FrameMaker Tutorial:

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 create several different types of index entries, generate and update an index, and apply some custom formatting. 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, 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".

Downloading and Saving the Source Document

An index can be generated from either a single document or a book. The document or book that the index is generated from is called the source document. For this tutorial, the source document (in this case, a single document) has already been created for you.

Download and save the source document:

When you click on the FrameMaker document below, the Netscape browser may attempt to display it directly—in which case you'll see just a few gobbledygook characters or receive an error message. To force Netscape to download this file:
  1. Click on Edit, then on Preferences.

  2. Under Navigator, select Applications and scroll down to the application you want to use. In this case, select Adobe FrameMaker Interchange Format.

  3. Click on Edit and then click on the Save to Disk radio button.

  4. Click OK twice and click on the link below again.

  1. First, download the file to your local directory:

    1. Click on this link: indexes.mif.
    2. Save the file -- for Netscape, click Save File.
    3. In the Save As dialog box, the File name box should show the selected file name.
    4. Select the directory to save the file and click Save.

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

  2. Open FrameMaker.

  3. Open and save the file with a .fm extension:

    1. Choose File > Open and select the file's directory.
    2. Click on indexes.mif and click Open. (If you get a message about unavailable fonts, click OK.)
    3. Choose File > Save As.
    4. Select the directory to save the file.
    5. In the File name box, change the .mif to a .fm extension and click Save.

  4. From the View menu, turn on Borders, Text Symbols, and Rulers.

Marking Simple Index Entries

To mark a simple index entry:
  1. Choose Special > Marker to open the Marker dialog box.

  2. Scroll to the second paragraph of the second page, and select (highlight) the words "short documents". The text you select appears in the Marker Text box.

  3. Make sure Index is selected as the Marker Type. The Marker dialog box should look like this:

    Marker dialog box

  4. Click New Marker. FrameMaker places an index marker text symbol ( text symbol ) at the insertion point to mark the index entry.

    text symbol

    If you ever want to view a marker's contents, select the marker symbol while the Marker dialog box is open. The contents of the marker are displayed in the Marker dialog box.

  5. Scroll to the next paragraph and select the word "phrasing".

  6. Click New Marker.

  7. Skip down a paragraph and select the words "lone headings".

  8. Click New Marker.

  9. Click on the Close to close the Marker dialog box.

Generating an Index

Once you've created some index markers in your document, you're ready to generate an index. To generate an index for an individual document:

  1. Choose Special > Standard Index.

  2. Click Yes when asked "Do you want to create a standalone Standard Index for this document?"

  3. The Set Up Standard Index dialog box displays a list of the markers that can be included in the index. Make sure Index is the only marker in the Include Markers of Type list. (If Index is not included, find the marker in the Don't Include list and double-click on it.)

  4. Click Set. The index automatically appears in your document window. FrameMaker generates your index in a new file called (The name of the source document plus the suffix "IX".) At the moment, your index only has three entries and is not very pretty, but you'll fix that soon enough.

    Note: Choose View > Text Symbols to hide the text symbols if they are in your way.

  5. If you use by-chapter numbering, you must change:




    at the very bottom of the reference page in the generated index file and then update the book.

As stated earlier, you can also generate an index for an entire book. After setting up your book, choose Add > Standard Index to generate the index. You can learn more about creating an index for a book in the Book Building Tutorial.

Formatting the Index

After placing the index markers and generating the index, you should improve the formatting to make the index more readable:
  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the first paragraph of your index. (This paragraph is tagged GroupTitlesIX.)

  2. Open the Paragraph Designer (Ctrl + M).

  3. Click the Basic tab, and for Space Above Pgf, select 1 Line (14.0 pt). Then, click Update All.

  4. Click the Default Font tab, and for Family, select Arial and for Weight, select Bold. Then, click Update All.

  5. Now click anywhere in the first paragraph and press the Home key. (Or, if your keyboard does not have a Home key, place the insertion point at the very beginning of the document.)

  6. Type the word INDEX and press Enter.

  7. Return to the word you just typed and place the insertion point anywhere in this paragraph.

  8. Apply the paragraph tag Title to this paragraph.

  9. Click on the Close to close the Paragraph Designer.

Note: The index will maintain this formatting after updates as long as you don't change the name of the source document.

Adding Markers for Nested Index Entries

To add multilevel entries:
  1. Choose Window > to return to the source document.

  2. Choose Special > Marker.

  3. In the second-to-last paragraph of page 2, select the text "stacked headings".

  4. Click New Marker.

  5. Now, in the same sentence, select the word "headings" only.

  6. Click in the Marker Text field of the Marker dialog box. Immediately after the word headings, type a colon, a space, then the word stacked so that it looks like this:

    dialog box

  7. Click New Marker.

  8. Go up one paragraph, and add a similar index marker for "lone headings". It looks like this:

    dialog box

  9. Re-generate the index.

  10. Hold the Shift key and choose File > Save All Open Files to save your files.

Adding an Entry for a Range of Pages

To include an entry for a topic that spans several pages:
  1. Choose Window > to return to the source document.

  2. Place the insertion point anywhere in the first paragraph on page 2.

  3. In the Marker dialog box, type <$startrange>lists so that it looks like this:

    dialog box

  4. Click New Marker.

  5. Place the insertion point anywhere in the last paragraph on page 3.

  6. In the Marker dialog box, type <$endrange>lists so that it looks like this:

    dialog box

  7. Click New Marker.

Adding an Entry without a Page Number

To include an entry with no page number:
  1. Place the insertion point anywhere in the first paragraph on page 2.

  2. In the Marker dialog box, type <$nopage>rules. See guidelines. so that it looks like this:

    dialog box

  3. Click New Marker.

  4. Click on the Close to close Marker dialog box.

  5. Re-generate the index. Your index now looks like this:


  6. Save your files.

The index is still very simple, but it contains the most of the common index elements. Feel free to experiment. Create an index for a different FrameMaker document or try some formatting of your own, such as a two-column layout.

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