Out of the box, Stacks 3 does a pretty good job of handling columns responsively so they re-arrange neatly on smaller screens, but if you want finer control you’ll need to buy a third party stack. There are a number of these – mostly good in their own way – and the most powerful we’ve come across is actually the free Adaptive Grid stack. However, we’ve always found the settings layout of that stack to be a bit verbose and seem to spend ages scrolling up and down looking for the right thing to change.
For mainstream use, Doobox’s Reflow stack looks to have pretty much the same set of features but organises them in a way that feels more intuitive – and is certainly more compact; in fact, all the settings can be accessed without scrolling. Reflow is based on a notional 12 column grid – so three columns of equal width have a setting of ‘4’, two columns of equal width have a setting of ‘6’ and so on – and using a simple spinner control for each column you can set the individual width for iPhone, iPad portrait, iPad landscape and full width. In this way you can break free of the standard column layout that goes from 4-to-2-to-1 as the screen size diminishes and for example, have four equal width columns (3,3,3,3) that become a single full width column with two equal columns underneath, followed by a fourth full width column under that (12,6,6,12). If you want to hide a column at a certain screen size, just set its width to ‘0’. (Note: the maximum number of columns supported by the stack is four).
You can define the horizontal and vertical gutters, align columns to top, middle or bottom and decide which of the four screen sizes you’d like to display in Edit mode (helpfully, Edit mode will display any changes live in your chosen screen size so there’s no need to preview all the time). Finally, although the defaults are already set you can also re-define the screen sizes for iPad landscape, portrait and iPhone.
If you’re completely strapped for cash then Adaptive Grid is still a great choice, but if you’ve got £12.99 to spare then Reflow is the most intuitive – and one of the most flexible – column stacks for Rapidweaver that money can buy.