Re: [xsl] balanced columns?

Subject: Re: [xsl] balanced columns?
From: Dan Vint <dvint@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2005 08:24:01 -0700
Whew! glad to hear this wasn't an RTFM ;-) Seems like this should have just been another attribute for the page-layout information.

I also knew there was a reason why I stayed with one column documents.

Ken are you doing a full FO class at XML 2005? I think I took an XSLT class from you at one of these past events.


At 07:39 PM 9/15/2005, G. Ken Holman wrote:
At 2005-09-15 17:18 -0700, Dan Vint wrote:
I did a search on balanced and unbalanced columns in the spec and didn't find anything. Also looked into widows and orphans with no help.

Is there a way in XSL to request a multi column layout to balance the length of columns when it doesn't fill a page?

:{)} This is part of the first exercise in my XSL-FO training, Dan ... too bad you haven't yet had the chance to take it.

Add a zero-sized spanned block at the end of your flow for the page sequence ... this will push up the columns into their span-reference-area in order to open the new span-reference-area for the empty block, thus accomplishing your required balancing. The empty block will not render and all you have is the balanced columns.

Note, though, the balancing isn't necessarily precise as the formatter still has to accommodate widows and orphans in the "pushed-up" column content. In my exercise's data it happens that the left column is three lines longer than the right in order to satisfy the widow/orphan counts. But, the lines are all at the top of the two-column page, not just down the left.

I hope this helps.

. . . . . . . . Ken

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