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Introduction to Adobe FrameMaker

This chapter provides a starting point for those who are familiar with XML but not as familiar with FrameMaker. It also covers FrameMaker's structured document publishing capabilities. (From the book XML and Framemaker, by Kay Ethier, published by Apress, ISBN: 159059276X.)

Author Info:
By: Kay Ethier
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July 26, 2004
  1. · Introduction to Adobe FrameMaker
  2. · Text Format and Table Placement
  3. · Figure Placement and Settings
  4. · Page Layout, Master Pages and PDF Creation
  5. · Content Sharing Across the Enterprise
  6. · Understanding FrameMaker Templates
  7. · Understanding Structured FrameMaker Basics
  8. · Looking at Round Trip XML Benefits

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Introduction to Adobe FrameMaker - Understanding Structured FrameMaker Basics
(Page 7 of 8 )

Document Window and Structure View

You need to be aware that you can view documents in a document window to see the printable document, or in a Structure View window to see the way the elements are structured.

The document window is where you see your content (text, graphics, and tables). When you author a document, you are typing and entering content into the document window. This is also what you see when you print.

The Structure View is opened by clicking the Structure View button
(), located in the upper right corner of your documents. The Structure View shows you the structure tree within your structured document or imported XML file. You will see all of the elements and their attributes (but the attributes are not seen within the document window).

Element Catalog

The Element Catalog acts as your guide through any structure, displaying elements that may be inserted as you author.

Read/Write Rules

The read/write rules are written and stored in an optional, separate file. These rules may be added to an XML round-trip setup to adjust element names (change case, shorten, lengthen), adjust the nesting of elements, or drop and add elements as XML is imported (read) into FrameMaker or exported (written) from FrameMaker.

Figure 2–7.
The Element Catalog displays elements you can use in your document.

XML does not specify element types, for example, yet FrameMaker designates element types (containers, tables, graphics, cross-references, footnotes, and more). It may be desirable to create rules that add an element type as XML is imported.

A second example is that you might use a rule to change a FrameMaker element Chapter Title, which contains a space, to ChapterTitle in XML, to eliminate the space that XML will not allow. This example rule could even be modified to make the XML element name chaptitle if desired.

Read/write rules are discussed in more detail in Chapter 13.


You may hear the term application when someone is referring to a software product. For example, FrameMaker may be called an application. This is not the Application that is referred to in regard to structured document publishing.

An Application in the structured-documents context is a set of files given a name and designed to work together. You can have multiple Applications, and they might be either XML Applications or SGML Applications.

NOTE A capital “A” will be used on Application in this chapter to help you make the distinction. It does not need to be capitalized, although you may note that its element name is capitalized within the FrameMaker setup.

The name of an Application is given by its creator. The files that work together include (but are not limited to) a structured template, read/write rules, a DTD, and a style sheet (all of these are described within the terminology section).

The Applications that install with FrameMaker (except the UNIX version) are DocBook, XDocBook, and XHTML. Some of these Applications are XML and others are SGML.

A round-trip Application allows you to perform importing (XML to FrameMaker) and exporting (FrameMaker to XML). The XML Application must be set up within FrameMaker on each machine that will work with the XML. You provide the name and the pointers (or paths) to the documents that work together (DTD, template, and so forth).

An XML Application can be set up to allow you to publish fully-formatted documents—formatting being one of FrameMaker’s strengths—and to produce XML for use by other systems and departments within your enterprise. 

This chapter is from XML and FrameMaker, by Kay Ethier (Apress, 2004, ISBN: 159059276X). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.

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