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I am trying to write a commentary (in Hebrew) on Chumash. I would like to have a layout where the verses are at the top of the page, and the commentary underneath (adjusted for size based on how much commentary there is on a particular verse so that the page will fill up). I would also like to have room at the bottom for optional footnotes. Does anyone know how to accomplish this using Microsoft word? I haven’t been able to find a way to write two independent texts in one document. If anyone has a suggestion for a different program that can accomplish this that would also be great!

P.S. I understand that this isn’t necessarily a Judaism related question, but I feel like this community would have a better understanding of the layout I am looking for.

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  • It is not as ideal as using industry standard software like Adobe InDesign, but you could probably do it with two sets of text boxes, however the drawback would be there is no overflow function so you would have to write up to a certain point to fill the box, then add a new text box on to the following page and continue from the point you left off...
    – Dov
    Oct 31, 2023 at 11:14
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    We have been using the product-recommendation tag for questions like this - I allowed myself to edit to make this in-scope
    – mbloch
    Oct 31, 2023 at 13:11
  • By the way, till you get the design worked out, keep writing!
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Oct 31, 2023 at 18:53

3 Answers 3

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You could insert a table and then remove the borders from the table. That way, you won't see the table-borders, but you can still write within that table, and now you have invisible lines that guide and format the text the way you want.

Have a look at my just made picture

enter image description here

The boxes represent the table you just inserted.

Next, follow these steps to remove the borders and you should be done.

enter image description here

You can do this on a blank page, save that document as a docx.file and copy the whole page. Now, every page that you want that format on, just paste what you copied into that page, and you should have that format in there.

For Indesign, refer to this instruction.

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  • Thank you, but is there any way to dynamically roll the text over to the next page?
    – Maslin
    Nov 4, 2023 at 16:32
  • I'm sorry, that I do not know!
    – Shmuel
    Nov 4, 2023 at 17:04
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Possible yes, but very likely cumbersome: Search "microsoft word text boxes".

There are other programs like "publisher" which are especially built for magazine layout publishing which is similar to what you're describing.

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It depends what computer platform that you are running.

For iMac, Mellel is extremely flexible and would give you all the control you are looking for. Here's a link: https://www.mellel.com

On PC, Adobe InDesign would give you the greatest flexibility. If your cash is tight, you might want to look at Canva. It's very similar to Adobe InDesign, But I am not certain that it handles all the right-to left requirements.

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