FrameMaker 7.0 Tutorial:

Developed for advanced documentation students by
David A. McMurrey Jana Owens
Spring 2004
Jacqueline J. Pulido
Fall 2000
Thomas A. Moore

For additional study materials, refer to the FrameMaker resource page. Got a question about this tutorial?
Post it in the FrameMaker FAQ

FrameMaker version 9 tutorials are now available.

This tutorial is provided for advanced documentation students on a free, as-is basis, without guarantee of accuracy. If you find any errors or think we should include other tasks, let us know!

This tutorial discusses the following topics:

Subsequent tutorials focus on tags, tables, anchored frames, templates, master pages, reference pages, cross-references, tables of contents, indexes, variable text, book building, conversion techniques, and structured documents. These tutorials provide an overview of each topic discussed. If you required information about advanced FrameMaker topics, refer to the Adobe FrameMaker User Guide or Adobe FrameMaker Classroom in a Book for the current version of FrameMaker.

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

Displaying the Tools Palette

To get started creating graphics in FrameMaker, create a new document and display the Tools palette:
  1. Open FrameMaker, and select File > New > Document.

  2. From the New dialog box, click Portrait.

  3. Click Display the Tools Palette (Tools Palette) located on the right side of the document window.

    The tools palette contains the following tools and properties:
    The Tools Palette
    • Selection tools: used to select existing text and drawing objects.
    • Drawing tools: used to draw shapes such as lines, arcs, rectangles, circles, and polygons.
    • Drawing properties: used to view and change a drawing object's properties.

    You will use the tools palette to select drawing tools and change the properties of drawing objects.

  4. Select File > Save As.

  5. In the File name box, type graphics, and click Save.

    Note: If you are working in the TCM computer lab, save the file to your lab account. If you do not have a lab account, please contact your instructor.

Drawing Basic Shapes

For this tutorial, you create some simple shapes using the drawing tools.

Note: Before you draw any graphics, create an anchored frame within which you draw all the objects in the following tutorial. For details, see anchored frames.

The tools palette contains the following drawing tools:

Drawing Tools

To draw a rectangle:
  1. On the tools palette, click rectangle tool (Rectangle Tool).

  2. Click and drag the crosshair in the document window to draw a rectangle. After you release the mouse button and move the pointer away from the rectangle, the pointer changes back to I-beam (I-beam).
    Note: You use the same basic procedure to draw circles, arcs, lines, and freehand lines.
  3. Press the Delete key to delete the rectangle.

To draw a square:
  1. On the tools palette, click rectangle tool (Rectangle Tool).

  2. Press and hold the Shift key, and then drag the crosshair to create the square. (Holding the Shift key keeps the sides of the rectangle equal, allowing you to easily create a square.)

  3. Select Graphics > Object Properties.

  4. In the Object Properties dialog box, type 2 in the Width and Height boxs.

  5. Click Set. (This feature allows you to create objects using exact measurements.)
To draw an octagon:
  1. Select the square from the previous exercise.

  2. Select Graphics > Set # Sides.

  3. In the Set Number of Sides dialog box, type 8 in the Number of Sides box.

  4. Click Set.

    The square changes to an octagon.

Selecting Objects

Before you can change a drawing object or its properties, you must first select the object. When an object is selected, selection handles appear around the object. You must click the border of the object to select it.

Selection handles

You can use the selection handles to resize, reshape or rotate a drawing object. For example, to rotate the octagon you just created, select the border of the octagon, press and hold the Alt key, and then drag a selection handle either clockwise or counter-clockwise. For more information about resizing objects, see Resizing Objects.

Aligning Objects

To align objects:
  1. Draw a square. (Remember to press and hold the Shift key.)

  2. Click Oval Tool (oval tool), and draw a circle. (Press and hold the Shift key to draw a circle.)

    Make the circle slightly smaller than the square.

  3. With the circle still selected, press and hold the Shift key, and then select the square. (Both objects should be selected.)

  4. Select Graphics > Align.

  5. In the Align dialog box, select T/B Centers and L/R Centers.

  6. Click Align.

    The center of the circle is aligned with the center of the square.

Resizing Objects

To resize objects:
  1. Select the square that you created in the previous exercise.

  2. Position your cursor over the bottom-center selection handle until your cursor changes to Resizing arrow (Arrow) .

    Resizing arrow

  3. Click the selection handle, and drag downward a few inches to extend the square into a rectangle.

    Tip: You can also resize an object to exact measurements by right-clicking the object, selecting Object Properties, and then typing exact measurement for Width and Heigth properties.

Duplicating Objects

To duplicate objects:
  1. Select the circle that you created in the previous exercise.

  2. Place your cursor over the circle.

    Your cursor changes to Positioning arrow (hollow arrow).

    Positioning arrow

  3. Press and hold the Ctrl key, and then drag the circle downward.

    Notice that Additive arrow (plus sign) is added to your cursor. This signifies that you are dragging a copy of the object instead of the original object.

    Tip: To drag the object in a straight line, press and hold the Shift key.

  4. Repeat the steps above to create a third circle.

Distributing Objects

To evenly distribute objects:
  1. Select one of the circles that you created in the previous exercise.

  2. Press and hold the Shift key, and then select the other two circles.

  3. Select Graphics > Distribute.

  4. In the Distribute dialog box, select Equidistant Centers for both Horizontal Spacing and Vertical Spacing.

  5. Click Distribute. The three circles are now distributed with equal space between them.

Grouping Objects

To group objects:
  1. Make certain that the three circles are still selected.

  2. Select Graphics > Group.

    The three circles are now grouped together and treated as one object. The selection handles change to reflect this new grouping.

  3. With the group still selected, press and hold the Shift key, and then select the rectangle.

  4. Select Graphics > Align.

  5. In the Align dialog box, select T/B Centers and L/R Centers, and click Align.

    The group is now centered within the rectangle.

  6. To ungroup the selection, select Graphics > Ungroup.

Changing Object Properties

Using the tools palette, you can customize object properties, such as the color and type of fill within your circles and the line width of your rectangle. The left side of the tools palette contains the options for changing drawing properties, and the right side displays the current settings.

Drawing Properties

To change object properties:
  1. Select the top circle.

  2. Click Fill Pattern icon (Set Fill Pattern).

  3. In the Fill Pattern dialog box, select the solid fill option.

    Solid fill

  4. Click Color Icon (Set Color).

  5. In the Color dialog box, select Red.

    Color pop-up menu

  6. Select the middle circle, and repeat the steps above to apply a solid, yellow fill.

  7. Select the lower circle, and apply a solid, green fill.

  8. Select the rectangle.

  9. Click Line Width icon (Set Line Width).

  10. In the Line Width dialog box, select a thicker line weight.

    Line width pop-up menu

Adding Callouts and Text

To add callouts and text:
  1. Click Line Width icon (Set Line Widths), and select a thinner line weight for the callouts.

  2. Click Color Icon (Set Color), and select the color black.

  3. Click Line Tool (Draw a Line).

  4. Draw a line that extends out from the red circle.

    Tip: To create a horizontal line, press and hold the Shift key.

  5. Place your cursor over the line. (Your cursor changes to a hollow arrow.)

  6. Press and hold the Ctrl key, and then drag the line downward to the yellow circle.

  7. Repeat the steps above to add a line to the green circle..

  8. Click Text Tool (Draw a Text Line).

  9. Click within the document window next to the callout for the red circle.

  10. Type the word Red. (You can change the font and point size using the Format menu.)

  11. Repeat the steps above to add text to the yellow and green circles.

    Note: Text lines are somewhat different than other drawing objects because you can select the object (with selection handles) or select the text characters. Experiment with the two types of selection tools to see what kind of results you get.

Applying and Customizing Color

To apply color to text:
  1. Select some text and click the Set Color button in the Tools Palette.

  2. Select a color from the Color dialog box.

To customize a color, for example, a darker green:
  1. Click View > Color > Definitions.

  2. Assign a name to your custom color, for example, Darker green.

  3. For Model, select RGB.

  4. Push the red, green, and blue slider bars around until you get the shade of color you want.

  5. Click Add. Your customized color will be listed in the items under the Set Color button.

In this tutorial you learned how to use the tools palette to create simple objects. Try adding arrowheads to the callouts in your drawing. Experiment with the other drawing tools and object properties.

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