"Orphan/Widow Paragraphs" in TOCs and Nested Lists

Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2018

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Obviously Framemaker has the "keep with next" and "keep with previous" options in the Paragraph formats as well as the ability to control the minimum number of lines from a paragraph that show at the beginning of end of a page (widow/orphan lines).

What I'm looking for is the same kind of functionality, except with paragraphs instead of lines.  I'm running into a lot of situations with nested lists and tables of contents where the "sub-items" will be separated from the "top-level items" when the text flows to the next page.

For example:

1) Top-Level Item

2) Top-Level Item

3) Top-Level Item

   a. Sub-Item

   b. Sub-Item

4) Top-Level Item

*PAGE ENDS HERE*

   a. Sub-Item

   b. Sub-Item

What I would like to see:

1) Top-Level Item

2) Top-Level Item

3) Top-Level Item

   a. Sub-Item

   b. Sub-Item

*PAGE ENDS HERE*

4) Top-Level Item

   a. Sub-Item

   b. Sub-Item

In most lists I can just use overrides or a different paragraph format to solve the problem.  But with TOCs, it gets rid of the overrides every time I update the TOC.

I can't just use "keep with next" in the "top-level item" paragraph format, because not every "top-level item" has "sub-items" after it.  And I can't use "keep with previous" on the "sub-item" because if there are a lot of "sub-items" I want them to be able to flow to the next page, just without leaving the associated "top-level item" behind.

Are there any solutions for this problem in Framemaker?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2018

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Why can't you set the alpha list to Keep with Previous in all cases?

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Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2018

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Because some of those lists are 10+ items long and doing that will mean Framemaker will try to keep all 10+ of them on the same page which could result in some ugly white space at the bottom of the previous page.

For example, I want to allow:

1) Top-Level Item

2) Top-Level Item

3) Top-Level Item

   a. Sub-Item

   b. Sub-Item

4) Top-Level Item

   a. Sub-Item

   b. Sub-Item

*PAGE ENDS HERE*

   c. Sub-Item

   d. Sub-Item

What Framemaker would do with "keep with previous" on for all "sub-items":

1) Top-Level Item

2) Top-Level Item

3) Top-Level Item

   a. Sub-Item

   b. Sub-Item

                                    <----------Ugly white space

*PAGE ENDS HERE*

4) Top-Level Item

   a. Sub-Item

   b. Sub-Item

   c. Sub-Item

   d. Sub-Item

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2018

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Fair enough. That might point to an organizational issue within your material. If you can't relabel your headings to adjust the nesting (perhaps by grouping related headings under a higher level heading, you'll likely need to wait until your project is "final" and then modify tags, etc. manually.

Frame is wonderful for doing exactly​ what you tell it to do...sometimes that means you have to adjust what you tell it to do!

-Matt

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2018

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OrionDeYoe​ - I guess you could add additional clones of your x) Top-Level Item and y) Sub-Item tags that would stick or not-stick to previous or next depending on the desired hand-styling you desire. IMHO, seems a lot of extra work in these digital output times...but YMMV.

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Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2018

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Yeah, that is probably what I would do for a normal bulleted list (actually I've just been using overrides to the paragraph formats, which really isn't any more or less work).

My specific case I'm working with at the moment is actually a TOC though, which means I'm completely boxed in on what paragraph formats I have to use (the automatically generated ones).  Unless I'm mistaken there....  Correct me if I'm wrong.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 31, 2018

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Orion,

   Consider defining a pair of paragraph formats such as Sub-Item and Sub-Item-Might-Break. They would be formatted identically in the main document, but their TOC counterparts would differ. Sub-ItemTOC would be set to Keep with Previous but Sub-Item-Might-Break would not. This approach would allow you to regenerate the same TOC with the same page breaks. However, as the document evolves with editing, you may want to change where you use each of them.

    --Lynne

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OrionDeYoe AUTHOR LATEST
Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2018

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Lynne,

Thanks, it's certainly not ideal but this is the most robust option I think.  What'll I probably do is create a "Sub Item (First)" format (for the first sub-item after a top-level item) in addition to my "Sub Item" format, and keep them formatted exactly the same in the body of the document.  Then in the TOC, set "keep with previous" for "Sub Item (First) TOC" and leave it unset for "Sub Item TOC".

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