View Full Version : "Side-lining"

Peter M.
04-01-2014, 08:03 PM
Hi all. Newbie here (to both publishing and the forum). I have finished retyping an old, worn book (1921) into the computer for someone. He will be wanting to send it to a number of people, and I figure that digitizing it is the best first thing to do. I now need to include the emphases and comments that he has added to it.

He has used single and double underlining within the text where only a few words are involved, and single and double "side-lining" (vertical lines down the outside of the text) where more is involved. These "side-lines" do not always start at the beginning of a paragraph, and can span multiple paragraphs. There are also some written comments.

I've used Word 2010 so far, and there are a couple of ways I can wrestle the side-lines in place (bordered frames; text boxes; drawing them), but there are still messy problems (keeping them on the outside of mirror-margin pages; staying associated with the same text if resizing pages).

I'm not stuck on doing this in Word. Indeed, I expect that isn't a very good choice. However, I would like to avoid spending weeks of struggling to find a good way to do this. Does anyone have any suggestions?

don Arnoldy
04-02-2014, 07:19 AM

I'd like to start by asking you what our goal is—are you trying to exactly reproduce the book in electronic form: typeface, margins, line breaks, and margin notes?

Making the sidelining work will be difficult no matter what software you use. If you aren't trying to make an exact reproduction of the original page, then you have some other techniques you could use to achieve the original marker's intent.

You could change the marked passages to a contrasting type face, You could change the style of the text to italic or small caps (or bold). You could change the background color of the passages to a pastel color (mimicking a hi-liter pen). Any of those techniques would be easier to apply, and avoid a lot of manual fiddling should you resize the text.

Howard Allen
04-02-2014, 08:56 AM
Further to Don's suggestions, Adobe Acrobat would be worth consideration. Acrobat's comment and markup tools allow you to highlight passages of text with a variety of effects: "sticky notes", highlighting (different colours), underlining (different colours, straight underline vs. squiggly), etc. You select the text you want to annotate in the PDF, then type in the comments. The reader can see the comments by mousing over the highlight (a "tool-tips" type of balloon appears), or clicking the highlighted text (a small popup window appears).

Peter M.
04-02-2014, 10:30 AM
The content and the font are the only two things which are to be reproduced. The language is German and the font is Fraktur. The original contains its own emphases in bold and some block quotes. The intended readership (for the moment) will be well-aged and will be able to read the old German style.

The main problem is to clearly differentiate between the original text and the newly added emphases. Bold won't work because the original used bold. Italic is possible, but I had a hard enough time finding a decent Fraktur font with bold. I don't remember (a decent) one with italic. Also, there are more than one level of newly added emphasis.

The content is a harsh critique and expose, so there is no messing about with vague hints that something is sort of important. Some points are not to be missed (underlined), and some words are the very heart of the matter (doubly underlined). Larger sections are also dealt with this way, thus the single and double side-lining. This makes four levels of emphasis: a general and a specific form in both shorter inline and longer block-like sections. Keeping these separate while not burying the original (with its own emphases) is my problem. Side-lines do this so well, and so simply, that it's a shame they don't translate well into digital methods.

<dream>It'd be nice to be able to make some sort of margin decoration that links to a particular in-line word and continues until another linked word.</dream>

At the moment, I think I'm trying to straddle the fence by simply giving him a digital form of what he has done by hand, and letting it go at that. This will be of limited distribution and need not be "professional", so I'm wondering if the quick way would be to just decide on page size, draw the side-lines, and create a pdf.

Peter M.
04-02-2014, 10:35 AM
I will look into Acrobat. I've known of its existence, but never needed anything like it until perhaps now. I'm also trying to set up a website that will host my Dad's articles, and I think they should also be readied for print, so I think I'll be looking into more established digital publishing techniques. At $450, Acrobat isn't out of reach if it will be well used, and no different than MS Office (which, as I understand it, is not a choice tool for publishing work). I'll try the trial version to see what it can do.

Howard Allen
04-02-2014, 11:16 AM
I should point out that Acrobat isn't the only PDF tool that can create markups like I described. There are much cheaper tools available, though some may not have all the bells and whistles of Acrobat. An example is the "free" application Preview, that comes with Mac OSX, but there are no doubt lots of options in the Windows world.

Peter M.
04-02-2014, 07:16 PM
Well, look at how things work out sometimes. If you hadn't started me thinking about pdf tools I wouldn't have realized that I already have PDF Creator Pro. It came with my Omnipage Pro, but I haven't needed a pdf tool yet and so it's been forgotten. I tried out its line drawing tool and it will do what I want. Not a real publishing solution, but it will serve the purpose for now. Thanks for helping me out.

Steve Rindsberg
04-03-2014, 11:14 AM
Word's Review | Track Changes feature will do sidelining. I'm not sure exactly what triggers it, but if it were turned on (and you signed in to the computer as a different user so Word's hornswoggled into thinking you're not the same you as typed the text in the first place) it might give you what you're after.

Worth experimenting with, but maybe only if a Word document or the printed results from Word give you what you need. If the text will be published from some other software, Word's sidelining might not be preserved.