Pages: column minimum sizing

Alfresco5

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2017
2
0
Western North Carolina
I make product labels for my business. I use both pre-made templates, and ones I've created. I've been doing this for 3 years, but just ran into a problem. A couple of my new label sizes have very small spaces/columns between each column of labels. For exp: I need a .06" space between each column of labels, but when I try to change those small spacer columns to .06", they pop back to .11".
Is .11" the minimum allowable column width? That seems crazy. Am I missing something that's causing it to not let me use a smaller size?
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,519
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Between the coasts
I've played around a bit with this. Best explanation I can come up with is that the columns are meant to hold text, and anything much less than .11" would be pretty impractical for even a single character, unless you're working with something like 2 pt. type. If a column is too narrow to render text, the text effectively disappears - the kind of thing that many users might find hard to debug.

Consider it an example of Apple fool-proofing.

The workaround, in your case, might to subtract the 0.5" from the width of the surrounding labels. The only time that might be a problem is if you were doing a full-bleed image/color background.
 

MacGizmo

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2003
1,598
926
Arizona
I've played around a bit with this. Best explanation I can come up with is that the columns are meant to hold text, and anything much less than .11" would be pretty impractical for even a single character, unless you're working with something like 2 pt. type. If a column is too narrow to render text, the text effectively disappears - the kind of thing that many users might find hard to debug.

Consider it an example of Apple fool-proofing.
Except he said the space BETWEEN the columns, which is the Gutter. There's really no reason to have any limit for the gutter.

...For exp: I need a .06" space between each column of labels, but when I try to change those small spacer columns to .06", they pop back to .11".
Is .11" the minimum allowable column width? That seems crazy. Am I missing something that's causing it to not let me use a smaller size?
I'm using Pages version 6.2 (4582) (the latest version of Pages available from the Mac App Store) and there is no limit of gutter width at all. I'm working with a column width of .06 right now and it's working fine. I even dragged-out a blue box with a .06 width to overlay on the gutter to double check that Apple wasn't fudging that gutter width in the entry box. (See image below)

 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,519
2,164
Between the coasts
Except he said the space BETWEEN the columns, which is the Gutter. There's really no reason to have any limit for the gutter.
You're right, no reason at all to limit the gutter. That does, however, require the OP to use of a multi-column layout, instead of a table layout. Tables don't have a gutter parameter.

If you're planning to fill a sheet of labels, table is a logical choice, as it provides for predictable label height as well as width. Not only that, but if you download an Avery .doc-formated label template from avery.com, Pages converts the template to a table, and uses a column as a gutter. (Avery has some Pages-formatted templates, which work fine. Unfortunately, the selection is hardly comprehensive.)

Considering how easy it is to use a table to represent a sheet of labels, and the formatting challenges of ensuring a proper vertical alignment for labels created from a multi-column layout... I'd recommend tables again. The only trick is, if the horizontal spacing between labels is less than a table's column width/row height allows, that I'd work the gutter into the overall cell-width/cell-height calculation.
 

Alfresco5

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 4, 2017
2
0
Western North Carolina
I've played around a bit with this. Best explanation I can come up with is that the columns are meant to hold text, and anything much less than .11" would be pretty impractical for even a single character, unless you're working with something like 2 pt. type. If a column is too narrow to render text, the text effectively disappears - the kind of thing that many users might find hard to debug.

Consider it an example of Apple fool-proofing.

The workaround, in your case, might to subtract the 0.5" from the width of the surrounding labels. The only time that might be a problem is if you were doing a full-bleed image/color background.
Thank you so much! I was able to get a decent (not perfect, but functional) spacing for my labels with your help. Cheers!
 

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