Bug 108569 (Page-Margins) - [META] Page margin bugs and enhancements
Summary: [META] Page margin bugs and enhancements
Status: NEW
Alias: Page-Margins
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: LibreOffice (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: All All
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on: 43400 90588 91945 100290 112888 119395 125169 126009 Gutter-Margins 144654 49529 87902 112118 116247 117855 125232 148153
Blocks: Page
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Reported: 2017-06-16 13:37 UTC by Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Modified: 2022-05-02 17:08 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

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Description Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-06-16 13:37:02 UTC

Comment 1 Eyal Rozenberg 2021-04-30 16:34:36 UTC
With the introduction of the Gutter option, LO has taken another step into the complex space of catering to the preparation of printed products.

I believe we are currently having a bit of a fractured discussion on and off of Bugzilla on this configuration/setting space, and in more than one: 140568 and 140561 at least. So as not to further fracture the discussion, I'm making a somewhat general comment here. I'll use the terms "LO page" for the pages we see and edit within LO Writer; "leaf" (a.k.a. "folium") for a sheet of physical paper onto which matter is printed; and "final page" as what the reader of the folded and bound physical document thinks of as a page (e.g. a page in a bound book).

So, we're talking about what we do with multiple pages we print. Relevant factors/considerations:

* Will the printed leaves be attached to each other somehow, or kept loose?
* Do printed leaves get folded before use (binding or no binding)? And in which pattern? And do all leaves get folded together, on in bunches? (if you're wondering why we might fold bunches of pages separately - see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiCRx1_Ovok)?
* Will the leaves (after any potential folding) be bound at: A corner (e.g. with a stapler), or along one of the axes? 
* Will content be printed onto both sides of each leaf?
* Do we intend to have multiple LO pages be contained in each final page? (For no folding and no binding, this reduces to "do we print multiple LO pages onto each side of a leaf")
* How do we call the two axes of an LO page? A leaf? A final page? What do they signify? Is it "short" vs "long"? "Left/Right" vs "Top/Bottom"? "Along-line progression" vs "perpendicular-to-line progression"? "printer head moves across" vs "printer scrolls along"? This is a particularly sticky point, because depending on our conceptual choice, the axes may be flipped by one or more of the following changes:
  * Increasing page "width" beyond page "height"
  * Switching between portrait and landscape (terms which relate to the printer's axes)
  * Switching document/section direction LTR/RTL
  * Switching page direction LTR/RTL
  * Using a LTR vs RTL language
  * Using a language in which glyphs are "naturally" inserted top-to-bottom, then RTL or LTR as the case may be
  * Maybe other actions
* For axis-bound final pages - which axis has the binding (considering the reference conundrum mentioned above)? And which "side" is the bound one?
* If document pages have different roles/placement on final pages (e.g. front and back side with binding and no folding) - what role does the first document page have? In what order do consecutive pages cycle through the roles (in the example 

Now, you might be saying: "What's with all that complex nitpicking? LO Writer is not a print-publishing/typesetting application, it's just a word processor! Let's keep this simple!"  - well, the thing is, once you have the features we already have - we can't quite keep it simple; we have take more things into consideration to avoid inconsistencies. Otherwise, we will be in a constant state of buginess - for some of our users, some of the time.

Thus, for example, you can't say "Put the gutter on Left". Left of what? And if I'm switching from, say, writing English to Arabic - what will the "Left" now mean? Careful with your answer... remember that RTL language documents start with a final-page that's to the left of the axis; are you sure you want the Gutter on the left of that page? And what if I want 4 LO-pages per sheet for a book fold; where is "Left" now?

Or the request in bug 140561: "Call it Inner gutter, not Left gutter" - If we print one LO page per leaf, and only print on one side of the leaves, and with the leaves facing up we bind on the left of the page, then - the gutter can legitimately be said to be "Left". If we do the same, except that we print on both sides of each leaf, then the Gutter is sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right; so we can't just call it a "Left" gutter. And what about "inner", then? Well, actually, a gutter is _always_ inner - since the gutter is near the binding, and a book opens around the binding axis. There are _only_ inner gutters. 

These issues regard not only gutters, but other items on the Page dialog. For example: "Right" and "Left" margins are not really on the right and on the left when we have leaf folding. Thus, Microsoft Word changes the margin field labels when the user chooses "Mirrored Pages" or "Book Fold". 

Having said all that - I'm not suggesting that we necessarily support complex fold-patterns or otherwise go overboard with features. Just that we keep the physical process in mind, and also be mindful of every situation that legitimately comes up when using existing LO features. The UI needs to cater to all of those consistently.


PS - Some explanations-with-screenshots of parts of MS Word's UI choices for margins, multipage, gutter etc can be found here:

* http://wordfaqs.ssbarnhill.com/MirrorMargins.htm
* https://www.groovypost.com/howto/howto/create-booklets-using-microsoft-office-word-2010/
Comment 2 Heiko Tietze 2021-04-30 17:39:41 UTC
Regina, what do you think about Eyal's comment 1?
Comment 3 Regina Henschel 2021-04-30 18:35:59 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #2)
> Regina, what do you think about Eyal's comment 1?

I agree with Eyal, that the current wording in the UI in page style and in print dialog is already inconsistent and confusing and it becomes worse with introducing gutter.
In addition to Eyal's remarks on print processing and writing direction, there exists the problem of import/export with docx and rtf formats.

It might help to try to write an extensive guide about the features currently available in LO 7.2 for page layout and printing. That would uncover all the wording problems and usability shortcomings. But is there someone interested to investigate and fix all the problems?