Does anybody know how to make facing pages in Microsoft Word?
July 23, 2014 9:10 AM   Subscribe

I don't just mean in page view. I am translating a book and would like to produce a dual-language book with the original on the left and the translation on the right, like in the Loeb library and so forth. I can sort of do this with two columns, but they're not really independent. (If I keep typing in one, it'll eventually bleed into the other.)

I want the pages or columns to be truly independent of each other, because sometimes the length of the translated version is much longer or shorter than the original.

Thanks to anybody who can help.
posted by Opengreen to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could use tables, but this won't paginate. I suspect Microsoft would prefer that you use "Publisher", although I suppose most people are using something more sophisticated like InDesign.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:15 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

When you say you are producing a book, do you mean that you will be printing it or e-publishing it yourself? Or will you be handing the text over to someone else who will lay it out? Because if it's the latter, I wouldn't even try to do this in Word- I'd just alternate translation1/original1/translation2/original2/etc and then let the designer sort it out.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:19 AM on July 23, 2014

Response by poster: No, just printing it myself.
posted by Opengreen at 9:20 AM on July 23, 2014

You would need an app that understands, and provides layouts for, printer's galleys or folios in order to have a wysiwyg layout to work in. I don't know if Word does this, but I doubt it. It's part-and-parcel to how something like InDesign works, but that's probably way too complex for your purposes.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:40 AM on July 23, 2014

I usually set up a large page with 2 columns - where one language is longer than the other I'll manually insert page breaks. Works well but as you say, it's not perfect.

You could also try a single column page but use a 2 column table with line borders set to none?
posted by humph at 9:52 AM on July 23, 2014

If you have word, do you also have Publisher as part of MS Suite? Publisher is designed to do this (the typing part also basically looks like Word).
posted by anastasiav at 10:00 AM on July 23, 2014

Yeah, this has always been a glaring, intentional lack in Word: the ability to flow text between text boxes.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:16 AM on July 23, 2014

If you have the time and the inclination to noodle around Scribus is a free opensource alternative to InDesign.
posted by Wretch729 at 12:09 PM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Not this?
posted by ctmf at 8:12 PM on July 23, 2014

You could use section breaks to keep columnar text together.
posted by theora55 at 10:45 AM on July 24, 2014

I think your best option would be to open two Word windows, one for each language and make them take up half the screen. Once completed, the publisher can quickly merge the two documents into one. Plus with two separate docs, you can make better use of language spell checks which get bogged down with too many errors coming from another language's presence in the doc.
posted by guy72277 at 4:14 AM on August 5, 2014

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