FrameMaker 9.0 Tutorial:
Graphics

 

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."

Displaying the Graphics Toolbar

To get started creating graphics in FrameMaker, create a new document and display the Graphics toolbar:

  1. Open FrameMaker, and select File > New > Document > Portrait.

    Note: For this exercise the Paragraph, Character and Table Designer toolbars will not be used. To clear the work area and create the most usable space in your document window, you may wish to reduce the size of the formatting toolbars. To minimize these toolbars, click the ►► symbol in the upper right-hand corner of the toolbars that will not be used.

  2. Click View > Toolbars > Graphics Toolbar. The document window will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools


    The Graphics toolbar will appear in the document window and contains the following tools and properties:
    The Tools Palette
    • Selection tools: used to select existing text and draw objects.




    • Drawing tools: used to draw or insert shapes such as lines, arcs, rectangles, circles, and polygons. Also, these tools allow the insertion of text boxes, free-hand drawing of shapes and the placement of graphic frames.




    • Drawing properties: used to view and change an object's properties, once it has been created.

    You will use the Graphics toolbar to select drawing tools, create graphic objects and change the properties of drawn objects.

  3. Select File > Save As.

  4. In the File name box, type graphics, and click Save. The Save Document dialog box should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools


    The new document window will appear with the Graphics toolbar in an easily accessible position. The new document window should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

Drawing Basic Shapes

For this tutorial, you will 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.

For this exercise, an anchored frame has been created with the following attributes:

To draw a rectangle:

  1. On the Graphic toolbar, click on the Place a Rectangle icon.

  2. Click and drag the crosshair in the document window to draw a rectangle that is approximately 2 inches in width and 1-inch in height. To make this measurment more precise, observe the lower left corner of the document window for the current measurments of your rectangle. As you move the crosshair symbol, the measurements in the left corner will change to reflect the new dimensions of the rectangle.

    After you release the mouse button and move the pointer away from the rectangle, a set of selection handles will appear on the edges on the rectangle. The rectangle should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools


    Note: You use the same basic procedure to draw circles, arcs, lines, and freehand lines.

  3. Press the Delete key to delete the rectangle. Try other shapes to experiment with how the icons are used. Delete these shapes before proceeding.

To draw a square:

  1. On the Graphics toolbar, click on the Place a Rectangle icon.

  2. Press and hold the Shift key, and then drag the crosshair to create a square that measures approximately 1-inch in width by 1-inch in height. (Holding the Shift key keeps the sides of the rectangle equal, allowing you to easily create a square.) You may check the exact dimensions of your square in the lower left corner of your document window, while dragging the crosshair.

  3. Select Graphics > Object Properties. The Object Properties dialog box will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  4. In the Object Properties dialog box, type 2.0" in the Width and Height boxes.

  5. Click Set. The Object Properties dialog box allows you to create objects using exact measurements. The square now measures 2" by 2" and appears as follows:

    Drawing Tools

To draw an octagon:

  1. Select the square from the previous exercise.

  2. Select Graphics > Set # Sides. The Set Number of Sides dialog box will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  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. The square (with 4 sides) is now changed to an octagon (with 8 sides.) The anchored frame should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  5. Click outside of the octagon once and the selection handles will disappear. Click on the border of the octagon and the selection handles appear again.

Selecting Objects

You can use the selection handles to resize, reshape or rotate a created object.

For example, to rotate the octagon you just created, select the border of the octagon, press and hold the Alt key and the ↔ symbol appears. While the ↔ symbol is displayed, the object can be rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise. Drag a selection handle to rotate the octagon. For more information about resizing objects, see Resizing Objects.

The octagon shown in this exercise has been rotated clockwise to appear as follows:

Drawing Tools

Aligning Objects

To align objects:

  1. In the existing anchored frame, draw a square that measures approximately 2 inches in width by 2 inches in height. (Remember to press and hold the Shift key to form a square.) The square should appear inside the anchored frame as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  2. Click the Place an Oval icon and draw a circle that measures approximately 1-inch, inside of the square. (Press and hold the Shift key to draw a circle.) The square will appear with the circle inside, as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  3. With the circle still selected, press and hold the Shift key, and then select the square. (Both objects should be selected and both sets of selection handles should be displayed.) The two objects will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  4. Select Graphics > Align.

  5. In the Align dialog box, select T/B Centers and L/R Centers. The Align dialog box will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  6. Click Align.

    The circle is aligned in the center of the square. Click outside of the square and circle. The selection handles will disappear. The two objects will be aligned and appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  7. Close the Align dialog box.

  8. To create an oval or rounded rectangle inside of the octagon, select Graphics > Align. In the Align dialog box, select Bottom and L/R Centers. Click Align. The octagon should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

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 the Resizing arrow arrow symbol.

    Resizing arrow
  3. Click the selection handle that has changed to the Resizing arrowarrow symbol, and drag downward a few inches to extend the square into a rectangle. Make sure to stay within the boundries of the anchored frame.

  4. Click the selection handles on the oval located within the octagon and extend the oval upward. The objects within the anchored frame will appear similar to the following:

    Drawing Tools

    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.

  5. Select File > Save.

Duplicating Objects

To duplicate objects:

  1. Select the circle that you created in the previous exercise.

  2. Place your cursor inside of the circle.

    Your cursor changes to the Positioning arrow hollow arrow symbol.

    Positioning arrow

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

    Notice that the Additive arrow plus sign symbol is added to your cursor.
    This signifies that you are dragging a copy of the object instead of the original object. You have created a second circle that is the same size as the first circle.

    Warning: FrameMaker will send a warning that your changes will not be able to be undone and that the Undo history will be lost. Press OK to continue.

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

  4. Repeat the steps above to create a second rounded rectangle or oval in the octagon. A similar warning message will appear stating that your changes cannot be undone. Press OK to continue. The anchored frame will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  5. The remaining exercises in this assignment only involve the square and circles. Select the octagon and the inserted objects (rounded rectangles or ovals) and delete these items from the anchored frame.

  6. Select File > Save.

Distributing Objects

To evenly distribute objects:

  1. Select one of the circles that you created in the previous exercise. Click inside of the circle and drag the circle to the upper left corner of the rectangle. Drag the other circle to the lower right corner of the rectangle.

  2. Press and hold the Shift key, and then select both of the circles. The rectangle with the two circles inside shoudl appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  3. Select Graphics > Distribute.

  4. In the Distribute dialog box, select Equidistant Centers for both Horizontal Spacing and Vertical Spacing. The Distribute dialog box should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  5. Click Distribute. The two circles are now distributed with equal space between them. They move as one unit and can be repositioned within the anchored frame. Because you have designated that these two circles are to remain equally distant from each other, when one circle is moved the other circle moves accordingly. Notice how the circles move to the left at the same time, as shown below:

    Drawing Tools

Grouping Objects

To group objects:

  1. Place a new rectangle within the anchored frame.

  2. Select the two circles and the new rectangle. The anchored frame should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  3. Select Graphics > Group.

    The three objects (two circles and one small rectangle) are now grouped together and treated as one object. The selection handles change to reflect this new grouping. The new grouping will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  4. With the group still selected, press and hold the Shift key, and then select the original (larger) rectangle. The anchored frame will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  5. Select Graphics > Align.

  6. In the Align dialog box, select T/B Centers and L/R Centers, and click Align.
    The Align dialog box will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  7. Drag the align dialog box to the open area to the left of the two grouped objects.

    The first group is now centered within the original rectangle, but FrameMaker still considers these to be two seperate objects. The group with the three smaller objects is laying over the top of the large rectangle. Each object still retains its own selection handles. The two objects will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  8. With the selection handles of both objects showing, select Graphics > Group. The objects are combined in to one object and can be moved within the anchored frame as one object. The anchored frame should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

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

  10. Select File > Save.

Changing Object Properties

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

Drawing Properties

To change object properties:

  1. All four objects should be ungrouped at this time. The four seperate objects will include one small rectangle, one large rectangle, and two circles that are the same size.

  2. Select the top circle.

  3. Click the Fill Pattern icon Fill Pattern icon. The anchored frame should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

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

    Solid fill

  5. Click the Color Icon Set Color icon.

    Drawing Tools

  6. In the Color dialog box, select Red.

    Color pop-up menu

  7. Select the small rectangle in the middle of the two circles. Repeat the steps above to apply a solid, yellow fill to the small rectangle.

  8. Select the lower circle, and apply a solid, green fill. The three graphic objects will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  9. Select the large rectangle on the left side of the anchored frame.

  10. Click the Line Width iconSet Line Width icon.

  11. In the Line Width drop-down menu, select a thick line weight. (For this example the 4.0 pt line width option has been chosen.)

    Line width pop-up menu

Adding Callouts and Text

Callouts and text are a common method of pointing to or describing a graphic item. These callouts direct the eye of the reader to additional information about the graphic.

To add callouts and text:

  1. Click the Line Width icon Set Line Width icon, and select a thinner line weight for the callouts.

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

  3. Click the Line Tool Place a Line icon. The graphic should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  4. Draw a line that extends out from the red circle. The red circle graphic should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

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

  5. Repeat the steps above to add a line to the yellow rectangle and the green circle. The three graphics should have callouts that appear similar to the following:

    Drawing Tools

  6. Click the Text Tool Draw a Text Line icon. The graphic should appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  7. Click at the right end on the callout line for the red circle. A cursor will appear to display the position where the typed text will begin. The cursor will appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

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

  9. Repeat the steps above to add text to the yellow and green circles. The three callouts with their accompanying text lines should appear similar to the following:

    Drawing Tools

    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 on the Graphics toolbar.

  2. Select a color from the Color dialog box. The Graphics toolbar should appear similar to the following:

    Drawing Tools

To customize a color, for example, a brighter green:

  1. Click View > Color > Definitions.

  2. Assign a name to your custom color. For example, type Bright 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.
    The Color Definitions dialog box will appear as follows:

  5.  

  6. Click Add.
  7. Your customized color will be listed in the items under the Set Color button. The Custom Color list is updated and will appear as follows:


  8. Experiment with adding arrowheads to the callout lines to direct readers to the item described in your graphics. To do this, select the callout line, then click the Set Line End Style icon. Choose an arrow type and the arrowhead will be applied to your callout line. The line with an arrow attached to the end will appear appear as follows:

    Drawing Tools

  9. Select the large rectangle in the anchored frame. Click the Set Fill Pattern icon.

  10. In the Fill Pattern dialog box, choose a fill pattern with a texture. Change the color of the textured fill pattern to a color of your choice.

  11. Select File > Save.

The completed graphics exercise should have an anchored frame filled with custom graphics that appear similar to the following:


In this tutorial you learned how to use the tools on the Graphics toolbar to create and draw graphic shapes, align and resize objects, apply fill color and texture, group and ungroup objects, modify customized colors and add callout lines and text to graphics. Experiment with the other drawing tools and object properties.


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