FrameMaker 9.0 Tutorial:
Equations

Developed for advanced documentation students by
Scott Beebe
Summer 2010
David A. McMurrey
program director
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."

Equations and Technical Communicators

Technical documents often require mathematical equations to describe a process, formula, or other engineering concept. These equations will be provided by the resident engineer, but technical communicators must be able to reproduce equations in their documents.

FrameMaker 9 offers a slew of mathematical symbols (operators, delimiters, matrices, and more) to reproduce whatever equations are required for a document. FrameMaker also offers a straight-forward, easy-to-use design tool that is intimadating only because it looks complicated and foreign to non-math people. However, when you complete this tutorial, you will create this equation

example of an equation

Creating Equations

To begin creating equations with FrameMaker 9:

  1. Open a new FrameMaker document.

  2. Choose Special > Equations to open the Equations tool box:
    equations tool box

    Note: The Equations tool box is merely various keypads to type mathematical symbols.

  3. Click on the menu buttons along the top of the box to view the different keypads.

  4. When you are finished scrolling through the buttons, click on the Symbols button and the tool box will look like the preceding screen capture.

  5. Click on the Equations button for the drop-down menu:
    equations tool box

  6. The Equations drop-down menu shows both the option name and the keystrokes for activating the option. As you become familiar with equations, use the keystrokes to save time.

    The Equations menu options and how they work:

    Equations Menu How It Works
    New Small Equation Chooses a small font size for the equation (has nothing to do with the number of symbols in the equation, just the font size).
    New Medium Equation Chooses a medium font size for the equation.
    New Large Equation Chooses a large font size for the equation.
    Shrink-Wrap Equation Automatically shrinks the Anchored Frame around the equation to match the length and width of the equation.
    Unwrap Equation Works as an Undo for Shrink-Wrap Equation.
    Equation Sizes Specifies font size for the mathematical symbols (not the letters).
    Equation Fonts Acts as a Character tag for the various parts of an equation. You can specify different Character tags for different symbols.
    Insert Math Element Select math symbols from a long list and insert into an equation. Usually, just use the Equations tool box keypads to accomplish the same thing.
    Add Definition to Catalog Works with FrameMath reference page to create custom mathematical elements. See tutorial on Reference Pages.
    Update Definition Customizes the spacing between symbols in an equation.

    In most situations, you will only need to use the New Equation and Shrink-Wrap options.

    You will now create this equation:

    equation practice

    1. Choose New Large Equation from the Equation tool box drop-down menu. A question mark in an anchored frame appears.

      equation practice: step 1
    2. Whenever the question mark is highlighted, it will be replaced by whatever letter, number, or symbol you type or insert. Type x + (no space):

      equation practice: step 2
    3. Type y = z.

      example of an equation
    4. Click on the Operators button in the Equation tool box. The Operators keypad pops up:

      operators keypad
    5. Highlight the x in the equation.

    6. Click on the stacked division button: stacked division button

    7. The x is now on top of the division line with a ? below. Type 3.

    8. Highlight the y.

    9. Click on the factor button: factor button

    10. The factor position above y is now a ?. Type 2. Your equation now looks like the following:

      equation practice: step 3

    Congratulations, you just created a complex equation.

    Practice Creating Equations

    Now, you will create the slightly longer equation referenced at the beginning of this tutorial:

    1. Choose New Large Equation from the Equation tool box drop-down menu.

    2. Type r =.

    3. Place the cursor on the left of the r.

    4. From the Symbols keypad, choose the bottom left Diacritical Mark: The r now has a dot above it:

      equation project in progress
    5. Highlight the ?. Type 1.

    6. Click on the Operators button in the Equation tool box. Click on the stacked division button. Type t - t.

    7. With the cursor to the right of the second t, click on the Subscript button: Subscript button

    8. The ? is now in a subscript position to the t. Type 1.

    9. Place the cursor just to the right of the first t. Click on the subscript button. Type 2. The equation now looks like the following:

      equation project in progress
    10. Place the cursor to the right of the equation. The cursor should be a tall as the two-tiers of the equation. If not, the cursor is next to one of the elements, not the whole equation. Try again.

    11. Click on the Calculus button in the Equation tool box. The Calculus keypad is displayed:

      Calculus keypad
    12. Click on the calculus button: Calculus button The equation should look like the following:

      equation project in progress
    13. Type dr. Move the cursor back to the ? and type Backspace to remove the ?.

    14. Highlight the dr. Click on the Operators button . Click on the stacked division button. Type t. The equation now looks like the following:

      equation project in progress
    15. Highlight the top ?. Type t. Click the subscript button. Type 2.

    16. Highlight the bottom ?. Type t. Click the subscript button. Type 1. The equation now looks like the following:

      equation project in progress
    17. Place the cursor to the right of the equation (full height of equation). Type (. Note that the closing parenthesis is also displayed. Type bt. Type =. The equation now looks like the following:

      equation project in progress
    18. Type rt. Click the subscript button. Type 2.

    19. Place the cursor to the right of the equation. Type -rt. Click subscript button. Type 1.

    20. Highlight rt2-rt1. Click the stacked division button. Type t - t.

    21. Place the cursor to the right of the first t. Click subscript button. Type 2. Place the cursor to the right of the second t. Click the subscript button. Type 1. The equation now looks like the following:

      equation project in progress

    Congratulations, you created a very complex equation.

    With the skills learned in this tutorial, you can create most equations. Practice with the other symbols and formats.


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