sure that all the files you need are saved
to disk. Choose the destination of the save to be either the physical
floppy or removable media you will send the job on, or a temporary directory
on your hard disk if you will be sending electronically, the contents
of this directory can then be compressed before sending.
Recovering Corrupt Pagemaker Files
It's handy to know that Pagemaker has a facility to rescue a corrupt
publication. Unlike many programs Pagemaker doesn't make a backup of
the working file when you save, so if the unthinkable happens and the
job you have worked on for months won't open the morning after your
client has approved it, you have a serious problem.
The first thing to do is to make a copy of the file you are trying to
retrieve, then, if you make a mess of it you can go back to where you
started and try again.
You should then run a hard disk utility program on your system to ensure
your hard drive is functioning properly and all bad sectors are mapped
out, also, of course make sure you have plenty of free disk space as
running out of space could have contributed to the problem.
There are several things you can do to a publication to try to force
the internal structure to be rebuilt and thus recover the work.
Depending upon what has happened to your particular publication various
combinations of the following may help:
Perform a diagnostic recompose by holding down Ctrl and Shift then
choosing Type/Hyphenation, then perform a Save As of the publication.
The diagnostic recompose forces Pagemaker to check, re-create and/or
repair many of its internal data structures.
While holding down the Shift key, choose Layout/ Go To Page, this
will initiate a Slideshow of the publication, which has a side effect
of repairing links within the publication. Wait until all pages
have displayed at least once, then force display of the master pages
by right clicking on the master page icons. Once this is complete
Save As to disk.
Unlink all files that have broken links by choosing File/Links
then select each file that is preceded with an upside down question
mark or the letters "UN" and click on Unlink, then Save
As. Removing these items may stop Pagemaker errors due to trying
to resolve broken links.
For each graphic included in the publication, choose Element/Link
Options, then deselect the "Store Copy in Publication"
checkbox. Perform a Save As after each one.
Try to isolate the object that is causing problems by deleting
sections of the publication one at a time, say half the publication
at a time, using the Remove Page function, and find the bad sections
by a process of elimination.
Try saving the publication as an earlier
version, and then reopening it in this format (some features may
be lost by this conversion).
With a bit of luck one or more
of the above methods will allow you to repair your publication, or at
least rescue most of it.
If you are a Corel user and miss the magnifying glass, it's in Pagemaker,
but hidden. Just hold down both control and the space bar, the glass
The default settings for all NEW publications can be set by starting
Pagemaker from scratch, not opening any files and changing the settings
in any of the menus that are not greyed out. For example set default
typeface size, define a default set of styles, default line weights,
ruler and guide settings and which palette windows to display when you
start a new publication. These settings are saved when you exit Pagemaker.
If you have a standard design that you use a lot the template feature
might be useful to you. Simply set up a basic layout and save it as
a PT5 or PT6 file (depending on the version of Pagemaker you are using),
rather than a .PM5 or .PM6 file. Next time you open the template file,
you will have the base layout, but Pagemaker will treat it as a new
document, and will ask you for a filename when you save it.
If you come across an item in Pagemaker, and you have no idea what it
does, you can easily find out - just press SHIFT-F1, and the mouse pointer
will turn into a question mark. Click on the item that you were interested
in, and up pops a window to help you out.
If you want to see what your Pagemaker document will look like when
you print it out, try pressing CTRL-J. This will hide the guides on
the screen, to give you be better view of how your document will look.
To switch the guides back on, just press CTRL-J again.
If you want to have something appear on all the pages in your Pagemaker
document, simply put it on the master page. The master page is a special
page in your Pagemaker document that will be shown and printed on every
page of your PageMaker document. To get to the master page, simply select
either the 'L' or 'R' pages. These are master pages for the left and
right hand sides of your document for double-sided documents. Single-sided
documents have an 'R' page only. Also, if you want to put repeating
page numbers in your document, just type CTRL-SHIFT-F3 for PageMaker
6.5 (CTRL-SHIFT-3 for PageMaker 6), in a text block, on your master
page. The LM or RMs will be replaced with the appropriate page numbers
on every page in your document.
Did you know... That by using the Place function in
Pagemaker it uses much less memory and can be considerably faster than
simply cutting and pasting?