Brad Walrod has been laying out complex books for over 30 years, and is an expert by anyone’s standards. He uses our products in a wide array of applications and is one of our most valuable testers. In fact, many of the features found in our products were the fruits of his suggestions.
While there are many of Brad’s projects which are worth spotlighting, there’s one in particular that we found very fascinating:
Berkshire Publishing Group contracted Brad to typeset their Encyclopedia of China. Laying out the 5 volume, 2800 page encyclopedia was a complicated job, and Brad led a team of three book compositors to do the task.
The challenges they faced were many, and we are happy to say that our products made their work much easier, more efficient and less error prone. One of the compositors described AutoFlow Pro (while it was still in alpha) as “magic”.
Some of the issues they faced:
- There were close to one thousand articles and each article started on a specific master page, while the rest of the article sat on a different master. They needed to be sure that the correct master page was always correctly applied.
- The articles were to be laid out in a two column layout. The columns needed to be balanced at the end of the articles to maintain a balanced look.
- The layout was started using articles that were not completed. The length of the articles were subject to change, and they needed to be sure the text would not become overset or the columns become unbalanced.
- Adding and removing art would effect the length of the articles as well.
- They needed a logical order of the stories and links created between the stories for export to e-publication.
How they solved these issues:
- Master page links were created using AutoFlow Pro to ensure the correct master pages were always applied based on the text content.
- Master Threads were defined by AutoFlow Pro to flow the text through pre-defined text frames on the differing master pages.
- The text frames were set to “Full Fitting” which always keeps the text frames snapped up to the text and balances the columns.
- After the text was imported (many articles at a time), Story Tools split up all the articles into separate InDesign stories. Once the text was split into stories, AutoFlow Pro fit the text frames to the text automatically.
- As the article lengths changed, AutoFlow Pro added and removed pages as necessary — using the correct master pages.
- To link the articles together for export, we wrote a custom script for them which saved many additional hours of work.
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