FrameMaker 6: Beyond the Basics

  Table of Contents


FrameMaker 6: Beyond the Basics
By Lisa Jahred
Publisher : New Riders Publishing
Pub Date : August 14, 2001
ISBN : 0-7357-1108-9
Pages : 448
Slots : 1    

FrameMaker's complex functionality can cause problems for even the most advanced user. A simple fix to one problem might throw off multiple functions in your document, which costs you time and money and deters innovation. The key to your success with FrameMaker is to understand the program holistically. Targeted at the intermediate/advanced audience, FrameMaker 6: Beyond the Basics addresses problems professional documentation creators face every day.


About the Author

About the Technical Editors


A Message from New Riders

Visit Our Web Site:

Email Us from Our Web Site

Call Us or Fax Us

Technical Support for This Book


Who This Book Is For

How This Book Is Organized

How to Use This Book

What's on the Web

Have Fun

Chapter 1. Planning and Organizing Strategies

Saving Time with Templates

File Management

Adding Graphics from Another Application


Chapter 2. Automatic Text, Tabs, Special Characters, and Graphics

Automatic Text

Automatic Tabs and Special Characters

Automatic Graphics

Creating Lists

Creating Note Text

User Variables in Document Pages


Chapter 3. Automatic Numbering

Some Background on Autonumbering

The Interrelated Parts of an Autonumber Format

Creating a Numbered List

Creating Numbering Based on Chapter Numbers

Creating Section-Based Numbering

A Note on Book File Numbering


Chapter 4. Headers and Footers

Practical Uses

The Home of Headers and Footers

What Headers and Footers Are Made Of

Starting with the Easy Stuff

Working with Fixed Headers and Footers That Rarely Change

Working with Varying Headers and Footers

Using Abbreviated Headings


Chapter 5. Cross-References

Typical Uses of Cross-References

Planning for Cross-References

How Cross-References Work

Understanding the Cross-Reference Window

Cross-Reference to a Subheading

Cross-Reference to a Numbered Figure

Cross-Referencing Other Document Files

Creative Cross-References

Cross-References and Conditional Text

Cross-Referencing in Book Files

Cross-References and PDF or View Only Files

Updating Cross-References

Unresolved Cross-References


Chapter 6. Table Survival Guide

Charting a Clear Course

Basic Table Elements

Working with the Table Designer

Working with Table Anchors

Table Catalog and Paragraph Tags

Changing Table Styles

Using Table Continuation or Table Sheet

Troubleshooting Heading and Footing Rows

Tables and Text

Table Row Controls

Tables for Figure and Caption Placement

Tables as a Solution for Caution Notes

Using Tables for Section Titles on Left and Right Pages


Chapter 7. Combining Documents into Books

Why Build a Book

Overview of a Book File

A Word About Planning

Organizing and Managing Book Files

Going Bookwide

How Numbering Works in a Book

Updating File Information

Solving Book File Errors


Chapter 8. Creating Tables of Contents and Other Lists

Lists, Lists, and More Lists

Looking Inside: How FrameMaker Creates a Table of Contents

Creating a Table of Contents

Making Changes to an Existing Table of Contents

Working with Static Text

Adding Prefixes to Page Numbering

Using Hypertext Links

Using Run-In Heading Formats in a Table of Contents

Ways to Work with a TOC Template

Using Cross-References

Other Helpful Lists


Chapter 9. Indexing

How Indexing Works

Indexing Decisions

Creating Index Entries

Changing Existing Index Entries

Creating an Index List

Adding Prefixes to Page Numbers

Working with Static Text

Working with an Index Template


Chapter 10. Two Versions Within One Document

The Benefits of Conditional Text

How Conditional Text Works

Conditional Text Window De-Mystified

Creating Reviewer-Commented Document

Combining Two Conditional Text Documents

Creating Two Versions Within One Document


Chapter 11. PDF and HTML

Planning Smooth Transitions to PDF and HTML

Converting Documents to PDF

Convert to HTML


Chapter 12. Converting Documents from Other Applications

Using Practical Methods

The Act of Converting Files

Cleaning Up the Mess

Resolving Formatting Issues

Changing Hard-Typed Numbers to Autonumbering

Changing Hard-Typed Bullets to Automatic Bullets

Table Solutions

Dealing with Graphic Irregularities

Cleaning Out the Catalogs


Chapter 13. Typical FrameMaker Headaches

Working with Inherited Templates

Understanding Format Overrides

Working with As Is Checkboxes

Fixing Unresolved Cross-References

Working with Missing Fonts

Solving Book File Errors

Adding Page Number Prefixes in Generated Files

Working with Multiple Page Number Styles in an Index

The Running Headers or Footers Appear Empty

The Table of Contents Contains Empty Lines

Freezing Pagination

Excluding the .fm Extension in a Filename Variable

Fixing Tables Imported from Microsoft Word

Including Running Headers or Footers Across Files




Copyright 2002 by New Riders Publishing

All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without written permission from the publisher. No patent liability is assumed with respect to the use of the information contained herein. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author(s) assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 00-111655

Printed in the United States of America

First Printing: August 2001

05 04 03 02 01 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Interpretation of the printing code: The rightmost double-digit number is the year of the book's printing; the rightmost single-digit number is the number of the book's printing. For example, the printing code 01-1 shows that the first printing of the book occurred in 2002.


All terms mentioned in this book that are known to be trademarks or service marks have been appropriately capitalized. New Riders Publishing cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Warning and Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to make this book as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warranty of fitness is implied. The information provided is on an "as is" basis. The authors and the publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained in this book or from the use of the CD or programs accompanying it.



David Dwyer

Associate Publisher

Al Valvano

Executive Editor

Steve Weiss

Product Marketing Manager

Kathy Malmloff

Managing Editor

Sarah Kearns

Acquisitions Editors

Chris Nelson

Leah Williams

Senior Development Editor

Lisa Thibault

Project Editor

Lisa Thibault

Copy Editor

Sheri Replin

Technical Editors

Brian Keith

George Ritsi

Cover Designer

Aren Howell

Interior Designer

Kim Scott


Wil Cruz

Steve Gifford


Sheri Replin

Jeannie Smith


Cheryl Lenser

Christopher Morris


For Jessica and Johvan

About the Author

Lisa Jahred is a trainer and consultant based in southern California. Lisa has been a FrameMaker power user since 1991 and is an Adobe Certified FrameMaker expert. She has developed and conducted numerous customized FrameMaker training classes, carried out multi-language publishing projects nationally and internationally, developed hundreds of FrameMaker templates for various companies, and created interior book designs and templates for technical and creative non-fiction titles.

In the early 1990s, Lisa worked closely with Frame Technology Corporation (the original developer of FrameMaker) to help establish the Los Angeles chapter of the FrameMaker User's Network.

Lisa received a B.S. in Quantitative Methods from California State University in the mid-1980s, enjoys world travel and a healthy lifestyle, and is deeply committed to her children.

About the Technical Editors

George Ritsi is the manager of the Technical Documentation department at Orthodyne Electronics, Inc. in Irvine, California. George introduced FrameMaker as the principle authoring program for creating user manuals and other technical documents at his company about six years ago. The books created by his department generally contain many chapters, are richly illustrated with engineering drawings and digital photographs, and contain many generated lists. He finds the features of FrameMaker to be ideal for his work. More recently, the books are being converted to CD-ROM, again utilizing FrameMaker's features. George has had more than 30 years' experience developing technical documents for a number of aerospace and defense companies. George has an MSME degree from the University of Southern California.

Brian C. Keith, of Los Angeles, California, was introduced to FrameMaker in 1988, was quickly converted, and has since transformed himself into a devout and devoted disciple of the "FrameMaker Way." He presided over the establishment of the Los Angeles chapter of the FrameMaker User's Network in the early 1990s and continues to promote FrameMaker as the paramount desktop-publishing application for the production of long documents. Brian garnered a B.A. in English, cum laude, and an M.S. in Mass Communication from Boston University almost two decades ago, and has so far collected more than 17 years of experience in the field of writing.


The creation of this book is the result of the efforts of many people, and I thank you all for making this book possible.

Thank you David Dwyer, New Riders publisher, for the great opportunity to write this book.

Chris Nelson, thanks for your participation in this book's earliest stages and numerous brainstorming sessions that helped to shape this book.

Thanks to Leah Williams, acquisition editor. It's been a great pleasure working with you. I could not have written this book without your invaluable guidance every step of the way.

Lisa Thibault, development and project editor, thanks for tending to each chapter and helping me stay organized with the structure of this book's content.

Thank you, Sheri Replin, for being a magnificent copyeditor.

Thanks to Brian Keith, technical editor and dear longtime friend, for reading every word of this book, providing constructive comments and all sorts of good advice much of which made its way into this book.

George Ritsi, technical editor, thanks for a job well done, and your great suggestions for topics and other tidbits that also made their way into this book.

Thanks to everyone, especially Laura Thommen, who provided encouragement and support in my early FrameMaker days.

Thanks to my parents, Myra and Nick, and friends who are always supportive of my life pursuits; to my long-lost friend, Randee Joseph, for finding me again and filling my e-mail box with an endless supply of fun and reminiscing; and to Brittany Olive Jumanji, my loyal canine companion and her pal Zoe, who doesn't say much these days.

Most of all, thank you Jessica and Johvan, who have been and continue to be a great inspiration in my life.

A Message from New Riders

As the reader of this book, you are our most important critic and commentator. We value your opinion and want to know what we're doing right, what we could do better, in what areas you'd like to see us publish, and any other words of wisdom you're willing to pass our way.

As Executive Editor at New Riders, I welcome your comments. You can fax, email, or write me directly to let me know what you did or didn't like about this book as well as what we can do to make our books better. When you write, please be sure to include this book's title, ISBN, and author, as well as your name and phone or fax number. I will carefully review your comments and share them with the authors and editors who worked on the book.

Please note that I cannot help you with technical problems related to the topic of this book, and that due to the high volume of email I receive, I might not be able to reply to every message. Thanks.

Mail: Steve Weiss 
Executive Editor 
New Riders Publishing 
201 West 103rd Street 
Indianapolis, IN 46290 USA 

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Although we encourage entry-level users to get as much as they can out of our books, keep in mind that our books are written assuming a non-beginner level of user-knowledge of the technology. This assumption is reflected in the brevity and shorthand nature of some of the tutorials.

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Adobe FrameMaker is famous for its powerful document-publishing features and steep learning curve. Through many versions and improved features, FrameMaker has become an indispensable tool to users creating various types of documentation.

You've undoubtedly felt overwhelmed with FrameMaker at least once. That's why I wrote this book to make FrameMaker more accessible to you without becoming overwhelmed.

More than 10 years ago, before tables were even included in the menu options, I found FrameMaker. It took about a minute for me to realize how FrameMaker could simplify the process of producing documentation. FrameMaker was a real lifesaver for me while I worked on the production side of large-scale multi-language documentation projects. Although FrameMaker's steep learning curve was painful at times, it was more painful to work in software programs that did not come close to containing the automated features that FrameMaker offered.

Combining my FrameMaker expertise with my computer-teaching skills allowed me to educate others on FrameMaker usage. The real rewards came in teaching users how to get the most out of this powerful software in their everyday documentation tasks. Writing my own user guides and training documents in FrameMaker naturally followed. It's been a pleasure to experience FrameMaker from many different angles.

FrameMaker remains my favorite publishing software program. I composed this book in FrameMaker 6. Unlike other books about FrameMaker, the book you hold in your hands is not a reference book. Because documentation tasks in FrameMaker require you to understand and combine multiple features, I was inspired me to create this task-oriented book. I present you with the principles, techniques, and tips to achieve tasks, as well as the corresponding pitfalls and challenges.

Who This Book Is For

This book is ideal for intermediate to advanced FrameMaker users. You should already be familiar with the basic fundamental operations and have completed, either through experience or training, the introductory levels of FrameMaker topics and commands. The exercises and examples are focused on the task at hand. For example, if we are working on autonumbers, we only work with the Numbering property of the Paragraph Designer. We don't need to waste time with how to create that particular paragraph tag or go into the basic or default font properties, because those are basic FrameMaker skills that you are already familiar with and unimportant to our task. It is my goal to present very focused lessons throughout the book.

This book is not geared towards novice FrameMaker users.

This book is of particular interest to experienced FrameMaker users who

  • Work in FrameMaker on a daily basis

  • Create technical documentation (such as software manuals, user guides, and so on)

  • Create documentation for print, PDF, or web sites

  • Convert files from Microsoft Word to FrameMaker consistently throughout the documentation process.

This book shows you how to optimize the advantages of FrameMaker to create documentation.

How This Book Is Organized

Each chapter contains comprehensive coverage of FrameMaker topics that surpass the basic fundamentals of the program. Inside each chapter, you find an overview and background information on topics, followed by examples to follow. You also find helpful sidebars that discuss topics such as basic commands, tips, and other noteworthy information.

The overall organization is as follows:

  • Chapter 1, "Planning and Organizing Strategies," includes a discussion on what you need to know before you embark on a FrameMaker project.

  • Chapter 2, "Automatic Text, Tabs, Special Characters, and Graphics," teaches you how to work with features to automate a variety of tasks, including combinations of text, tabs, special characters, and graphics.

  • Chapter 3, "Automatic Numbering," gets you acquainted with the concepts and techniques behind autonumbering and you learn the how-to's of constructing a variety of autonumber sequences.

  • Chapter 4, "Headers and Footers," covers the practical uses of headers and footers, what they're made of, and how they work together with FrameMaker's interrelated parts. You explore the concepts behind building, modifying, and using headers and footers to achieve complex tasks and understand some of the pitfalls and tricks in dealing with them.

  • Chapter 5, "Cross-References," explores the typical uses of cross-references and how they work, how to integrate cross-references in documents, and what to do when they misbehave.

  • Chapter 6, "Table Survival Guide," covers a few topics that go beyond table basics, such as header rows, titles, custom ruling and shading, figures within tables, and conversion between table and text.

  • Chapter 7, "Combining Documents into Books," teaches you the benefits of building book files, how to work with a variety of book commands, and how to understand automatic numbering and other automated features after a book file is created.

  • Chapter 8, "Creating Tables of Contents and Other Lists," explains the architecture behind tables of contents and other lists. You learn how to set up and edit lists, create prefix numbering, and solve everyday problems.

  • Chapter 9, "Indexing," helps you make FrameMaker's indexing features work for you. From creating a variety of index entries to controlling the format of the index, this chapter covers a variety of indexing techniques.

  • Chapter 10, "Two Versions Within One Document," focuses on the concepts behind conditional text, appropriate uses of conditional text, and how to create and implement conditional text in documents. You are also shown the pitfalls in working with conditional text along the way.

  • Chapter 11, "PDF and HTML," teaches you about the tools available in FrameMaker for converting documents to PDF and HTML and how your document's criteria fit for either.

  • Chapter 12, "Converting Documents from Other Applications," shows you the best practices to clean up converted Microsoft Word documents quickly and efficiently.

  • Chapter 13, "Typical FrameMaker Headaches," teaches you how to approach and solve some common problems that you might encounter while you work on document projects. This includes the dreaded Missing Fonts error, mysterious templates, and undocumented features.

  • The Glossary provides a list of specialized FrameMaker words and their definitions, along with quick tips.

How to Use This Book

I wrote this book from a Microsoft Windows perspective. As you know, FrameMaker is nearly identical on various computing platforms. Although the conventions used are Windows-based, the basic concepts and techniques discussed in this book can be used equally well by users of various platforms.

Each chapter is independent and stands on its own. Go directly to the chapters that contain topics that interest you, or use the comprehensive index to find the subject of which you are looking. Try out the techniques (presented in the examples) as you go along and analyze the results in your own documents.

The following table shows the various conventions used throughout the book.

Conventions Used in This Book

Convention Example


Format > Document > Numbering

Select the Format menu, then Document in the Format menu list and Numbering from the Document submenu.

Control f

Press the Control Key and lowercase letter f at the same time.

Esc pz

Press and release the Escape key, then press the letter p and release, press the letter z and release.

What's on the Web

Learn even more on how to put FrameMaker's features to good use by visiting, an online resource center for premium IT content, access to industry experts, training courses, and news. At InformIT, as well as at New Riders' Web site (, you'll find Lisa Jahred's continuing series of articles on a variety of FrameMaker topics not covered in this book.

Have Fun

Have fun with all the features that FrameMaker has to offer; don't be afraid to experiment. The learning curve might be steep, but it's worth the effort. Getting acquainted with FrameMaker can sometimes be an adventure of discovery. It's an adventure because of the many paths to accomplishing tasks with all their twists and turns. It's also a discovery of the wonders of this software program.

FrameMaker 6. Beyond the Basics
FrameMaker 6: Beyond the Basics
ISBN: B00008CM3V
Year: 2000
Pages: 15
Authors: Lisa Jahred

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