Dictionary-Style running headers – standard practice?

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Dwayne Harris 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #95463

    Jim Swift

    I am working on a dictionary-style book using the standard <Firstword> <Lastword> with a char style running header.

    But the text for some of the words is very long, covering 3 or more pages.

    As a result, some page spreads do not contains any dictionary words, leaving empty running header entries.

    If you think of a disctionary-style running header as showing the range of new words on the spread, it makes some kind of sense for the header to be empty if there are no dictionary words on the spread.

    But I have no idea what is standard practice in this situation.

    Please could some of the design experts here help me out with this?

  • #95479

    I’ve always continued the the runningheads when the text goes on for several pages.

    On a few jobs, I had a separate master page just for that. It would have the variable, but I would type (cont.) after it and apply when it went on several pages.

    One thing I don’t understand though–why are those pages coming out blank for you? The running heads should have carried over.

  • #95484

    Jim Swift

    Many thanks, Dwayne, the (cont) sounds a good idea.

    I have no idea why the text variable is not continuing the value from the previous <Lastword> value. I did not create this original document, I’m just helping to update the files with lots of corrections from the previous edition. I’d not come across a dictionary-style running head before so did not know how it was supposed to work in this situation.

    Any suggestions how to debug this issue?

    Thanks again


  • #95486

    Masood Ahmad

    Try recreating the variables.

  • #95488

    Hey Jim–I’m taking it that the character style is nested. Can you confirm that?

    If so, are any other paragraphs based upon that one? And have the “nested” feature in that as well?

    I know that many people and companies don’t like or want files being looked at by outsiders, if you could send me a few pages of it (where the problem occurs), I can look at it. If you’re not allowed to, we can try to figure it out here.

    Post back and if you want my email address I can give it to you here.

  • #95490

    Jim Swift

    Thanks, Massood, recreating the variable did not change anything.

    Dwayne, the character style, used just for the dictionary entries, is not nested in either of the 2 paragraph styles used for the dictionary entries.

    It would seem that the character style has been manually applied to each word. Likely this is because, in additional single words, some dictionary entries are hyphenated words and some are a few words.

    I’m not sure about sharing pages. Let’s see if we can figure this out first before approaching the company about sharing.

    I very much appreciate the help.

    • #95491

      That’s a good thing that the character style was manually applied. I had a job several years ago when the first entry was not properly in the running head. It was because it was nested. I had to search and replace and apply the character style. Glad you did it that way as it avoided me a ton of typing to tell you to do that.

      I totally understand about sharing files from the company. My company would definitely say no, unless I supplied the file, but used nonsense text instead of real text.

  • #95492

    Jim Swift

    There are only a handful of pages where the text variable value is blank, so it might be quickest to simply add the continued word manually rather than trying to debug the problem.

    But knowing your text variables behave differently, carrying over to the next page, is puzzling.

    How would the <FirstEntry> variable on the page with no entries pick up the value of the <LastEntry> variable from the previous page?

    • #95493

      Jim–you’re probably right–do the manual thing (unless it’s going eBook later on–as it’s a no-no for that thing).

      Not sure why InDesign is behaving this way. It sounds like it’s been set up correctly.

      I’m at a loss at this time.

  • #95494

    Jim Swift

    Thanks, Dwayne.

    It will be a reflowable ebook later on, but we do not use any running headers in the ebook.

    Just to confirm, the usual practice for dictionary-style running headers is for the First on Page and Last on Page variables to pick up previous values if there are no words with that character style on the page?

    Many thanks

    • #95497

      Normally so. But let’s say you have three pages of just type (no dictionary words) on that page, then those three pages would have whatever last word was used. Which it should automatically do.

  • #95498

    Jim Swift

    Thanks Dwayne. I’ll do it manually. Wish I could figure out what could be going wrong here :-)

  • #95499

    Jim Swift

    Solved :-) Took the clear light of a new day to wonder if the character style was actually being used on the pages without dictionary entries.

    It WAS! There were a couple of spaces and hyphens on the page without entries, that were formatted with the same style.

    As soon as I corrected those, the running headers showed as they should.

    Hope this helps someone else.

    • #95501


      I’m glad you got it figured out. I was thinking this morning that the character style must have been applied somewhere else, and thus canceling out the running heads.

      Sometimes it’s good to step back or look at something later when your mind is fresh.

      Glad you got it figured out.

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