Document and Page Layout Design Guidelines
A. Use consistent schemes to define the height and width of a GridTemplate.
Make sure that you and coworkers using Q++ all agree on what the size of a GridTemplate refers to. Is it the image size ? The untrimmed page size, or the final trimmed page size ? Each of the above is a valid choice, but you must always be consistent, mostly if you will be importing non-dated QXD pages as info pages.
B. Start your GridTemplates of a left page.
The way users view a diary is by looking at 2 facing pages. There is no reason to have template start on the right page (for the one exception, see point E. below).
C. Never have a textbox that straddles 2 different pages.
As we have seen above, each textbox in a GridTemplate is associated with a unique page in that GridTemplate. This is necessary for Q++ to know how to convert the DayValues of each token, based on the starting date of the current page.
D. Never use Sections in your GridTemplate.
At best, the use of QuarkXPress Sections can lead to an output file which has, for example, pages 2+3 repeating over and over again for the breadth of the diary, making the printing of the output file, or its use with an imposition software problematic. At worst, it can cause QuarkXPress to crash while scanning or generating.
E. Because of symmetry and the need to start a grid on either the left of right page, the "days/page" of your GridTemplate might be very different from that contained in the product description.
The best way to explain this rule is to give an example. Consider a diary with each of the days from Monday-Friday on a separate page, and then the Saturday and Sunday combined on the same page. Your catalog might describe this as a "daily" or "day per page" diary. However, strictly speaking, a diary never has a "one day per page" structure:
•In most cases the text on the left and right pages will be positioned slightly differently. Some elements, the day number for example, will often be mirrored across the spine.
•Even if the above is not the case, the gutter and outside margins will almost always be different for the left and right pages.
So at the very least we have a "2 days on 2 pages" diary. But in the above example, the basic repeated structure of the diary runs over 6 pages. The first 5 pages have a single day (Monday-Friday) and the 6th page has 2 days (Saturday and Sunday). So the catalog description of a "day per page" becomes, in the strict sense of Q++, a "7 days on 6 pages" diary.
•But if you consider the above example as a "7 days on 6 pages" and decide that page 1 will be on the left side, then the Saturday-Sunday page will always be on the right side.
•This may not pose a problem, but it also means that if you wish to always start this diary on a particular date (January 1st, for example), then the structure of the diary forces you to start either on the left page (if January 1st falls on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday) or on the right page (if January 1st falls on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday).
Therefore if you wish to start your diary always on a specific date, and on a given side of the diary (usually January 1st on the right side), then the Q++ structure of your diary is "14 days on 12 pages".
F. As a consequence of the rule above, your GridTemplates will almost always have an even number of pages.
The only exception may be if you are using a GridTemplate as the title page of your diary (where you might only have one token; [yyyy] to denote the diary's year). In that case there are no symmetry concerns since you know that the title page will always fall on the right hand side.
G. Avoid the use of Master Pages.
The use of Master Pages is discouraged because the GridTemplates already serve the same purpose, in a much more powerful manner. Having 2 levels of "masters" can only lead to user (and sometimes QuarkXPress) confusion. Also, so far, each new version of QuarkXPress changes the way that master pages are handled internally which means that GridTemplates that contain master pages may not work in subsequent version of QuarkXPress (this is the case when moving from QuarkXPress 4 to 5, and to a lesser extent from 3 to 4).
H. Keep the number of defined colors to the necessary minimum.
Each additional color defined in a GridTemplate slows down the page copying stage of diary generation. By defined, we mean the list of colors that appears when you use the Edit/Colors menu of QuarkXPress. Some colors cannot be deleted (white, black, cyan, magenta, yellow and registration) but other default colors can be deleted (red, green and blue, for example).