Question regarding auto-titles

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frvs
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Question regarding auto-titles

Post by frvs » Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:04 pm

Okay, since no one answered my previous question, I will reformulate it so as to make it as clear as possible. I would like to set up a set of autotitles with two hierarchical levels, one for chapters and one for chapter sections, so that, in the Table of Contents, the sections-level auto-titles would present no line breaks between one auto-title and the next. Something like:
1. This is a chapter autotitle------------------------------------------------------------------2
This one section auto-title (3) This is another section auto-title (13) And this is yet another section auto-title (26) And yet another (30)
2. This is another chapter autotitle------------------------------------------------------------------31
And so on (31) And on (34) And on (37)

Is this possible at all?

Mart°n
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Post by Mart°n » Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:20 pm

It is possible, but actually not in a one step operation. You could set up a Auto-Title setup that produces a ToC like this:
1. This is a chapter autotitle------------------------------------------------------------------2
This one section auto-title (3)
This is another section auto-title (13)
And this is yet another section auto-title (26)
And yet another (30)
2. This is another chapter autotitle---------------------------------------------------------31
And so on (31)
And on (34)
And on (37)
And then you have to manually (or by an find-action) delete the return characters () so that the final result looks like the example you’ve given above.

This means, that it’s actually not possible to suppress the automatic return character within the Auto-Title setup.
If you need further help in creating the setup, let me know.

edit: typos
Last edited by Mart°n on Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Craig
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Post by Craig » Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:36 am

If the original post might now be thought of as a feature request, I second it!

frvs
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Post by frvs » Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:14 am

Martin, thanks for the response. Actually, I had already designed a Find and Replace action to do what you describe. There is a problem, though. When the TOC is compiled using one line for each section title, it spreads over more than one page, and page numbers for the TOC are calculated on this basis. Then, when one deletes paragraph returns, the TOC goes down to one page, which means all page numbers in the TOC get to be wrong. One could also manually correct them, of course, but then this is getting to too much manual work, right? In my view, not to be able to automatically get TOC section titles in a single paragraph per chapter, as an option, is a blow to an otherwise very flexible and thorough auto-titles design. So, yes, I guess this would boil down to a feature request.

In the meanwhile, I must follow the manual route. Is there a way to design a Find and Replace action that would decrease all numbers within a selection by one (or whatever)?

Mart°n
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Post by Mart°n » Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:51 pm

frvs wrote:One could also manually correct them, of course, but then this is getting to too much manual work, right? In my view, not to be able to automatically get TOC section titles in a single paragraph per chapter, as an option, is a blow to an otherwise very flexible and thorough auto-titles design. So, yes, I guess this would boil down to a feature request.
I personally never thought of putting all the section titles into one line and I couldn’t see a benefit of such a layout. That may have bee the reason, why such an option haven’t been bulit into Mellel but I hope you can give an example, when such a ToC layout may be preferable to a „one line for every section” layout.
frvs wrote:In the meanwhile, I must follow the manual route. Is there a way to design a Find and Replace action that would decrease all numbers within a selection by one (or whatever)?
I don’t think, that such a find & replace action would work (I may be wrong here and haven’t digged deep enough into the current find & replace feature) but I have two other ideas.

1. You could insert your ToC at the very end of your document, leave the page at the beginning blank, strip out all the return characters and cut&paste the changed ToC to the blank page. This method wouldn’t affect the calculated page numbers at all.

2. You could use two separate page styles. One for everything that sits in front of your actual text (Title, ToC, Credits, blank pages…) and one style for the text itself. You could then set the first page style to use a Roman numbering scheme (for example) with I, II, III, IV and so on and set up a Arabic numbering scheme to the rest of your text (1, 2, 3, 4…). At the first page of your text-page-style, you could set the “Start at” option in the “Page” palette to “1”. With this set up, you could now insert the ToC into a page with the first page style and no matter how large it will grow or how you will edit it later, the Arabic numbers always stays the same as only the page numbers of the first stlye (I, II, III) increase and decrease.
This doesn’t work if you have to deliver your work to a publisher that actually wants some other numbering scheme.

As to the feature request, I think this could be done by adding a (Return) element to the Auto-Title setup. So you could decide if you like to use a Return after your Auto-Title (after the title itself, inside the Mentions, in the ToC…) or not.

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Post by zoul » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:20 am

Mart°n wrote:I personally never thought of putting all the section titles into one line and I couldn’t see a benefit of such a layout. That may have bee the reason, why such an option haven’t been bulit into Mellel but I hope you can give an example, when such a ToC layout may be preferable to a „one line for every section” layout.
In my opinion it is quite legitimate and pretty way to solve the ToC layout of some documents. For example, sometimes the ToC overflows the page by a tiny bit no matter what you do, which can be easily solved by setting the subtitles on one single line. And other times it simply looks better than the one-title-one-line approach.

I also think it would be nice solution to implement this as a new feature, but I am not sure what would that do to existing documents.

frvs
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Post by frvs » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:38 am

Martin, thanks for your suggestions. Both should work while the feature is (hopefully) in line for implementation.

As for the utility of such a feature, the main reason would be compactness. Often, when one has many section titles, to list them makes for an overly long TOC. So, the solution would be to omit section titles. But sometimes that would be a pity, for it skips useful information. So, the compromise solution would be to add section titles in a compact format (in one line) that allows for a short TOC while still displaying section titles. It is also an esthetically pleasing solution, for it offers a sort of resume of each chapter while allowing for all chapters to appear in a single page, so that one has a better overview of the book. In the 19th century and early 20th century, when it was common to write long books, many book TOCs were designed like this. Put simply, it is the option that most efectively balances completeness of information and economy in display. IMO.

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