FrameMaker 9.0 Tutorial:
Introduction and Basics

 

Developed for advanced documentation students by
David A. McMurrey  
Jill Brockmann
Fall 2009
Jana Owens
Spring 2004
Jacqueline J. Pulido
Fall 2000
Thomas A. Moore
Spring 1998
For additional study materials, refer to the FrameMaker resource page.


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:

If you require 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."

Opening FrameMaker

To open the FrameMaker program:

  1. Click Start located on the Windows taskbar.

  2. Select Programs > Adobe.

  3. Select FrameMaker 9.0 > Adobe FrameMaker 9.0.

Creating and Saving New Files

To create and save a new FrameMaker document:

  1. Select File > New > Document.

    Tip: You can also press CTRL+N on your keyboard to create a new document.

  2. From the New dialog box, click Portrait. Your screen should look similar to the following:

    Property tabs


    A new document is automatically created based on the default FrameMaker template.

    Note: A template is a FrameMaker document with a predefined set of formats and page layouts. After you finish this lesson, you may want to explore the standard templates included with FrameMaker. To explore the standard templates, click Explore Standard Templates from the New dialog box.

  3. To save the file, select File > Save.

  4. In the File name text box, type Intro, and click Save. The Save Document dialog box should appear similar to the following:

    Property tabs

  5. Click Save. A new document appears and the file name Intro appears on its own tab in the upper left-hand corner. Your screen should look similar to the following:

    Property tabs

Changing Simple Text Characteristics

To change text characteristics:

  1. Within your document, type the words Business and Technical Communication. Your screen should look similar to the following:

    Property tabs


  2. Change a portion of the text to italic, bold or underlined. To do this, highlight or select a portion of the text and complete one of the following options:

  3. Check to see that your document looks similar to the following:

    Property tabs

You will now create a heading with a different font, a larger type size, and a different font weight and variation.

  1. Place your cursor immediately to the left of the letter B in the word Business.

  2. Press Enter to start a new paragraph. The new paragraph marker ¶ will appear above your line of text.

  3. Move your cursor back up to the left side of the ¶ marker and type the words Example Heading.

  4. Highlight or select the text you just typed, and click the Font Name drop-down menu from the toolbar. Your screen should look similar to the following:

    Property tabs

  5. Select Arial. The words Example Heading should appear in Arial font and the words Business and Technical Communication should appear in the previously chosen format of Italics, Bold and Underline. (If you don't have Arial, select Helvetica or another similar font.)

  6. Select font size 18 pt from the Text Formatting toolbar, which is located to the right of the Font Name drop-down menu. Your screen should appear as follows:

    Property tabs


  7. Make the heading bold and italic using one of the methods described in Step 2.

You may be thinking that this process is pretty time consuming, and you would be right! Fortunately, FrameMaker provides a convenient and efficient way of recreating the changes you just made through paragraph tags. Paragraph tags make the process of formatting text faster, easier, and more organized. For more information about paragraph tags, see Using Paragraph and Character Tags to Format Text.

Changing the Display of the Page

There are various ways to change the display of the page in FrameMaker. You can change the magnification and show or hide various guides and symbols.

To enlarge or reduce the size of the page in the FrameMaker window, use one of the following Zoom buttons located in the lower-right corner of the document window. The lower right-hand corner of your screen should appear as follows:

Property tabs

  1. Click on the down arrow ▼ to the right of the 100% drop-down menu and the sizing menu will appear.

  2. Experiment with reducing and enlarging the document on your screen. You can reduce or enlarge the view from 25% to 400%. In addition, there are options such as Fit Page in Window, Fit Window to Page, Fit Window to Text Frame, or to Set.
    Note: When you change the magnification, only the display changes not the actual size of the document.

To display or hide symbols and guides, select one of the following options from the View menu:

Borders
Borders include the boundaries for text areas, such as the body of the document, headers, and footers. Borders are represented as dotted lines.
Text Symbols
Text symbols include ¶ (paragraph symbol), (tab symbol), and other symbols, such as cross-reference markers.
Rulers
Rulers appear at the top and on the left side of the document. Rulers provide guides for placing items, such as images and diagrams, on the page.

A checkmark beside the menu item indicates that the item is currently displayed; for now, leave them displayed.

Using Paragraph and Character Tags to Format Text

Paragraph and character tags are essential to the professional technical writer. This section provides an introduction to paragraph and character tags; for a more advanced discussion, see Paragraph & Character Tags.

Paragraph tags allow you to format a paragraph of text and assign it a name so that you can use the same format on other paragraphs in your document. This is very similar to the concept of styles in other desktop publishing applications. It allows for greater consistency and ease of formatting when working within large documents. Paragraph tags affect an entire paragraph, and every paragraph must have a tag associated with it.

Character tags, on the other hand, allow you to format a character or characters within a paragraph without changing the entire paragraph. For example, you can use 11-point Courier New to differentiate example text from body text. It is much easier to select a character tag called Examples than to select Courier New and then select 11 point for each occurrence of example text. Character tags affect only the selected text.

You can use some of the existing tags to format the text in your document. To format text using paragraph and character tags:

  1. In the second line of your text, underneath the words Example Heading, place your cursor to the right of the n in the word Communication. Press enter to create a new paragraph. This will drop your cursor down to the next available line of the document.

  2. Type several lines of text in to this new paragraph. (Remember a "paragraph" is any chunk of text followed by a ¶ (paragraph symbol). A paragraph can be one word, or even one letter.) To obtain text similar to the text shown in this example, visit www.lipsum.com and copy and paste 3 or 4 paragraphs of text in to your document. After adding text to your document, your screen should appear as follows:

    Property tabs


  3. Open the Paragraph Catalog by clicking the Paragraph Catalog option located along the right-hand side of the document window. You will see approximately 14 paragraph tags including three levels of headings, a bulleted list tag, as well as two numbered list tags. Your screen should appear similar to the following:

    Property tabs


  4. Click on the first line of text, and select Heading1 from the Paragraph Catalog. Notice that you do not have to select the entire line of text or paragraph to apply the paragraph format; you only need to place your cursor somewhere within the paragraph.

  5. Press Enter to create a new paragraph. A new line is automatically inserted underneath the Heading 1 paragraph and this creates a distinction between the Heading 1 paragraph and the Body paragraph. Create two additional paragraphs and assign the Heading 1 Paragraph Catalog Tag.

    Your screen should appear similar to the following:

    Property tabs


  6. Place your cursor in a paragraph that is located under a Heading 1 paragraph. The Paragraph Tag will appear as Body.

    Notice that this line of text (or paragraph) is not another heading, but a paragraph called Body. This is just one of many properties you can apply to a paragraph tag. For a heading, you typically want a body paragraph to follow. For a bulleted list item, you would want another bulleted list item, and so on.

    Your screen should look similar to the following:

    Property tabs



    The tabs (shown below) represent the various text property options available within the Paragraph Designer. The list of available tabs are, from left-to-right: Basic, Default Font, Pagination, Numbering, Advanced, Asian, and Table Cell. These options appear in the Paragraph Designer as follows:

    Property tabs


  7. Next, open the Character Catalog by clicking the list located along the right-hand side of your screen.

  8. Highlight or select any word in your document, and then select Emphasis from the Character Catalog. Your screen should appear as follows:

    Property tabs


  9. Click Apply. This tag makes the selected text italic. Notice that the status bar at the bottom of the document window displays the paragraph and character format of the text that is currently selected. The lower left-hand corner of your screen should appear as follows:

    status bar

  10. With the text still selected, click the Default Font tab status bar from the Paragraph Catalog. This tag returns the text to the regular formats of the paragraph tag.

Creating Numbered Lists

To create a numbered list:

  1. Type eight lines of text starting underneath a Heading 1 paragraph. Press Enter after each line of text. The ¶ (paragraph return) symbol will appear at the end of each line of text. Your document should appear as follows:

    status bar


  2. Highlight or select the eight lines of text.

  3. Select the Numbering tab status bar from the Paragraph Catalog.

  4. Click Apply. Your screen should appear similar to the following:

    status bar

Note: To prevent the numbering from continuing through subsequent numbered list, you must start each list with the Numbered1 paragraph tag. To demonstrate this, place your cursor on the sixth line of your numbered list, and select Numbered1 from the Paragraph Catalog. The numbering starts over at that point.

Using Tabs and Indents

To use tabs:

  1. Place your cursor somewhere within the third line of the Numbered paragraphs.

    Notice the symbols that appear on the ruler. The downward-pointing triangles ▼ represent the first line and left indents, and the upward-pointing arrow represents a left tab. The upper left-hand corner of your screen should appear as follows:

    Ruler with tabs and indent symbols

  2. Click the left tab symbol, and drag the symbol slightly to the right. Your screen should appear as follows:

    Ruler with tabs and indent symbols


    After dragging the left tab symbol to the right, notice that the paragraph text of the third line moves as well.

  3. Open the Paragraph Designer (CTRL + M), click on the Numbering tab, and then click Update All.

    Every paragraph with the tag Numbered is updated to reflect the indentation change.

The previous procedure is a quick way to adjust tabs. However, you may want to adjust the numerical value of the tab. The following steps show you how to adjust the tab's numerical value:

  1. Place your cursor within the third line of Numbered paragraphs.

  2. In the Paragraph Designer, click the Basic tab.

    In the Tab Stops area, you should see an entry for the left (L) tab you modified earlier. Now, you must return the left tab to its normal position.

  3. In the Paragraph Designer, under the Numbered Paragraph Tag, click the left tab in the Tab Stops area. Your screen should appear as follows:

    Ruler with tabs and indent symbols


  4. Click Edit.

    The Edit Tab Stop dialog box appears.

  5. In the New Position text box, type 0.25. In the Alignment area, check the Left radio button, and click Continue. Your screen should appear as follows:

    Ruler with tabs and indent symbols


    The New left tab stop (L) has been updated to reflect the 0.25" position. The Paragraph Designer window should automatically appear.

  6. Click Apply. Your screen should appear as follows:

    Ruler with tabs and indent symbols


  7. Click Update All.

    This procedure is a more exact way to adjust tab properties in your paragraph tags. If you wish, you can experiment with the other tabs; the other tabs include the following: centered , right , and decimal alignment .

To use indents:

  1. Place you cursor within one of the paragraphs that is formatted with the Body paragraph tag.

  2. In the Paragraph Designer, click the Basic tab.

  3. In the Indents and Spacing area, type 0.5 in the First: field.

  4. Click Update All.

    Tip: You can also adjust indents by sliding to the left or to the right the indent symbols located on the ruler.


Controlling Pagination

Pagination controls the location in the document at which a page starts. To adjust pagination:

  1. Place your cursor within one the paragraphs that you created earlier.

  2. In the Paragraph Designer, click the Pagination tab.

  3. Select Top of Page from the Start: pull-down menu, and click Apply.

    WARNING: If you clicked Update All instead of Apply, all paragraphs with that tag would start at the top of a new page. This is useful for chapter headings and the like, but in most cases, you just want a certain paragraph to start at the top of the next page. This change in formatting is not always obvious until you progress through the next pages of your document. It is advised that you use the Update All option only when it is appropriate to change all similar tags in the document.

  4. Close the Paragraph Designer.


Inserting Page Numbers

To insert a page number:

  1. Select View > Master Pages. Your screen should appear as follows:

    Ruler with tabs and indent symbols


  2. Scroll to the footer frame at the bottom of the master page, and place your cursor within that frame.

  3. Select Format > Headers & Footers > Insert Page#. Your screen should appear as follows:

    Ruler with tabs and indent symbols


    The position of your cursor appears as § on the master page (this is the location that the page number will appear on the body page). The page number symbol # will appear after you have chosen the Insert Page # option. For more information about master pages, see Master Pages.

  4. To return to the body pages of your document, select View > Body Pages, and then scroll through your document to see how the page numbers increment. Your document should appear as follows:

    Ruler with tabs and indent symbols

    Tip: You can apply paragraph and character tags to page numbers by selecting the # symbol on the master page and applying the chosen format.


Tips and Pointers

Here are some more tips and pointers:

That's it for this introduction to FrameMaker. If you have time, go back and explore the different tags in the standard FrameMaker templates.


Home

Information and programs provided by hcexres@prismnet.com.