Re: Gutter language

David Perrell (
Thu, 4 Jul 1996 20:21:17 -0700

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From: David Perrell <>
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Cc: "''" <>
Subject: RE: Gutter language
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 20:21:17 -0700

Just one more attempt at a logical argument and I'll call it quits.

I can understand why some here might feel the distinction between gutter =
and column spacing is moot. There aren't bound two-page spreads on the =
WWW. Many of us, however, are also involved in print. For us, space =
between columns and gutter space are quite different, and will remain so =
whatever Hakon Lie or Netscape decide to call the former.

The term "gutter" applies to a specific area of a two-page spread. Each =
page of this spread may also have multiple columns. The gutter and the =
space between columns will almost always be a different measurement. How =
do we communicate these measurements verbally if space between columns =
is also a gutter? Do we add a qualifier to the new gutter or the old?

It appears that in the early days of desktop publishing there was =
confusion regarding the meaning of gutter. In the glossary of Ventura =
Publisher Tips and Tricks (Ted Nace with Daniel Will-Harris, copyright =
1989 by Peachpit Press, Inc.), gutter is defined: " In traditional =
typography, the space on the page between the inside edge of the type =
and the spine of a bound book. As used in Ventura's Margin and Columns =
dialog box, gutter refers to the alley between two columns of text."

Two related but different meanings for gutter cause confusion. It's not =
too late to promote clarity by choosing another name for column spacing. =
I proposed one candidate: "colin" (column interval), but I really prefer =
the above term: "alley." Consider a two-page spread with multiple =
columns: a gutter flanked with alleys. Who can resist that? Hakon?

Of course, WWW authors will be denied gutters. But from experience I =
contend that alleys are preferable

David Perrell