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Frame 5.5.6: "This document's Left/Right master pages have an irregular column layout."

FrameMaker 5.5.6, WinNT.

I get this message when I choose Format> Page Layout> Column Layout.

The full message is:

"This document's Left/Right master pages have an irregular column layout.
Using the Column Layout command will remove this layout.  Are you sure you
want to do this?"

What exactly does this message mean, and exactly how does FrameMaker "remove
this layout"?  I have looked in the 5.0 and 5.5.6 manuals I have on hand,
and also have searched on the net, but haven't found an explanation of this
dialog anywhere.  Clicking OK fixes a problem that has frustrated me for a
few days, but I don't like blind "just do this and everything is fine"

I created this template where this is happening.  The page width is A4
width, 8.268".  It's designed for printing, and getting as much on a page as
possible.  I set it up the Left/Right pages with 1.25" margins on the
"binding" (more likely three-hole binder ring) edge, and 0.75" on the outer

Well, that was the idea, and these margins are easy to set on the left side
of the (Left or Right) page, but trickier on the right side where I
guesstimated where 8.268"-1.25" and 8.268"-0.75" would occur.

I figure I must have not gotten it perfectly correct, and hence this
message.  But it's unclear to me what clicking OK does exactly, because I
have carefully compared the left and right master pages in a doc where I
chose to remove the irregular column layout, and one where I did not--I
can't see any difference!

This is all at the tail end of some Kafkaesque troubleshooting (think "The

Someone using this template reported that blank pages were hanging around,
despite the "Make page count even" setting.  My initial suspicion that it
had something to do with headers and footers, because fiddling with them
would make the problem go away--the first time I tried.  However, the
problem would promply reappear.

Finally I twigged that, when going View> Master Pages and back to View> Body
Pages, I was getting the Page Layout Warning dialog, "Some body pages
override their master page's layout".  When I removed overrides, then the
blank pages were deleted.

Well, okay, this is standard FrameMaker functionality.  But why was I
getting these overrides?  It turned out that when new pages were added to
the doc (simply by typing), those new pages automagically had overrides.
The pattern of which pages would have overrides was strange, but the fact
remained that there were overrides, so if I deleted the newly-typed text,
the blank pages would not disappear on save.  (So when I was fooling with
headers and footers, I thought nothing of the Page Layout Warning, just
clicked Remove Overrides--and when the overrides were gone, the blank pages
deleted properly.  Of course, as soon as new pages were added, the overrides
were back....)

Finally--if I remove the irregular column layout, then (although I don't see
any difference) the page layout overrides disappear and the problem is
licked.  That's very nice, but I'm ornery enough to wonder exactly why this
nostrum is effective.

Ed (wonder what our Frame 7 upgrade will bring) Treijs

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