FrameMaker Tutorial:

Developed for advanced documentation students by
David A. McMurrey Pam Renwick
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 tutorial shows you how to create, use, and modify templates in FrameMaker. 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, cross-references, 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".

About Templates

If you are not familiar with using and creating templates in a word-processing or desktop publishing application, read this section.

A template is a document that consists of a predefined set of styles, page layout definitions (page size, margins, etc.) and special text. Templates are used to format other documents. Like styles, templates are valuable because:

Exploring FrameMaker Templates

FrameMaker offers many templates that contain styles along with page layout specifications. Explore the styles in the various templates:
  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 the different types of templates that FrameMaker offers. Click on one of the templates and look at the description and preview shown on the right side of the screen. Click More to view the rest of the list.

  5. Under the Special heading, on the left side of the screen, click on Newsletter, and then click Show Sample.

  6. Scroll through this sample document, clicking on the various areas of text and looking at the style names in the status bar at the bottom left corner of the FrameMaker window.

  7. Choose Format > Page Layout > Column Layout to look at the page layout. In the Column Layout dialog box, notice how the three columns are defined. When you are finished, click Cancel.

  8. Open the Paragraph Catalog by clicking on the paragraph symbol ( Paragraph Symbol ) in the upper right corner of the FrameMaker document window. In the Paragraph Catalog popup menu, you'll see all of the styles that have been designed for the document template.

    Paragraph Catalog

  9. For fun, let's change the style of a paragraph. Place your text cursor in an ordinary Body paragraph and click on a different style in the Paragraph Catalog popup menu. The paragraph's style automatically updates.

  10. Exit the sample document. Click on the Close X in the upper right corner of the document window and click No to exit without saving.

Using FrameMaker Templates

Using a FrameMaker template is easy:
  1. Choose File > New > Document.

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

  3. Select Newsletter again, but this time click Create.

  4. Notice that you cannot change the title Views, company name, volume number, and other such material. To change this text, you have to go to the document's master page:

    1. Choose View > Master Pages to access the master pages. There are four separate master pages used by this newsletter.

    2. Scroll to the master page containing the title Views.

    3. Change the company name to your name and change the title to whatever you like.

    4. Choose View > Body Pages to return to the body pages. (This is only intended as brief introduction to master pages; you will learn about master pages in the next tutorial.)

  5. Exit the newsletter template. Click on the Close X in the upper right corner of the document window and click No to exit without saving.

One of these templates with its own specifically designed set of styles may be right for the document you are developing. In other instances, you may need to know how to create your own templates.

Creating a FrameMaker Template

Let's create a template in FrameMaker. To make this lesson interesting, imagine you are creating a template for a quick reference booklet that will be 20 pages long.

Open a new blank document:

  1. Choose File > New > Document.

  2. From the New dialog box, click Portrait to create a new blank document--one that has uses no templates.

  3. Choose File > Save As.

  4. In the File name box, type qref.tem and click Save.

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

Start setting up the template by defining the page size and margins:

  1. Choose Format > Page Layout >Pagination.

  2. Specify the pagination to be Double-Sided and from the 1st Page Side pull-down list, select Right. Then, click Set.


  3. Choose Format > Page Layout > Page Size.

  4. In the Page Size dialog box, select Custom from the Page Size pull-down list and change the width to 4 inches and the height to 8 inches. Then, click Set.

    Page Size

  5. To set the top and bottom margins, choose Format > Page Layout > Column Layout.

  6. In the Column Layout dialog box, change the Top and Bottom Margins to 0.40, the Inside Margin to 0.50, and the Outside Margin to 0.25 inches. Then, click Update Entire Flow.

    Column Layout

  7. Press and hold the Enter key until you create a second page (you are filling the page with carriage returns). Notice how the width of the left margin varies depending on whether it's inside or outside.

  8. Choose View > Master Pages to look at your master page layout.

  9. Choose View > Body Pages and look at the difference between the two page layouts. Notice that the headers and footers do not display on the Body pages. The headers and footers are in the background.

One of the nice things about templates is that you can add text to the headers and footers, along with the page numbers, in the background. To add text to the headers:

  1. View the master page layout again. Choose View > Master Pages. You will see header and footer frames at the top and bottom of the two master pages, one for the left page and one for the right.

  2. Use the Previous Page/Next Page buttons at the bottom of the FrameMaker window to find and display the right page. (The status bar shows the current page.)

    Page Scroll

  3. Click in the right page header frame and type Perl Reference Guide.

  4. Select the text you just typed and make the text bold, italics, then choose Format > Font > Arial, and Format > Size > 9 pt.

  5. Align the text to the left. Click on the alignment button ( Alignment Icon ), which is the second button to the left of the tab buttons. Click Left (the checkmark shows the current alignment method).

  6. Display the left page. Then, click in the left page header frame and type Perl Version 4.109.

  7. Select the text you just typed and also make this text bold, italics, then choose Format > Font > Arial, and Format > Size > 9 pt.

  8. This time, align the text to the right. Click on the alignment button ( Alignment Icon ) and click Right.

Next, draw a solid ruled line beneath both of these header frames:

  1. Choose Graphics > Tools (or click on Graphics Tool icon along the right edge of the FrameMaker document window).

  2. From the Tools Palette, click the line tool ( Line Tool ).

  3. Click in the document window and draw a horizontal line beneath the header frame. Remember to hold down Shift, while you draw, to keep the line horizontal.

  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the right page.

  5. When you are finished, close the Tools Palette.
Add page numbers to the footers:
  1. Click in the footer frame on the right page and type Page and then, press the space bar once.

  2. Choose Format > Headers & Footers > Insert Page #.

  3. Select the footer and make the text the same format as the headers (bold, italics, Arial, and 9 pt).

  4. Align the text to the left. Click on the alignment button ( Alignment Icon ) and click Left.

  5. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 for the footer frame on the left page; however, make the footer right-aligned.

  6. Choose View > Body Pages and look at your template now.

  7. Hold down the Enter key to create several new pages filled with carriage returns; notice how the headers alternate and the page numbers increment.

  8. Save and close the quick-reference template you created. Choose File > Save and then click on Close X at the upper right corner of the document window.

Using a Custom FrameMaker Template

Once you created the custom template for the quick-reference document, you are now ready to use it. To use your custom template:

  1. Choose File > New > Document.

  2. From the Look in box, locate and select the directory in which you saved the quick reference template.

  3. In the box above Use Template, click on the quick-reference template -- qref.tem. (Ignore the files with % in them; those are backups.)

  4. Click New at the bottom of the dialog box and a copy of the template is ready for you to use.

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