Feature request: Page style break after this page

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

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kjmatthews
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Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by kjmatthews » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:10 pm

I think this is a fairly self-explanatory feature request. There are numerous situations where I would like to modify page style wherever the "natural" page break occurs in the text flow. This is particularly useful at the beginning of chapters, where page enumeration style and header/footer content tends to be different than on internal chapter pages. The current implementation of the page style break cannot accommodate this because it does not anchor itself to the end of a page, but rather forces a page break at the place where it is defined. My sense is that the page style break would be more useful if the user had to be explicit about wanting the actual page break as well. It would mean an extra keystroke for users who want the page break, but a lot more flexibility for those who don't.

(This would also solve all of my problems with dissertation pagination, which is not negligible.)

I'm curious how much traction this might have among users who frequent the forums.

rpcameron
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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by rpcameron » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:23 pm

I'm not quite sure how one would define a "page break after this page"; what defines "this page"?

I think the more common format is to have a page break/page style break before an particular Auto-Title or paragraph style.
— Robert Cameron

kjmatthews
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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by kjmatthews » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:56 am

rpcameron wrote:I'm not quite sure how one would define a "page break after this page"; what defines "this page"?
I don't know what you mean. I mean "page" in the most pedestrian sense possible. Mellel understands what a page is already: we have page styles, page breaks, page numbers, etc. Anything you type in Mellel is automatically organized into pages. If you type enough text, eventually you'll be typing on page 2. In any case, what I'm interested in is the style break after this page, not the page break.
rpcameron wrote:I think the more common format is to have a page break/page style break before an particular Auto-Title or paragraph style.
This wouldn't really solve the use case I'm trying to problem solve. Let's say I'm typing a novel, and I want the page number to be centered in the footer on the first page of each chapter (with an empty header), but want subsequent page numbers to appear left- or right-justified in the header (with an empty footer). I could begin a chapter on, say, page 63. I set the page style for p. 63 to "page number centered in the footer," and set a page style break to go into effect after page 63 (i.e. when page 64 begins). I begin typing on page 63, and wherever the page break happens to naturally occur the page style automatically switches to "page number justified in the header" once I hit page 64.

The current implementation of "page style break" requires me to insert a page break along with the style break at the end of page 63 if I want page 64 to use a different page style. What if I'm in the middle of a paragraph? What if the text is justified? My text flow is ruined. Almost every book I own is typeset this way: the first page of each chapter is set differently than the rest, at least insofar as the header, footer, and page number are concerned, so I know this is not an uncommon scenario.

rpcameron
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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by rpcameron » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:05 am

Ah, I think I understand what you mean—I was a bit confused at first. Perhaps it might be best to allow for different header/footer on the first page of a page style. Mellel allows you to suppress the header/footer of a first page, and have different headers/footers for even and odd pages, but presently there is no way to automatically have a different header/footer for the first page of a page style.

I wonder if anyone has a work-around for having a different header/footer for the first page of a page style that does not include manually inserting a new page style.
— Robert Cameron

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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by ozean » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:19 am

I was a bit confused first too, but now I think that sounds like a really nice feature. Much more flexible than the no/different header on first page solution that we currently have! I heartily second this request :)

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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by rpcameron » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:53 pm

ozean wrote:I was a bit confused first too, but now I think that sounds like a really nice feature. Much more flexible than the no/different header on first page solution that we currently have! I heartily second this request :)
Wait a minute, are you saying that there is a "different header on first page solution" presently? I looked for a method to do just that, but short of a page style break I was unable to find a way to achieve this. (Especially since that is what it appears the OP is looking for.)
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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by ozean » Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:46 pm

Sorry for causing confusion! No there isn’t.

(I put the “different” in there because I also thought about other word processors who offer a “different header for first page” solution.)

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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by redlers » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:41 am

I'm not sure I got this - but this seems to me to be a case of needing a "different first page" or the ability to design the first page and have it designed differently than the rest of the pages in the document.

kjmatthews
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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by kjmatthews » Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:23 am

redlers wrote:I'm not sure I got this - but this seems to me to be a case of needing a "different first page" or the ability to design the first page and have it designed differently than the rest of the pages in the document.
Yes, I think that's another way of accomplishing the same thing. As long as it would give us the ability to design *any* page ad hoc in the middle of a document differently than the rest of the pages, which I think can be accomplished with a combination of page style breaks, at least for my purposes. An example:

I am writing a dissertation with an chapters. According to my University's pagination and formatting requirements, the page number on the first page of each chapter must be centered in the footer; on every subsequent page it must be right-justified in the header. At present, I need to insert a page style break after the last word on the first page of each chapter if I wish to comply with these rules. Since the text of my dissertation is justified —thanks to Mellel's beautiful hyphenation dictionaries— this ruins the text flow of that line. A page style that allowed me to define a different header/footer for page 1 than pages 2-x would solve this problem. At the end of Chapter 1, I would insert a page style break (but not actually change styles), allowing me to recall the page-number-centered-in-the-footer style again for one page and then revert back to the normal page-number-right-justified-in-the-header style.

Does that make sense?

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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by ahankinson » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:43 am

I think that the problem is ultimately just that a page style break inserts an implicit page and paragraph break at the point of insertion. If I understand correctly, Word solves this problem by having "Section Break (Continuous)." That's not very descriptive, but it shows it can be done there.

Maybe Mellel could have a checkbox in the Page Style dialog to set a Page Style as "Flowing," where text is allowed to flow into the next page style without inserting the page and paragraph breaks. That way you could have a Page Style break at the end of the first page in your chapter that kept the text flowing into the next page style, while still ensuring you could set different page styles for the first and then subsequent pages.

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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by kjmatthews » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:05 pm

ahankinson wrote:I think that the problem is ultimately just that a page style break inserts an implicit page and paragraph break at the point of insertion.
This is exactly right.
ahankinson wrote:Maybe Mellel could have a checkbox in the Page Style dialog to set a Page Style as "Flowing," where text is allowed to flow into the next page style without inserting the page and paragraph breaks.
This would be a fine solution, though if the Redlers would prefer to simply provide an option to define separate page styles for the first page vs. subsequent pages, that would be okay as well. The "flowing" page style seems like the more elegant and flexible of the two solutions.

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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by rpcameron » Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:58 pm

ahankinson wrote:Maybe Mellel could have a checkbox in the Page Style dialog to set a Page Style as "Flowing," where text is allowed to flow into the next page style without inserting the page and paragraph breaks. That way you could have a Page Style break at the end of the first page in your chapter that kept the text flowing into the next page style, while still ensuring you could set different page styles for the first and then subsequent pages.
The problem with this, though, is what happens if additional text is then added above where the "flowing page style break" is. Because breaks are inserted inline as if they are another character, their position must be adjusted any time the body of text changes. While this solution will work, it is not without its limits.

Personally, I feel that page styles ought to offer options for different first/last pages, as well as facing options. The current solution only allows for suppressing headers/footers on the first page of a page style, but what we need are completely different options for the first page. And, since a different last page is essentially that same concept, why not add it in, too?
— Robert Cameron

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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by kjmatthews » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:18 pm

rpcameron wrote:The problem with this, though, is what happens if additional text is then added above where the "flowing page style break" is. Because breaks are inserted inline as if they are another character, their position must be adjusted any time the body of text changes. While this solution will work, it is not without its limits.
Perhaps the page style break should not be inserted inline, but instead anchored to the top of whatever page it affects, such that text can only be inserted after it. Page breaks are already (conceptually) anchored to the bottom of the pages that contains, insofar as no text can be inserted below it, even if they are (visually) inserted inline.

I think rpcameron's comment may be one reason why I initially requested page style breaks after this page, rather than on this page. If the break can be anchored to wherever the end of the page happens to fall in the flow of the text, that would be ideal in terms of transparency to the user. But as long as the mechanics for selecting a different first/last page style is kept simple (e.g. a pair of drop down lists in the page style editor that allows one to select from among the other page styles in the style set for first and last pages), I would have no objection, and would really love to see either of these solutions implemented.

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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by ahankinson » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:07 pm

The global "First Page/Subsequent Pages" option would be fairly limiting. If you wanted to keep many chapters in the same document, for example, you couldn't specify different page styles for more than the first page.

The other option is to have a "Custom..." option in the "Page Type" drop down (along with "All" and "Even/Odd") where you can list the page numbers that you want a particular page style to apply to.

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Re: Feature request: Page style break after this page

Post by aaronpr » Sun May 01, 2011 6:30 am

I'm not sure if this would achieve exactly what we are discussing here, but a feature I would like (which I will also submit separately, is a Page Style Break without a Page Break, and rather have the option to switch the Page Style on this or the next page. That would then provide for either having the new header appear on the current page or the next by choosing one of the two options, and every preference could be accommodated. There would just have to be 2 Page Style Break options, either Page Style Break This Page or Page Style Break Next Page.

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