FrameMaker Tutorial:
Cross-References

Developed for advanced documentation students by
David A. McMurrey Thomas A. Moore
Jacqueline J. Pulido ---

See the FrameMaker resource page for additional study materials. Got a question about this tutorial? Post it in the FrameMaker FAQ


The following FrameMaker tutorial shows you how to insert cross-references, customize existing cross-reference formats, and create your own cross-reference format from scratch. This tutorial is provided for advanced documentation students on a free, as-is basis, without guarantee of accuracy. If you see any errors or think we should have included other tasks, let us know!

Other tutorials focus on the basics, styles, graphics, tables, templates, master pages, book building, variable text, and conversion techniques. These tutorials only get you started; if you have more in-depth needs, see the Adobe FrameMaker User Guide or Adobe FrameMaker Classroom in a Book.

The tutorial's instructions are based on FrameMaker version 6.0 for Windows. You may encounter some minor differences if you are using another version.

Note: For the sake of brevity, we use an abbreviated style for menu commands throughout this lesson. For example, "Choose File > New" means "Choose New from the File menu".

Opening and Renaming a Sample File

First, open one of the sample files included with FrameMaker:
  1. Open FrameMaker.

  2. Choose File > New > Document.

  3. In the New dialog box, click Explore Standard Templates.

  4. The left column of the screen shows a list of available sample files. Click More to view the rest of the list.

  5. Under the Book heading, click on Chapter, and then click Show Sample. This creates a FrameMaker document with sample text already filled in. This will give you something to work with.

    Note: If you get an error message about the document using unavailable fonts, click OK.

  6. Choose File > Save As.

  7. In the File name box, type Chap1.fm and click Save.

    Note: If you are working in the TCM computer lab, use the A: drive to save your file on a diskette.

Inserting a Cross-Reference

Imagine that you want to insert a cross-reference that looks like this:

For more information, see Table 1 on page 3.

  1. Place the insertion point at the end of the first paragraph and type For more information, see and press the space bar once. (Be sure there is a space after the word see.)

  2. Choose Special > Cross-Reference. The Cross-Reference dialog box opens.

  3. From the Paragraph Tags scroll list, select TableTitle.

  4. From the Paragraphs list, select TABLE 1: Ridebis et licet rideas.

  5. From the Format pull-down list, select Table Number & Page. The settings for the dialog box should look like this:

    Cross-Reference dialog box

  6. Click Insert.

  7. Type a period to complete the sentence.

FrameMaker inserts a cross-reference to the table on page 3 using a predefined cross-reference format. Did you see all that intimidating code in the cross-reference format? Don't worry, we will explore what it means in the next couple of sections.

Understanding the Cross-Reference Format

Each cross-reference format is a combination of text and "Building Blocks". The Building Blocks are code that tells FrameMaker exactly what to insert for the cross-reference. For example, the format Table <$paranumonly> on page <$pagenum> tells FrameMaker to insert the word "Table", then the autonumber for that paragraph format, then the words "on page" and then the page number. Explore the other Building Blocks to see what kind of results you get.

Customizing a Cross-Reference Format

Imagine that you want to insert a cross-reference including the page number of the table, but not the title of the table itself. You can modify the cross reference format to do just that:

  1. In your document, double-click the cross-reference you just created. Notice that the entire cross-reference is highlighted, no matter how many words it includes. The Cross-Reference dialog box also opens.

  2. At the lower right of the Cross-Reference dialog box, click Edit Format. The Edit Cross-Reference Format dialog box opens.

  3. In the Definition text box, delete everything except page\ <$pagenum>.

  4. In the Name text box, type Page Number. The settings for the dialog box should look like this:

    Edit Cross-Reference Format dialog box

  5. Click Add, then Done, then Replace.

With this procedure, you added a new cross-reference format called Page Number. You also replaced the existing cross-reference in your document with the new format.

If you are using by-chapter page numbering, just modify the format for Page Number or create a new format as described above. Define the cross-reference format as follows:

<$chapnum>-<$pagenum>

Creating a Cross-Reference Format

Suppose none of the existing cross-reference formats in your document is exactly what you need. If this is the case, you can create your own:
  1. Choose Special > Cross-Reference.

  2. Click Edit Format. Once again, the Edit Cross-Reference Format dialog box opens.

  3. Delete everything in the Definition text box.

  4. From the Building Blocks list, select <Emphasis>.

  5. From the Building Blocks list, also select <$paratext>.

  6. In the Name text box, type Text. The settings for the dialog box should look like this:

    Edit Cross-Reference Format dialog box

  7. Click Add, then Done, then Done again.

You have now created a new cross-reference format called Text. The <Emphasis> building block is a character format that will make the cross-reference appear italicized. Go on to the next section to try it out.

Insert a Cross-Reference to Another File

You can also insert a cross-reference to any other file that is currently open:
  1. Open another sample file. Choose File > New > Document and click Explore Standard Templates.

  2. From the Standard Templates, open the sample file called Front Matter . Refer to Opening and Renaming a Sample File, if you need help.

  3. Save the file with the name Preface.fm.

  4. Choose Window > Chap1.fm to return to Chap1.fm.

  5. Place the insertion point after the second paragraph on the first page and press Enter.

  6. Type This book, and press the space bar once. (Be sure there is a space after the comma.)

  7. Choose Special > Cross-Reference.

  8. From the Document pull-down list, select Preface.fm.

  9. For Paragraph Tags, select TitleBook and for Paragraphs, select Great Events of the Twentieth Century.

  10. From the Format pull-down list, select Text, and click Insert.

The words "Great Events of the Twentieth Century" should appear in italics. You will get more practice working with multiple files in the Book Building Tutorial.

Updating Cross-References

The beauty of automated cross-references is that they change when the text changes, ensuring that they are always accurate. Updating your cross-references after changes is easy:
  1. Choose Window > Preface.fm and go to the first page.

  2. Change the title to "Great Events of the 1980s".

  3. Choose Window > Chap1.fm to return to Chap1.fm.

  4. Choose Edit > Update References.

  5. From the Update References dialog box, select All Cross-References, then click Update.

    Your cross reference in Chap1.fm should change to reflect the new title.

  6. Save your files, if desired.

In this tutorial, you learned how to insert a cross-reference, customize an existing cross-reference format, and create a cross-reference format from scratch. Experiment with the other cross-reference building blocks. The concept of building blocks carries over to many other aspects of FrameMaker, including variables, autonumbering, tables of contents, and indexes.


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