Re: [xsl] Thumb grips

Subject: Re: [xsl] Thumb grips
From: Wendell Piez <wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 10:28:39 -0500

This is an interesting problem. These would probably be "thumb tabs". I take it you've already worked out with your printer whatever problems relate to their placement on the edge of the page.

I'd look at defining some static content for a page sequence master, using


The referenced page master would apply only to the last page; it could contain static content for your outer margin. Then for each page sequence, you would use a template to place the markings correctly. (This would be a mere matter of XSLT, using an algorithm along lines you suggest.)

The one concern I'd have is how to make this appear always on a recto page, since the last page of a sequence could be a verso page (although you didn't mention this as a requirement). In fact you would probably want to force it always to be a verso page (or even a recto page), using @force-page-count on the page-sequence that uses the master. But this method won't work if you actually want your markings to be on the penultimate page, not the last page.

I'll be interested if others have better ideas. First I'd have said XSL-FO isn't the tool for this. :-)


At 09:55 AM 1/15/2009, you wrote:
Hi all,

Not sure if "thumb grips" is really the term... :-) I once helped publish an annual reference book with XSL FO where parts of the right margin is punched out, like in a phone book. The printer/bookbinder needs line marks in the PDF at the points where the thumb grips need to be punched out. I use to do this by manually adding comments in the PDF. That is, I draw short horizontal lines near the outer margin at a dozen places in the finished PDF.

The printer is always grumpy about me using PDF comments for these markings, but I'm not sure if it's possible to do in PDF. That's my question: is it possible in XSL FO to add horizontal lines with a certain length, at exact locations in the outer margin on each page immediately preceding a new chapter?

The stylesheet manages to add labels to the thumb grips, by dividing the page height with the number of chapters. Each thumb grip may be equal in height. I'd like to hear your ideas on how to to solve this in XSL FO.


Wendell Piez                            mailto:wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.      
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