The “Examples” section of this website presents many quite attractive examples of PageBuilder word processing. In this “technology” section we would like to explain the underlying software architecture.
First, the PageBuilder suite employs functions which, for the most part, have been available in PSL for some time.
Of the six “box” types available on the left side of the PageBuilder GUI, five involve box types in which properties are applied to the box. The content of the box “obeys” properties set for the box. A user sees properties available to be assigned to the box on the right, “Properties” panels which have a few tabs based on type of properties. For any of these properties, short of “Dimensions”, users may type in a value or map a data element (which includes Value Functions) to the appropriate property. In some cases, such as some of the Custom boxes, it is possible to type in (or map in) a list. An example would be those properties involving color in which case a list of colors would cause a blending of those colors for that property.
Formatted Text Box
One case is quite different and the properties panel is purposely only for framing and dimensions of the box itself. That would be the Formatted Text box. In that case properties can be selected for any highlighted section of text – down to a single character. The basic editor allows all of the common selections; Bold, Underlined, Italic, Justification mode (four of them), etc. Should one desire finer control, the “Settings” pull down can be selected to provide finer adjustments – such as location and thickness of underlines, sub and superscripts, colors and the like. It also allows selection of special characters (“Bullets”), tab settings, indent settings, and max word spacing for horizontal column justification.
Import Word Documents
Importing of Word™ documents is involved in the vast majority of PageBuilder projects. They can be copied into either type of text box from the clip board. However, as is always the case, they lose the majority of the control codes in that case. PageBuilder Formatted Text Box controls make it straight forward to re-format the piece and that is often done.
However there is another way to import a Word document and that is to convert it to a PDF and import that. One then uses a “white out” functionality to do just that to text that is to be replaced – such as an address block.
Because of the rich functionality in PSL, all manner of robust word processing functions can be addressed.
Curves can be created for sides of formatted text boxes. These can be Bezier curves or they can be computed based on the (say) image boxes to be inserted on any page – e.g. variable for each page.
Font sizes can be scaled up or down to fit text to the space described. Limits can be applied to such scaling resulting in a “warning” if those limits are transgressed.
Programmatically then one may adjust kerning, leading, word spacing, and related functions on order to get the text to fit in a “box” whose sides may actually vary from record to record.
The creativity of the user is about the only limit.
Fitting Text to Curves
Then there is another word processing function available – fitting text to curves. Curves can be created in a variety of ways, including free form and mathematically. A single function in PSL causes phrases to be fit to the curve. Long phrases get a smaller font size.
Measuring Length of A Variable Phrase
Perhaps another “word processing” function will be of interest. The length of any variable phrase can be measured – regardless of font selected. That length can be used to construct geometric figures into which that phrase might be fit.
Lastly, is the matter of imposition? The N-Up function of course deals with one kind of imposition. The other kind, addressed by PSL is booklet imposition. This is discussed elsewhere.
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