Document Headings and Frames

A little bit of background here… I have a document that has 4 columns so I could set the background to the full page width. Only the middle two columns have any text/images in them. On some of the pages, mostly for chapter labels, I wanted the text across both middle columns so I used frames. The goal of this document was to export as a PDF with bookmarks for the chapters and subsections. From different forums I read I figured using the headings hierarchy to be the easiest way to do so. I am currently using headings 1-3 with the appropriate styles that I want to use. But when I do that, it puts the text in frames before the text in the body first (when viewed with the Navigator). I tried dragging and dropping them in the Navigator, but it rearranged the document…

So my question is, how do I use headings to be able to export the bookmarks whilst having the headings in frames stay in their proper order and not take priority over the text body? Or, should I use a different method of getting having the bookmarks export to PDF?

Frames provide a means to insert material outside text flow. What is inside the frame (graphics, text) is not related at all with main text, except for the anchor which constraints the frame to follow its movement. You may even experience formatting difficulties with text wrapping around depending on the option.

What you need is a procedure to synchronise your 1-column headings with your 4-column text. And I’m afraid this involves a lot of manual editing with section insertions.

  • First, from your description, I understand that your document is in fact a 2-column one. It looks like you use the outer columns as margin extensions. You can get the effect without this artifact. Set your page style properties (mostly margins) for the widest area you need (probably for your headings if they are hanging as suggested by your question) in 1-column, so that your headings can span the whole page width.

    Type your headings (or paste them from the frames to main test body) and style them Heading n. In principle, this is already done.

  • After each heading, Insert>Section. Each section has 2 columns with a gutter set by Width and Spacing in the Columns tab. To get the equivalent of your empty outer columns, go to Indents tab and set Before section and After section to create left and right margin extensions.

    Type your text or paste it into the section.

With this scheme, ordering of headings is preserved. You can even include “embedded” headings in the multi-column section (not hanging headings) and have them in their proper location in the navigator.

Since there is now a single text flow chain, you should have no problem exporting your document and all its properties like bookmarks to any format.

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