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

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

Since the Column Layout command will apply the same margins and text frame
sizes to all pages, the warning means that your current layout differs
between the Left/Right master pages. The size of the text frame, the column
gap, or the margins are different. It may be by as little as 0.001 inch.

I assume that FM corrects this by applying the settings in the Column Layout
dialog, thus overriding any previous differences. Remember that the message
is given before entering the Column Layout dialog, so nothing will happen
when you click OK in the message box. It's simply a way to tell you that if
you apply the changes in the Column Layout dialog, then the layout will change.

> 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.

This sounds like you're sizing the text frames by using the mouse.
Instead, use the Object Properties dialog to set exact values.

> 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!

You may not be able to see the difference with your eyes, but probably
the exact measurements of margins and/or text frame sizes have changed.
Again, check the Object Properties dialog.

> 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, 

This sounds strange, and it shouldn't be happening. When new pages are added,
they should be identical copies of the corresponding master page, without
overrides, regardless of any "irregular layout". I created a test document
with irregular layout, and couldn't repeat the problem you're describing.

Perhaps there is some sort of document corruption happening. Round-tripping
to MIF could solve that.

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Thomas Michanek, FrameMaker/UNIX/MIF expert
Technical Communicator, Uppsala, Sweden
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