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TOC: Character style for dots in the tabulator

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In the TOC I miss assigning a character style to the fill characters in the tabulator (mostly dots).

This would give the TOC a more professional look.

I hope one day that will be possible.

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But more is needed. 30 years ago I was using Compugraphic typesetting equipment—now long on the scrap heap—whose ways of handling leader dots were quite advanced compared with modern software. For example, the CG system had an "insert space/insert character" feature that would automatically give leader dots (text at left margin, leader dots, page number at right margin) plenty of "air" so that they didn't look all jammed together. And they would be perfectly aligned.

If perfect alignment is a bit much to ask for, at the very least a faster way of providing space between those leader dots would be in order. Or even to provide an option for a two-character leader dot such as "dot followed by space."

I see that it's possible to improve the leader-dot spacing with Affinity Publisher by selecting the tab character and increasing its tracking quite a bit. It doesn't look bad afterward. But there doesn't seem to be a way to set this kind of spacing by way of the tab-stops controls or via a style.  It's entirely manual work. Afterward you can copy and paste the manually styled tab character...and spend all day doing it over and over again in a long table of contents....only to have to do it all over again if you have to regenerate the TOC. (I tried doing the copying-and-pasting by copying text from a Publisher document, pasting it into my word processor, and doing it quickly that way—thinking I could then paste it back into the Publisher text frame. Nope. Didn't work.

Additional controls and features for this purpose would speed up the work and improve the quality of tables of contents.


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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That's a good tip, thanks. Now all I need to do is get it to work consistently. Could  be just more user error, but I got that to work one time, then cleared the style out (as it were) and started over to ensure I could replicate the right steps. The setting didn't "take" all the time. I don't know why yet.

 


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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17 hours ago, MikeA said:

... 30 years ago I was using Compugraphic typesetting equipment—now long on the scrap heap—whose ways of handling leader dots were quite advanced compared with modern software. For example, the CG system had an "insert space/insert character" feature that would automatically give leader dots (text at left margin, leader dots, page number at right margin) plenty of "air" so that they didn't look all jammed together. And they would be perfectly aligned. ...

Memory lane...this from a recent post on another site asking how to make it in ID.

CG_tab-leaders2.jpg.f6f761802613ac2d92fe2a2d8c34afd1.jpg

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That's an interesting one — the offset pattern of the dots. The old CG phototypesetting equipment's insert-space/insert-character command would have lined them all up underneath each other.

Memory Lane is fun, no question about it, but I worry about what those loaves of bread might look like by now.

 


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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32 minutes ago, MikeA said:

That's an interesting one — the offset pattern of the dots. The old CG phototypesetting equipment's insert-space/insert-character command would have lined them all up underneath each other.

Memory Lane is fun, no question about it, but I worry about what those loaves of bread might look like by now.

 

I actually forget which machine could do it, but one could program the tab stops and alternate the rows changing between one and another. An InDesign user came up with using two paragraph styles and reformatted a toc using Apply Next and it is near identical to the above.

From that post:

Different style on every second row. First line is one period and four spaces, second line is two space one period two spaces. And repeat.

Capture_000544.png.057c6948068b5dde68cacb81c6ff6c2a.png

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Hmm. I might steal that. : -)


Affinity Publisher and Photo 1.8.3 (Windows). Lenovo laptop with decidedly sub-optimal monitor. At least it works.
“The wonderful thing about standards is that you can have as many of ’em as you want.”
– Anonymous cynic

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On 3/17/2020 at 6:50 PM, MikeA said:

The setting didn't "take" all the time. I don't know why yet.

I have found, when working with TOC text styles, that sometimes a change in style does not update the text until you update the TOC.

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1 hour ago, garrettm30 said:

I have found, when working with TOC text styles, that sometimes a change in style does not update the text until you update the TOC.

For me the style never updates until I update the ToC.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

Affinity Designer 1.8.6 | Affinity Photo 1.8.6 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.6 | Beta versions as they appear.

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14 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

For me the style never updates until I update the ToC.

That's interesting that you say that. I just went back to test: I started with a document with a TOC, edited the style TOC1: Entry, and changed the text color. The color of the entries changed immediately before I even saved the changes. That is how I expect text styles to work generally.

However, just as sure as it worked for me before my eyes right now, I also know for a fact that often changes that are made to the text style are not reflected until updating the TOC, just as you say. Why should it work sometimes and not others? Or for that matter, why should editing a text style for a TOC work differently than the same process for any other text style. Surely this cannot be the intentional behavior.

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6 minutes ago, garrettm30 said:

why should editing a text style for a TOC work differently than the same process for any other text style. Surely this cannot be the intentional behavior.

I originally expected that any change to a style would update immediately and any change to what is in a ToC (changes in the text or adding a category etc.) would need the ToC to be updated. So if this is not a bug it sure as hell walks and talks like one.

Post Script: Don't call me Shirley. [smiley face mixed with Airplane emoticon]


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.6

Affinity Designer 1.8.6 | Affinity Photo 1.8.6 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.6 | Beta versions as they appear.

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