Content assembly

The material that forms the output is composed of text and images. Together these are referred to as the content of the document.

Content is assembled into lines that must fit within the boundaries of an area defined by the layout. Each area defines a column with a left and right edge. The distance between the left and right edges, or column width, determines the maximum length of a line of content. The amount of content that can be allocated to each line is further constrained by the margins and indents in force at the time.

A line that is too long to fit within the available width will overflow to a new line, with line breaking rules determining the point within the content at which the following line can start. In European languages, a line break will normally occur between space separated words or after a designated word break character.

When a line cannot fit within the current data column, a new data column is started. When a line cannot fit within the last data column on the current page, a new page is started. It is possible to control where a column or page break occurs by specifying that certain material must always appear on the same page. In TopLeaf this is referred to as a content binding.