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Empty frames generated when using primary text frames with facing pages and pages reshuffle

Explorer ,
Oct 22, 2022 Oct 22, 2022

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This is an annoying issue that when I'm using primary text frames on facing pages, whenever the pages reshuffle a new empty frame gets added behind the active text thread on all the verso pages only. For years I've just ignored it, but I'm kind of picky about not having any extra elements that aren't being used. Has anyone else noticed this and found a way to stop it from happening?

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Community Expert , Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

I feel this discussion has gotten into the weeds of linked threads and reflow options, which are really irrelevant to the issue at hand:

 

Yes I think that’s right, what you are seeing would happen with any overridden Parent/Master page items.

 

Here I have a Parent/Master Page Item on each page of the spread, and Page Item labels on the 2/3 spread

 

Screen Shot 26.png

 

If I swap the spread pages without overriding the parent/master page items I get this:

 

Screen Shot 27.png

 

If I override the parent page items and move them th

...

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Have you toyed with these settings in preferences?

 

EugeneTyson_0-1666514669197.png

 

 

 

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Yes, my preferences match your screenshot. I attached a sample file to my latest reply.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Hi @defaultu0e43kqloi6n , Could you attach a sample ID file where that is happening?

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Attached to my latest reply.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Or at least tell us about your layout/share screen shots. We normally use primary frames for long document layout. Have you tried cutting the text and pasting it elsewhere, instead of moving the pages around?

 

~Barb

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Here is a sample document to demonstrate. Try adding text to the first story to force it to reflow and add a new page. Then check page 4. There will be a new, blank text frame added behind the main thread.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Your text frames are not threaded correctly

 

You have

EugeneTyson_0-1666546703709.png

 

 

It should be

 

EugeneTyson_1-1666546766418.png

 

 

 

To fix this - 

delete page 2-4 

And the text will autoflow correctly as based on the Parent Page setup. 

 

For some reason you've broken the thread between the left and right pages.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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I've done that intentionally to demonstrate the issue.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Hmmm... but the issue is non-existent then.. I'm not sure how I can help you if the problem is shared properly and fairly.

 

We really need to see the issue. 

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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I was trying to keep the example doc really simple. Here's another version in which I've added chapter headings and A/B parents to better show how it would occur in a real-world application. At this point the two chapter threads are separate, as you would have in a multi-document Book for example. This of course will result in the issue as described above if text is added to chapter 1.

The same issue occurs if the two threads are linked as a single story and you add a page between any of 1-3 for any reason. Let's say you want to add a full-page graphic to the end of chapter 1, so you add a blank page between the end of chapter 1 and the beginning of chapter 2. Chapter 2 will get pushed to verso and a blank text frame gets added behind the primary frame.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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quote

Let's say you want to add a full-page graphic to the end of chapter 1, so you add a blank page between the end of chapter 1 and the beginning of chapter 2. Chapter 2 will get pushed to verso and a blank text frame gets added behind the primary frame.


By @defaultu0e43kqloi6n

 

I'm not seeing the issue - except that you say you're manually adding pages for say an image.

I 100% wouldn't do this. I would add this as an anchored image within the text frame. 

 

From what I can see the file is behaving normally - the pages move on - I am not seeing extra text frames behind existing text frames. 

 

For Chapter 2 - you need this to start on a Right Hand Page - so you need to set that up in the Paragraph Style

for the Keep Options. 

 

I think there's more going on here than you think. 

 

For a document like this - a File>New Book - might be a better workflow for you - and each document in your book would have it's own file - you compile the files in the Book Panel and arrange them as necessary. 

 

As said already the Text Reflow Options are great if it's threaded from Start to Finish with no breaks within the document threading. 

For this workflow I would turn off Smart Text Reflow and control the relow manually.

 

Seriously look into working with Book Documents - turning off Smart Text Reflow for certain instances - Anchoring Images in your Text Frames so they flow correctly and with the text. 

 

I don't think you're doing a whole lot wrong - but what I can see is normal behaviour. 
I've been working with long documents in InDesign since 2003 and I have created books up to 3,200 pages. 

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2022 Oct 24, 2022

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From what I can see the file is behaving normally - the pages move on - I am not seeing extra text frames behind existing text frames.

 

Hi Eugene, It’s easier to see if you give the frames a color. Here I’ve added color fills set to Multiply:

 

Screen Shot 31.pngScreen Shot 32.pngScreen Shot 33.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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I've looked at it. What exactly causes the new frame?  Nevermind, I see it. 


~Barb

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Smart text reflow with primary frames works best with all of the content in one threaded story. Otherwise, I would disable it, and handle the pagination manually.

 

~Barb

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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I'd say it depends. There are many cases in which it seems better to break the thread. Most significant that comes to mind is when you create a Book with separate chapters or sections as individual files.

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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I think I've overcomplicated the problem by tying it to reflow. It really is as simple as this:

 

When a recto page that has a primary frame on it gets pushed to verso, it adds another frame behind.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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But it doesn't - it will only do this if you've manually created a frame or unlocked it from the master page. 

 

 

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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It does. Even if the new empty frame is locked as a parent page element, it's still there.

 

True it doesn't really affect anything in the design, but I guess I'm picky about not having empty frames.

 

The thing that weirds me out about it is that it only occurs when recto becomes verso. It doesn't happen on the newly recto-oriented pages.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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As I said from the start change your smart text reflow options in your preferences.

 

@Barb Binder also thinks this is a good idea.

 

Smart text reflow is great but you need continuous text frames or you'll see strange behavior.

 

Hope this helps clear it up for you.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Hi @defaultu0e43kqloi6n:

 

Yes, there are plenty of reasons to work with unthreaded stories but I'm unclear when it is a good idea to break a thread this in this situation. In long document layout—which is my area of expertise—I recommend defining primary text frames, enable smart text reflow and use a single, continuous text flow.

 

Using a book

Each indesign document has a single flow. 

 

Laying out a multi section/chapter document in a single file

The entire document has a single flow, with styles to start the new section. I'm sharing an example below. This is showing how to combine primary frames, smart text reflow and multiple sections. 

2022-10-23_13-28-27 (1).gif

 

I do want to acknowledge that your file was already in good shape and you were just trying to clean up the extra frames—I'd do the same thing. 

 

~Barb

 

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Explorer ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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Thanks for taking the time. My current project is about 1600 pages total, structured as a book comprising about 20 separate documents. I don't see a way to avoid this "empty frame added" issue in such a case when I need to make a revision to an earlier chapter.

In I've sense it seems like maybe a unique case. I could, for example, design it such that a new chapter always begins on a recto page, but that's not what the client wants. There are other occasions where this issue arises in which I could rethink my approach to avoid ever allowing a recto page with a primary frame get pushed to verso.

I feel this discussion has gotten into the weeds of linked threads and reflow options, which are really irrelevant to the issue at hand: that when a recto page containing a primary text frame gets pushed to verso for ANY reason, a blank frame gets added behind.

If you have not encountered this as frequently as I have, I have to ask what I'm going that is causing me to need to add pages mid-documenr, thus causing the cascading shift from recto to verso.

One cause is certainly the choice to start each chapter in a new story. But I would rather not have to worry about going back to reapply parent pages.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 23, 2022 Oct 23, 2022

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I feel this discussion has gotten into the weeds of linked threads and reflow options, which are really irrelevant to the issue at hand:

 

Yes I think that’s right, what you are seeing would happen with any overridden Parent/Master page items.

 

Here I have a Parent/Master Page Item on each page of the spread, and Page Item labels on the 2/3 spread

 

Screen Shot 26.png

 

If I swap the spread pages without overriding the parent/master page items I get this:

 

Screen Shot 27.png

 

If I override the parent page items and move them they become page items, but are still associated with the parent item.

 

Screen Shot 28.png

 

 

Here the pink frame on the right page is still associated with the pink frame on left parent page;

 

Screen Shot 29.png

 

If I change the fill color of the pink frame on the left parent page I can see the association:

 

 

Screen Shot 30.png

 

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Explorer ,
Oct 24, 2022 Oct 24, 2022

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Thanks, glad to find someone who understands what's going on "behind the scenes" here. It seems it's working as intended, but the logic doesn't always make a lot of sense when working with primary text frames. If a parent is a 2-page spread, then if parent A[left] is applied to a page in the document, and that shifts to the right, then A[right] is auto-applied. That's good for most elements because of mirroring verso/recto layouts. But if a primary text frame is present on the master, why would it be re-added to the page in the document? The whole point of primary text frames is that they are "primary" meaning single—there's just one and it starts at the beginning of the thread. I don't think I'm missing any logic here? I'll put it in product suggestions.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2022 Oct 24, 2022

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It doesn’t have much to do with primary vs. regular frames, it would happen with any overridden parent/master page items when you shuffle pages. In any case you would still have a threading problem no matter what happened.

 

Instead of swapping the spread pages, I could apply the B-Master to the left page of the spread and the A-Master to the right page of the spread, and there would be no duplicates, but the threading wouldn’t change:

 

Screen Shot 36.png

 

 

Screen Shot 37.png

 

If I swap the spread pages, the text frame containing the threaded story that was on the right is now on the left, but it is still connected to the right parent/master page, and there is a parent/master page item that has not been overridden on the left. Now Chapter 1 is ending on the wrong side of the spread.

 

Screen Shot 38.png

 

 

This might help for typical Primary Text Frame usage:

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/can-someone-help-demystify-how-primary-text-fram...

 

 

 

 

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