| Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect
Macros, tips, and
templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
| Page updated Nov 23, 2018
|ALTMARG - Change the outside (or inside) page margins on alternate pages in a document to a wider setting|
Purpose and comparison to WordPerfect's features
The AltMarg.wcm macro produces an effect similar to the appearance of many nonfiction books, textbooks, manuals, directories, cookbooks, etc., that have large amounts of "white space" outside the main text area on alternating pages throughout the document or book.
See the left sidebar for a screen shot of a sample document (in 2-page view) after AltMarg increased the outer margin areas (i.e., the areas opposite the inner binding area or "spine").
This technique is very useful for producing spiral bound or other self-published documents.
Note that you can also set the inner margin areas to a larger amount. [See the Tips below about setting a binding width.]
How it works
The AltMarg macro works by placing new left and right page margin delay codes on every page of an existing document. It's important to note that it does not "set up" or prepare a new, empty document the way you can set up, for example, odd and even page placement for headers/footers before you actually start typing the document's body text. Instead, it is used to format the margins in the final document.
Play it on an existing document (or a copy of one) -- one that you have finished and that is ready to print (two-sided).
Delay codes are used because ordinary left/right page margin codes that are added on subsequent pages sometimes spontaneously move or shift to the middle of a previous page, especially in long or complex documents. (This seems to be a minor bug in WordPerfect.) However, delay codes point to exact pages, so this seems to be a more reliable method of inserting odd/even page margin codes on each page.
NoteFor more on the macro's operation, see the comments at the top of the macro's code. (Just open the macro like any other WordPerfect document.)
☼ Setting a greater binding width:
WordPerfect lets you increase the binding width for document pages -- the area where the document or book will be bound along the "spine".
For two-sided printing: Place your cursor where you want the binding width to take effect (e.g., at the very top of the document); then -
• click on Format, Page, Page Setup, Layout tab
• choose "Two-sided printing": Book
• choose "Two-sided binding": Inside
• set the desired width in the "Increase margin for" field
The new binding
area should appear on screen as a light-gray area along the edges of
the pages. You can use View, Two Pages to see the overall effect of
increasing the binding width on alternating pages.
Unlike the AltMarg macro, however, you cannot place graphics or text (e.g., a "pull quote" inside a text box) in the binding area, whereas you can place them in an increased inner margin area (a choice on the AltMarg macro's menu).
See Footnote 1 which discusses the difference between setting a binding width compared to setting new inner page margins with AltMarg.
☼ Page identifiers:
See "Page identification," for how to create alternating page identification headers similar to the style used in many books (e.g., "2 / Chapter 5" on the left and "Chapter 5 / 3" on the right).
☼ Subdivided pages:
If you are using subdivided pages (e.g., a landscape page divided in half), you will need to reverse the two measurements entered in the macro's opening dialog.
You can use pull quotes or side bars in your new, wide margins (such as those used in both the PDF document and graphic illustration above).
☼ Footnotes and Endnotes:
☼ Printing on the front and back of pages:
Thanks to Scott Phillip Stewart, PhD., for the idea for this macro.
Setting the inner margin areas to a larger amount with the AltMarg macro
Setting a new WordPerfect inner binding width
Unlike setting an increased inner binding width (area) for alternating pages (with Format, Page, Page Setup, Layout tab, "Increase margin for: <inches>", "Alternating" checkbox), setting wider alternating inside page margins with AltMarg allows you to place text boxes (pull quotes, sidebars, etc.) or graphic images in the wider margin area in the same way you can place them in outer margin areas.
If you create alternating increased margins for binding, the program doesn't produce true alternating inner page margins, even though it looks that way on the associated dynamic graphic display in the Layout window when you increase the "margin for binding" (a.k.a. the "binding width") to some non-zero value. Rather, it produces alternating (increased) binding widths.
Because binding widths make global adjustments to the inner printable area of a document and not adjustments to each individual page's text area, the binding areas will not accept inserted graphics or other material. [If you still need to use extra binding widths, see the tip above.]
Try both methods -- the native WordPerfect page setup method or the AltMarg macro (or both) -- to see what works best for your purposes.