Entering Dimensions

When a block is selected, the following fields will appear in the right part of the window describing its size and position:

(if page mirroring is selected, two of these fields will appear as “Inner margin” and “Outer margin”, but that does not affect the operation of the fields described below).

There are two groups of three fields. One group controls the horizontal dimensions of the block, and the other controls the vertical dimensions. These two groups operate independently. The following describes the operation of the horizontal fields; the same principles can be applied to the vertical fields.

Notice that in each of the groups of three fields, two fields allow you to enter values, while the third is “grayed out” and does not allow you to change it. Entering a value in one of the two enabled fields recalculates the value in the third field. The reason for this is described below.

A block must fit inside its parent, which sets a limit on its size. Different types of blocks have different parents (for example the parent of a fixed block is the print area, while the parent of the print area is the page), but the same principle applies to all blocks, as shown below:

The parent defines the total width available to the block. The left and right margins define the distance from the edge of the block to the edge of the parent, while the width defines the actual width of the block.

As the diagram shows, if you know the values of the margins you can calculate the width. Similarly, if you know the left margin and width you can calculate the right margin. In other words, if you allow any two of the three values to vary, then the remaining value is dependent in the sense that it can be calculated from the other two.

The icon shows which of the three values is dependent. The field corresponding to the dependent value appears with a gray background and cannot be changed directly. To change which field is dependent, drag the pin icon to a different field, or click next to the field on the vertical line running through the pin.

The dependent field is most important when changing the size of the parent. For example, let’s say we want a fixed block at the top of the print area which is always 10mm in height. We can define this by setting the fields like this:

By making the bottom margin the dependent field, it will be recalculated whenever the height of the print area changes. This ensures that the top margin and height will remain as we entered them.

Now let’s say we want a block that is always as wide as the print area. We can achieve this by making the width the dependent field, and setting the two margin fields to zero.