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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
  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 - Advanced Properties of the Paragraph Designer
(Page 4 of 14 )

The next properties sheet in the Paragraph Designer is the Advanced sheet, shown in Figure 3–7.

Figure 3–7.
The Paragraph Designer’s Advanced properties sheet.

Advanced properties are fairly self descriptive. The exception may be the Frame Above Pgf and Below Pgf shown along the bottom edge. Each of these has a pop-up menu, from which the template designer can select a graphic. This is how decorative lines, images, and logos can consistently be placed above or below headings or other text.

Once attached to a paragraph format, the graphic will show up with every occurrence of that format.

NOTE The images must be built into the template, too. The procedure for doing so is described in “Reference Pages” on page 57.

The Paragraph Designer’s final properties sheet, Table Cell, is shown in Figure 3–8.

Figure 3–8.
The Paragraph Designer Table Cell properties sheet.

These properties kick in whenever text typed in a table uses the paragraph format. This is how you set text to align vertically within table cells, or to have more or less white space separating the text from the cell borders.

Also included in the Paragraph Designer are the Apply and Update All buttons. The button you click will depend on your scope— whether you want to affect a single paragraph, or all the paragraphs using a particular format.

The Apply button acts only on the paragraph in which you have your insertion point. The Apply button is used when:

  • you want to change the format being used by the paragraph. Another word for this is tagging, as in “I am tagging this paragraph with the Heading1 format”

  • you want to change settings for that single paragraph (which, by the way, produces an override)

NOTE When you adjust single paragraphs, they no longer match the property settings of other paragraphs with the same name. This is called an override. When output to XML, none of the override information is retained. Technically, no formatting information is retained. If you wish a paragraph to be different when XML is imported, it is best to create a special paragraph format (with structure, especially, it is a best practice to give these different paragraphs their own style names and build their use into the structured template and EDD—for consistency of formatting).

The other button—Update All—acts on all the paragraphs that use the format selected in the Paragraph Designer. This is also how you change settings of formats in the catalog. If you use the Paragraph Designer to modify the settings for a paragraph format called Heading1 and then click Update All, for example, every paragraph currently using the Heading1 style will change to match the new settings. Those settings are also used for any paragraph tagged with that format, from that point forward. Update All is used

  • when you have adjusted the properties for a paragraph format and want to make sure that these changes are reflected in all paragraphs using that format

  • when you want to rename a paragraph format

Now that you understand the Paragraph Designer and paragraph formats, you can follow the following directions to create a paragraph format:

  1. If you have an existing paragraph format similar to the one you are about to make, press Enter to create an empty paragraph, place your insertion point in that paragraph, and tag it with the existing format.

  2. Open the Paragraph Designer by selecting Format> Paragraphs> Designer.
  3. Select New Format from the Commands menu.
  4. Name your format in the Tag text box, and checkmark the appropriate boxes:

    Store in Catalog means that the paragraph format will be added to the list of available formats in the Paragraph Catalog and will be available to tag onto other paragraphs.

    Apply to Selection means that the paragraph format will be applied (tagged) to the paragraph in which your insertion point lies.
  5. Click the Create button.
  6. Adjust the six properties sheets as desired, clicking either Apply or Update All as you move from one sheet to the next (as long as you perform the next step, Apply is acceptable to use between sheets; however, the best practice would be to click Update All between sheets and avoid any chance of overrides).
  7. Click Update All to lock in the paragraph’s settings when finished.

To modify an existing format, you would follow similar steps.

  1. Place your insertion point in a paragraph that is using the paragraph format you wish to modify.

  2. Open the Paragraph Designer by selecting Format> Paragraphs> Designer.
  3. Adjust the six properties sheets as desired, clicking either Apply or Update All as you move from one sheet to the next (as mentioned above, Update All is recommended).
  4. Click Update All to lock in the paragraph’s settings.

Deleting and renaming are also possible for paragraph formats. To delete, use the following process:

  1. Open the Paragraph Designer by selecting Format> Paragraphs> Designer.

  2. From the Commands menu, select Delete Format.

  3. In the dialog box that appears, select the unwanted format and click Delete, and then Done.

NOTE This removes the format from the catalog, but does not untag any text using the format. Your next step is to locate (Find) any paragraphs using the deleted format and tag them with another format.

To rename a format,

  1. Place your insertion point in a paragraph that is using the paragraph format you wish to rename.

  2. Open the Paragraph Designer by selecting Format> Paragraphs> Designer.

  3. Delete the format’s name in the Paragraph Tag box in the upper left corner, and type the new one.
  4. Click Update All.

    A dialog appears asking if you wish to rename the format from the old name to the new name.
  5. Click OK.

Not only will the new format name appear in the catalog, but the old name will be removed. All paragraphs in the document that were using the format will be tagged with the new name.

Use the delete and rename options as often as you like when creating a template, but sparingly after you begin creating FrameMaker documents from your template. After you have a collection of documents, renaming or deleting causes cleanup issues.

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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