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Understanding and Creating FrameMaker Templates


Brush up on FrameMaker template components, including the Paragraph and Character Designer, and then dive into details on how to create your own custom template (from the book XML and FrameMaker by Kay Ethier, ISBN: 159059276X, Apress).

Author Info:
By: Kay Ethier
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 18
July 20, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Understanding and Creating FrameMaker Templates
  2. · Paragraph Formats
  3. · Pagination Properties and Numbering Properties
  4. · Advanced Properties of the Paragraph Designer
  5. · Designing Character Formats with the Character Designer
  6. · Master Page Layouts
  7. · Reference Pages
  8. · Table Formats
  9. · Cross-Reference Formats, Conditional Text and Creating a Simple Template
  10. · Creating Character Formats and Cross-Reference Formats
  11. · Modifying and Adding Master Pages
  12. · Creating a Double-sided Document
  13. · Adjusting Document Properties
  14. · Reviewing the Import Formats Feature

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Understanding and Creating FrameMaker Templates - Reviewing the Import Formats Feature
(Page 14 of 14 )

One of the strengths of FrameMaker is that it lets you create templates that have all the information needed to create your documents. You can then use this to create all new documents and everything will match. You are able to easily create consistent documents because the formats are predefined. This eliminates any formatting on the fly that might be done with word-processing tools.

Once you have a template, you can use it to adjust new documents or existing documents. You can also use it on documents that have been imported from other tools like MSWord and WordPerfect.

The following instructions step you through the process of importing formats from a template into a document:

  1. Open the template that has the formats.

  2. Open the document into which the formats need to be imported. Stay in this document.

  3. Click File>Import>Formats.

    The Import Formats dialog box will appear.

  4. At the top of the Import Formats dialog box, click the pop-up menu next to Import From Document and choose your template (only open documents are listed in the pop-up menu, so if your template was closed it cannot be selected).



  5. Choose the formats that you want to import.

  6. If you want to remove manual page breaks and clean up formatting overrides, choose those options.

  7. Once you have chosen the desired items, click the Import button at the bottom of the dialog box.

    The active document now has the formats imported from the template, and you can begin authoring or editing the document as needed
     
  8. Close your template without saving.


NOTE Before importing a template into a document, it is a best practice to remove the existing formats from the document’s catalog. This allows you to then repopulate the catalog with the template’s formats. Otherwise, you may end up with formats in the catalog that are not in the template, causing confusion and possible tagging errors during layout.

When an import is done, the formatting is imported and adjusted by name. Any formats in the document with the same name as in the template will be redefined as specified in the template. Formats that do not exist in the document, but are in the template, will be added to the document’s catalog. Formats in the document but not in the template will not be touched. So, the import is more of an adjust and add for formats than a match to template sync of formats.

NOTE Any time you adjust your documents, return to the template to make the changes also. If you make changes here and there in different documents, you will lose consistency and your template will be less effective in controlling your formatting.

Importing formats can also be done on an entire FrameMaker book. The following steps are slightly modified from those for importing formats into a single document:

  1. Open the template that has the formats.

  2. Open the book file.

    The book window appears.
  3. In the book window, use Control-click or Shift-click to select the files into which you want to import formats.
  4. Click File>Import>Formats.

    The Import Formats dialog box appears.
  5. At the top of the Import Formats dialog box, click the pop-up menu next to Import From Document and choose your template.

  6. Choose the formats that you want to import.

    At the book level, take care when importing document properties. This can adversely affect the numbering setup for your book. Also take care with importing variables if you have adjusted variable definitions to be chapter/file specific.
  7. If you want to remove manual page breaks and clean up formatting overrides, choose those options.

  8. Once you have chosen the desired items, click the Import button at the bottom of the dialog box.

    The files you selected in the book now have the formats imported from the template and you can begin authoring or editing as needed.
  9. Close the template without saving.

Anytime you modify your template, import the formats into your documents again. This can be done at any point to clean up a document.

NOTE You can also import formats and choose Current from the Import From Document pop-up menu. This forces a document to import into itself and is a quick way to clean up overrides or remove manual page breaks. Just choose those options and all of the formats.

Moving Forward (Creating Your Own Template )

Now that you have a rudimentary idea of what is in a template, you can begin planning your own template. You will need to create the minimum parts discussed so far in this chapter, and will likely need to adjust some of the other formats mentioned in “Reviewing a FrameMaker Document and Its Formats” on page 39.

Be sure to perform document analysis and determine in advance what you want your template to contain. That framework is necessary before you can sit down and begin creating your template. Skipping that step might also mean long rounds of editing once you begin using your template and noticing the holes in the design.

Before beginning a template, you need to know what you want to do with that template. Once you know what you want your document to look like, use the formatting capabilities in FrameMaker to make it happen.

In the real world, how do you turn your document plan into a FrameMaker template? Here are a few tips:

  • Work with the big picture in mind

  • Name your formats carefully

  • Create your template efficiently

NOTE Because the space available in this book for formatting allowed for just enough information to get you started, it is recommended that you check out additional FrameMaker template resources (see Chapter 15). You might also refer to FrameMaker online help or the manual that you received with your FrameMaker software CD.

Summary

FrameMaker has very powerful formatting capabilities. You may adjust everything from page layout to text formatting to custom viewing to output settings.

With advance planning and an understanding of how FrameMaker works, you have the ability to perform round tripping of your XML plus produce documents in any printed and online format that you need.

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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