Re: [xsl] even column lengths

Subject: Re: [xsl] even column lengths
From: "G. Ken Holman" <gkholman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2007 21:41:46 +0100
At 2007-03-26 15:11 -0500, Luke Jones wrote:
xsl experts,

I'm currently trying produce a section of columns within a page.  Using
the column attributes of the body region, I can easily create the
desired columns.  However, the columns do not always come out with an
even (or close to even) length, which is required for this particular

I'm afraid you are out of luck ... you have correctly used the closest approximation, which is to flow a spanned empty block at the end of the text, but the balancing of the content is done on a line-oriented basis, subject to widows and orphans. As a result, the "balanced columns" are only approximated and vertical justification is not available in XSL-FO with which to give the appearance of the bottom of the last line of each column being aligned with the other.

In my initial efforts to figure this problem out, I saw several
references of putting an empty block at the end of the text in a effort
to force the columns to be even.  This did not work for me, although it
could be that I did not fully understand the method that was being

The only thing I noticed you probably missed is that the spanned block has to follow unspanned blocks for the unspanned blocks to be balanced. An initial glance gave me the impression you might have too many spanned blocks. A contiguous set of spanned blocks are all in one span-reference area. New span-reference-areas are introduced only when the column spanning changes.

To the best of my knowledge this section of code is setting up the
columns within the body region. Then calling all the templates that DO
NOT get broken up into columns inside a span=all block. Finally the
annotation template is called which SHOULD be broken up into columns.

Any idea on how to even out the columns is greatly appreciated!!

I don't think you'll find what you really need ... only an approximation.

I hope this helps, though I realize it isn't what you want.

. . . . . . . . Ken

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