In indesign I regularly make a 2 language magazine in 2 columns. Now the 2 columns are 2 different text boxes on each page that I link so the text flows to the end of the document. This is a problem if there are a lot of footnotes, the footnotes have to span over two columns, this you can do easily if you work with a text frame with two columns. Is there a option to use a text frame with two columns in which you can place the first language in the right column and the second language in the left column?

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    Show us a screenshot with 1-2 pages from this magazine?
    – Lucian
    Jan 23, 2017 at 10:06
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    I understand what you want to achieve, but I don't think there is a "clean" way to do it. What I don't understand is that you want the footnotes to span two columns ... You have the two languages side by side, but what happens if both languages have footnotes on the same page? Then you will have the two languages on top of each other in the footnotes? Isn't that confusing? It seems like the "normal" solution to have the footnotes in separate columns, but maybe I'm missing something. Post a screenshot please.
    – Wolff
    Jan 30, 2017 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


Just in case you want page-wide footnotes altough text is in half page-wide colums, do the following

  • make two page-wide overlapping textboxes, say A and B
  • remove any text wrap-around aspirations from A and B
  • put A to have half page right indent and B to have half page left indent
  • Place your different language texts into A and B
  • Add footnotes, if not included already
  • Insert extra lines to avoid overlapping footnotes
  • format manually A and B footnotes to look out different enough, maybe also to have different character strings in the beginning for easy visual difference

Text placing by autoflow creates a mess. You must point the starting place for each page manually. To make that easier, shift temporarily the textboxes or make them over wide and to have also narrow other side indent.

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