Simple Layout

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Simple Layout

Simple Layout

Let's take a look at the simple page layout that we saw earlier in the course.

The simple page master that creates this layout is shown in the code sample below.

Code Sample:

PageLayout/Demos/SimplePageMaster.fo
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<fo:root xmlns:fo="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Format">
	<fo:layout-master-set>
		<fo:simple-page-master master-name="page" 
			page-height="11in" page-width="8.5in">
			<fo:region-body margin="1in" background-color="yellow" 
				border="solid thick orange"/>
			<fo:region-before extent="1in" background-color="lightblue" 
				border="solid thick blue"/>
			<fo:region-after extent="1in" background-color="lightblue" 
				border="solid thick blue"/>
			<fo:region-start extent="1in" background-color="lightgreen" 
				border="solid thick green"/>
			<fo:region-end extent="1in" background-color="lightgreen" 
				border="solid thick green"/>
		</fo:simple-page-master>
	</fo:layout-master-set>
	<fo:page-sequence master-reference="page" font-size="24pt" 
		font-weight="bold" text-align="center">
---- C O D E   O M I T T E D ----
</fo:page-sequence>
</fo:root>

fo:simple-page-master

The fo:simple-page-master is used to specify the name of the master page, the height and width of the page, the margins of the entire page and the orientation of the page (e.g, portrait or landscape). Its most common attributes are shown below.

<fo:simple-page-master> Attributes
Attribute Description
master-name the name of the master page
page-height the height of the page
page-width the width of the page
margin the size of the margin around the entire page
margin-top the size of the top margin
margin-right the size of the right margin
margin-bottom the size of the bottom margin
margin-left the size of the left margin
reference-orientation sets the direction for page

Most of these attributes are self explanatory. However, we should take a closer look at reference-orientation.

Reference Orientation

The reference-orientation attribute takes a number which indicates the number of degrees to rotate the orientation. Possible values are 0, 90, 180, 270, -90, -180, -270, and inherit. To create a landscape orientation, reference-orientation should be set to 90. The following example illustrates this.

Code Sample:

PageLayout/Demos/LandscapePageMaster.fo
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<fo:root xmlns:fo="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Format">
	<fo:layout-master-set>
		<fo:simple-page-master master-name="page" 
			page-height="11in" page-width="8.5in"
			reference-orientation="90">
			<fo:region-body margin="1in" background-color="yellow" 
				border="solid thick orange"/>
			<fo:region-before extent="1in" background-color="lightblue" 
				border="solid thick blue"/>
			<fo:region-after extent="1in" background-color="lightblue" 
				border="solid thick blue"/>
			<fo:region-start extent="1in" background-color="lightgreen" 
				border="solid thick green"/>
			<fo:region-end extent="1in" background-color="lightgreen" 
				border="solid thick green"/>
		</fo:simple-page-master>
	</fo:layout-master-set>
	<fo:page-sequence master-reference="page" font-size="24pt" 
		font-weight="bold" text-align="center">
---- C O D E   O M I T T E D ----
</fo:page-sequence>
</fo:root>

The only difference between this page and the previous one is the reference orientation. The result is shown below.

Notice that the whole page shifts, so that the region-before is now on the left rather than on the top.

fo:region-body

The <fo:region-body> tag is used to define the space, background and borders for the region-body. Its most common attributes are shown below.

Most of these attributes are self explanatory. We'll take a closer look at margin and padding.

margins and padding

We saw that the <fo:simple-page-master> tag can take margin attributes. These margins are applied to the whole page, meaning that they push all the regions inward. The margin attributes of the <fo:region-body> tag affect only region-body. They specify how far each edge of the region-body box should be from the edge of the outer box defined by the <fo:simple-page-master> tag. The padding attributes specify how far the elements contained in the body should appear from the edge of the body. The following code sample illustrates how margin and padding work.

Code Sample:

PageLayout/Demos/BodyRegionPageMaster.fo
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<fo:root xmlns:fo="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Format">
	<fo:layout-master-set>
		<fo:simple-page-master master-name="page" 
			page-height="11in" page-width="8.5in" 
			margin="1in">
			<fo:region-body margin="1in" padding="1in"
				background-color="yellow" border="solid thick orange"/>
			<fo:region-before extent="1in" background-color="lightblue" 
				border="solid thick blue"/>
			<fo:region-after extent="1in" background-color="lightblue" 
				border="solid thick blue"/>
			<fo:region-start extent="1in" background-color="lightgreen" 
				border="solid thick green"/>
			<fo:region-end extent="1in" background-color="lightgreen" 
				border="solid thick green"/>
		</fo:simple-page-master>
	</fo:layout-master-set>
	<fo:page-sequence master-reference="page" font-size="24pt" 
		font-weight="bold" text-align="center">
---- C O D E   O M I T T E D ----
</fo:page-sequence>
</fo:root>

The result is shown below.

  • The margin specified in the <fo:simple-page-master> tag creates the white area.
  • The margin specified in the <fo:region-body> tag forces the region-body edges in one inch from the simple-page-master rectangle.
  • The padding specified in the <fo:region-body> tag creates space between the content of the region-body and the edges of the region-body.

Note that the positioning and size of region-body are not affected in any way by the attributes of the other regions.

fo:region-before, fo:region-after, fo:region-start, and fo:region-end

The four other region tags take all the same attributes as <fo:region-body> except for the margin attributes. These regions do not have margins. They always sit on the edge of the simple-page-master rectangle. In addition, these region tags take two other attributes: extent and precedence.

The extent attribute specifies the width of region-start and region-end and the height of region-before and region-after (assuming a portrait layout).

The precedence attribute specifies which regions should sit on top. As you can see from the examples we have looked at thus far, by default region-start and region-end take precedence over region-before and region-after. The following code sample shows how to change this.

Code Sample:

PageLayout/Demos/PrecedencePageMaster.fo
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<fo:root xmlns:fo="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Format">
	<fo:layout-master-set>
		<fo:simple-page-master master-name="page" 
			page-height="11in" page-width="8.5in" 
			margin="1in">
			<fo:region-body margin="1in" padding="1in"
				background-color="yellow" border="solid thick orange"/>
			<fo:region-before extent="1in" precedence="true"
				background-color="lightblue" border="solid thick blue"/>
			<fo:region-after extent="1in" precedence="true"
				background-color="lightblue" border="solid thick blue"/>
			<fo:region-start extent="1in" background-color="lightgreen" 
				border="solid thick green"/>
			<fo:region-end extent="1in" background-color="lightgreen" 
				border="solid thick green"/>
		</fo:simple-page-master>
	</fo:layout-master-set>
	<fo:page-sequence master-reference="page" font-size="24pt" 
		font-weight="bold" text-align="center">
---- C O D E   O M I T T E D ----
</fo:page-sequence>
</fo:root>

The result is shown below. As you can see, region-before and region-after now sit on top of region-start and region-end.

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