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Latest news 2021-06-05: New blog post: Dickimaw Books Site Account.
Previous: Defining a Frame  Up: Creating Frames for Use with the flowfram Package  Next: Scale Object to Fit Typeblock  


The Frame Shape

The text in flow frames is typeset using the standard rectangular format, but the contents of static or dynamic frames can be shaped using either \parshape or \shapepar. If you have selected a path, you can enable this by selecting either Parshape or Shapepar from the Shape drop-down list. Note that the shape option is not available for any other type of object.

If you use the Parshape or Shapepar options, it will only check if a set of valid parameters can be extracted from the path when you export the image as a LaTeX class or package. (Otherwise it would have to re-evaluate the parameters every time you edit the path.) Note, however, that the paragraph shape in your document may not exactly match the shape you created in FlowframTk:

\parshape:
  • If there are not enough words in the paragraph to fill the shape, the shape will be truncated.
  • If there are too many words in the paragraph, the dimensions of the final line of the shape will be repeated for each subsequent line.
\shapepar:
  • If there are not enough words in the paragraph to fill the shape, the shape will shrink.
  • If there are too many words in the paragraph, the shape will expand.

To illustrate this, consider the layout shown in Figure 10.9. There are six identical circles arranged in two rows. Each circle has been identified as a static frame. Their bounding boxes can be seen as light grey rectangles. The top three circles have all been assigned a shape given by \parshape, while the bottom three circles have been assigned a shape given by \shapepar.

parshape-poster1
Figure 10.9: Layout containing six circles. All circles have been identified as static frames. The top three circles have been assigned a shape given by \parshape. The bottom three circles have been assigned a shape given by \shapepar.

This layout was exported as a LaTeX package based on the flowfram package, and was included into a document. Each of the static frames were filled with a varying amount of text. The leftmost circles do not have enough text to fill the designated area, while the rightmost circles have too much text. (See Figure 10.10.)

parshape-poster2
Figure 10.10: The effects of too much and too little text. The top row uses \parshape: (top left) too little text truncates the shape; (top right) too much text replicates the dimension of the last line of the shape. The bottom row uses \shapepar: (bottom left) too little text shrinks the shape; (bottom right) too much text expands the shape. (The contents of the static frames were all set to a central vertical alignment.)

Note that when you use a non-standard paragraph shape, you can no longer specify the margins. Since the paragraph shape is defined by the path, the margins don't have any meaning. If you want a border effect, you can make a slightly larger object behind, and set the border of the larger object to As Shown and the border of the smaller object to None, but remember that the overall effect will depend on the amount of text contained in the frame.



Previous: Defining a Frame  Up: Creating Frames for Use with the flowfram Package  Next: Scale Object to Fit Typeblock  

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