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lines of text split mid-line across pages (etc.): HELP!

Abe Hendin

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Hello, everyone. I'm new here, and relatively new to FM (ver 6, OS X), so please be kind. I /am/ studying the manual and googling... ;-) And I'm an old hand at newsgroups and have lots of layout and programming experience in other arenas.

I've been banging my head against what feels like a wall on this for several days over a period of weeks. Every time I think I've got it working it turns out otherwise, and I'm hoping some kind soul can shed some light and help me get these issues worked out once and for all. Apologies in advance for such a long post.

I have a student database from which I need to print several variable-length text fields ("comments") per student record. There is one such comment per student, per class, or anywhere from 5 to 8 comments per student to be printed. Each comment can range in length from 1 paragraph of ~12 lines to a page and a half or more.

I've got a layout that begins with a Sub-Summary part (sorted by student) that includes our logo and some header stuff for the first page, and the student name followed by a ruling line. Then comes a Body part that begins with a ruling line to separate each subject from the preceding one, followed by the subject name. This is followed by a second Sub-Summary for the comment (sorted by subject). Sliding is turned on only for the comment field.

I’ve had a variety of problems; solved some, but have remaining issues. The first critical problem is that for some bizarre reason, when I print, some lines are allowed to be actually split in the middle (vertically) across the page break. I’m talking about the top half of a single line being printed at the bottom of the first page, the bottom half of the line being printed at the top of the next page. It seems that FM6 isn’t smart enough to break between lines??? Wow. So I spent a fair amount of time attempting to precisely calculate field and part heights, based on a precisely specified line height (13.1 px), in the hope that I could massage it into shape, but I’m still getting split lines, and the fact that the problem is not consistent makes vertical-space-tweaking unlikely to be a reliable solution, at least not as I’m currently doing it. I just can’t believe that FM could be so dumb in this department, so I expect I’m missing something, or overlooking the obvious. The default line spacing of “single” showed the same problem. The font is AGaramond, if it makes any difference for some obscure reason. I’m printing to PS printers, or to PDF; same problem.

The second most critical is that I cannot find any way to keep the Body part with the second sub-summary when printing (a “keep with next” option in layout terms). [i find it difficult to believe that such an option would be missing, so perhaps someone could clue me in or confirm its absence.] This means that the subject is allowed by FM to appear as the last item on the page, separated by the page break from the beginning of the comment text.

In one attempt to resolve this, I moved the rule and subject into the sub-summary containing the comment and eliminated the Body part, but because the comment must be allowed to break across pages, the subject/teacher merge combo field (2 lines) is also allowed to split in the middle across a page break. No good. Back to putting it in a Body part, where it is separated from the comment under the right conditions. I can fix and reprint these records manually by adding additional CRLFs to the previous comment to push the next part to the next page, but there must be an easier way.

A third problem is that I’ve specified page number restart on the first sub-summary containing the “header” stuff, but for some reason I can’t fathom the page numbers (stored in a Footer part when I tried it) restart not only on that page, but also on the second page, resulting in “1, 1, 2, 3”. Means I can’t number these pages. Any ideas on why this might be happening? No, none of the other parts is set to restart the numbering, and no part of the first sub-summary ever makes it to the second page.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks,


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