"Copy fitting" in layouts?

Discussion created by flybynight on Apr 15, 2013
Latest reply on Apr 26, 2013 by flybynight

I work in printing, and we have some variable data software that can perform "copy fitting" - and it's quite handy.

Basically, when doing complex mail merge printing, sometimes you have a field with 25 characters in a record, and 125 in another. Or perhaps it's a sentence in one and several lines of text in another. But, you only have a finite amount of space to print that info. The software lets you set up certain "rules" - if the copy doesn't fit, start to reduce the horizontal scale, tracking, point size, and/or leading, etc… until it fits. You can set the min/max you are willing to let it squish your data before it really doesn't fit.


I'm designing a form layout that is intended to be printed in FMP and I'm wondering if there is any such beast here. There are several fields that usually won't take up much space, but when they are longer, I need all of the data to show.


Any suggestions? The only thing I can think of is to use conditional formatting to say, if Self is longer than X characters, then change the font size (I already have it set to "Condense" in Type Styles). But you still have to guess how many characters will fit - a lot of w's take up more space than a lot of i's.