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).
Understanding and Creating FrameMaker Templates - Creating Character Formats and Cross-Reference Formats (Page 10 of 14 )
Creating Character Formats
Character formats are used to change ranges of text—making a word bold, for example. Follow the next set of steps to create a Bold character format using the Character Designer.
To make this format and apply it to the Total preparation time sample text in your template, select that sample text. This is not a requirement, but it will serve to give you an example with which to test your formatting. The format can be automatically applied (as demonstrated in the following steps) and your text range will change to bold text.
Open the Character Designer ( Format>Characters>Designer).
From the Commands menu, select Set Window to As Is.
Using As Is allows you to clear the value present in the Character Designer so that you can set just the bold attribute. Otherwise, you might create a format that would adjust more than you want it to adjust.
Click the Weight popup and select Bold (if Bold is not available, it could mean that the document is using a font that does not allow bolded text. Try changing the font family until Bold becomes available).
From the Commands menu, select New Format.
Name the format in the Tag text box, and check both boxes.
Click Update All to lock in the character format’s settings.
You now have bolded text in your document using the Bold character format. It is now available in the Character Catalog and can be used on other text.
Creating Cross-Reference Formats
Anything that is tagged can be referenced within a FrameMaker document. In structured documents, any item you wish to refer to must have a special attribute.
Use the following steps to create a cross-reference from one step to another for more information. Using cross-references in FrameMaker is an important part of your online publishing because the cross-reference becomes a hyperlink when output for online delivery.
Select Special > Cross Reference.
The Cross-Reference dialog box appears.
In the Source portion of this dialog box, link to a specific source (the item to which you wish to refer).
In the Reference portion, select and create formats.
To create a format, click Edit Format.
The Edit Cross-Reference Format dialog box appears.
In the Name area, type a name for your cross-reference. For example, use Step Text.
In Definition, use building blocks, character formats, and punctuation to make example formats. For example, use
Click Add to add the format, and then Done to leave the dialog box.
Save your template.
Your cookbook template now has a cross reference format that you may use to refer to a procedure step.
Once the format is created, you can use it to create cross references within the document or to other documents. Any document that is open can be referred to, and documents must be open so that FrameMaker can add link information in the referenced paragraph.
There are a few other tips on working with cross-references:
Use the non-breaking space \ (slash-space) instead of a regular space when defining your cross-references. This allows your cross references to wrap without awkward breaks—such as between pages and a following page number.
Use \‘ and \’ to produce curly quotes. Typing straight quotes in your cross-reference formats will produce straight quotes in your cross-references.
Use bold, italic, and other formatting by creating character formats that you can include in the cross-reference formats.
Begin all cross-reference format definitions with the Default Para Font building block. This makes it possible to copy/paste cross-references and avoid picking up extra text formatting, especially when copying and pasting into paragraphs of different font properties.
NOTE This same tip can be applied to variables. Starting definitions of user variables with Default Para Font makes it easy to copy/paste them for reuse. If you do not use this setting, then pasted variables may not match the text into which they are pasted.
This chapter is fromXML and FrameMaker, by Kay Ethier (Apress, 2004, ISBN: 159059276X). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.