Intelligent grouping (flow) for layout elements

05-01-2020 11:29 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor II

I'm trying to automate the set up of layouts using templates, dynamic text, etc. One problem I'm running into is that some elements aren't always the same size, which means they can start overlapping each other and have to be manually repositioned. If elements could be in a group that automatically pushes each other around to accommodate, that would be fantastic.


An "intelligent group" or "flow" would be similar to a normal group except it would have settings such as: anchor point, flow direction, alignment, spacing between elements, maximum dimensions, whether elements shrink or create more columns, set order or allow rearrangement for best fit, etc. All of these settings are similar to some element types already.


Since the flow is not itself a text element like a frame in InDesign, there must also be a new type of text element that allows its container to grow only in certain ways, e.g., the width is set but it can expand up or down as far as necessary.


It could end up somewhat complex, but it still seems like a worthwhile idea for enhancing automated workflows, particularly map series.