FrameMaker 9.0 Tutorial:
Reference Pages


Developed for advanced documentation students by
David A. McMurrey  
Jill Brockmann
Spring 2010
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."

About Reference Pages

Reference pages are used to store frequently used graphics, boilerplate material and clip art, hypertext commands, formatting information for generated lists and indexes, definitions for custom math elements, and mappings for HTML and XML conversions. You can add these elements to existing reference pages, or create your own reference pages to store these elements. FrameMaker provides the following six reference pages:

Displaying Reference Pages

To display reference pages:

  1. Open a new document, and select File > Save As.

  2. In the File name box, type, and click Save.

  3. Select View > Reference Pages to view all six reference pages. The first reference page appears as follows:

    Use the left and right arrows to scroll through the six different reference pages.

Tip: You can create additional reference pages (up to 100). To create a reference page, select View > Reference Pages, and the select Special > Add Reference Page. This tutorial contains exercises in which new reference pages are created.

Creating Reference Frames

In this exercise, you create a reference frame to use as a part of a paragraph format.

To create a reference frame:

  1. With the Reference (1 of 6) page displayed, select Graphics > Tools.

  2. The Graphics Toolbar appears. Click Place a Graphic Frame to place a graphic frame. .

  3. Draw a graphic frame approximately the same size as the existing Single Line frame. (For more information about drawing graphics, see Graphics.)

    After you complete the frame, the Frame Name dialog box appears.

  4. In the Name box, type Dashed Line.

  5. Click Set.

  6. Click Set Dashed Line Pattern, and select the dashed line.

    You can choose either the straight line or the dashed line. For this exercise, choose the dashed line and click Set.


  7. The Dashed Line Options dialog box appears. Choose any style of dashed line to use in your graphics frame. Click Set.

  8. In step 7, the dashed line pattern was chosen from a list and then set. Now, the dashed line that was chosen will be added to the graphics frame. Choose Selected Dashed Line Pattern.

  9. Click Draw a Line. Within the graphic frame, draw a straight line, from left to right, across the length of the frame.

    Observe that the cursor is a cross-hair symbol. By holding the left mouse button and dragging the cross-hair symbol from left to right, the dashed line pattern is created. This dashed line may be a long or a short as is needed.

  10. To identify the graphic frame, you can add text above the frame. Click Insert a Textbox. Place the textbox immediately above the new graphice frame. For this exercise, the new graphic frame has been named My Dashed Line.

    The first reference page should appear similar to the following:

Applying a Custom Reference Frame

To apply the custom reference frame that you just created:

  1. Select View > Body Pages.

  2. Place your cursor in the document, and type Chapter 1.

  3. Apply the Title paragraph format to this text.

  4. Open the Paragraph Designer (Ctrl+M), and verify that the Title paragraph tag is selected in the Paragraph Tag pull-down menu.)

  5. From the Basic tab, select Left from the Alignment pull-down menu, and click Update All.

  6. Click the Advanced tab, and select Dashed Line from the Below Pgf pull-down menu. The document window should appear similar ot the following:

  7. Click Update All.

The Title paragraph tag is updated to include a dashed line. Your document window should appear similar to the following:

Creating Boilerplate Graphics

Boilerplate graphics allow you to create a consistent visual format. In this exercise, you create a reference frame to store a boilerplate graphic that is placed outside the text frame. Before you create the boilerplate graphic, you must download the graphic file, add a reference page, and modify the page layout.

To download the graphic file:

  1. Select the following link: lightbulb.jpg

    Note: Earlier versions of Netscape may attempt to display this file directly. To force Netscape to download this file, right-click the link above, and select Save Link Target As.

  2. Select the directory in which to save the file, and click Save.

  3. Click Save.

Note: Take special care when choosing the directory and file in which to save this graphic. The graphic file will be used in the next exercise.

To add a reference page and modify the page layout:

  1. Select View > Reference Pages.

  2. Select Special > Add Reference Page.

    The Add Reference Page dialog box appears as follows:

  3. In the Name box, type Graphic Icons. Click Add. If you receive a message the these changes cannot be undone, click OK.

    The bottom of the document window will show the newly added reference page.

  4. Select View > Master Pages.

  5. Select Format > Page Layout > Column Layout.

  6. In the Column Layout dialog box, select Room for Side Heads, and click Update Entire Flow.

    The document window should appear as follows:

  7. Press Ctrl, select the text frame, and copy it (Ctrl + C).

  8. Select View > Reference Pages, and paste (Ctrl + V) the text frame into your Graphic Icons reference page.

    The document window ahouls appear similar to the following:

To create a boilerplate graphic:

  1. Place your cursor in the main text frame that you just pasted in to the new reference page. (If the text frame is still selected, double-click inside the text frame.)

  2. Select Special > Anchored Frame.

  3. The Anchored Frame dialog box appears. From the Anchoring Position pull-down menu, select Outside Column. Choose Left from the Side pull-down menu. Change the Width: and Height: sections to 1.5".

  4. Click New Frame.

    A new anchored frame will appear. The anchored frame will have the selection handles highlighted and will appear as follows:

  5. With the frame selected, select File > Import > File. If you receive a message the these changes cannot be undone, click OK.

  6. Locate the directory in which you saved the graphic file in the first section of this tutorial. Select the file named lightbulb.jpg. Click the Copy into document radio button. Click Import.

    The Imported Graphic Scaling dialog box appears as follows:

  7. Select Custom dpi, and type 98.

  8. Click Set.

    The lightbulb graphic will appear in the area designated for Side Heads.

To place the boilerplate graphic:

  1. Select the anchored frame, and press Ctrl + C to copy it.

  2. Select View > Body Pages.

  3. Place your cursor within your document, and press Ctrl + V to paste the anchored frame. The anchored frame will automatically appear in the area designated for Side Heads, within the left margin.

    The document should appear similar to the following:

Changing HTML Mappings

When you convert files to HTML or XML, FrameMaker maps paragraph formats to HTML formats. These mappings are represented on reference pages 2-6. Before you begin, select View > Reference Pages. Press the left arrow at the bottom of the document window to view pages 2 through 6 of the reference pages. Take a moment to view the default HTML mappings previously set by FrameMaker.

For example, reference page 2 will appear similar to the following:

To change HTML mappings:

  1. Return to the body pages of the document.

  2. With the cursor in the main text frame of the body page, select File > Utilities > HTML Setup.

    The HTML Setup dialog box appears.

  3. From the Map pull-down menu, select Character Formats.

  4. From the From pull-down menu, select Emphasis, and select Code from the To pull-down menu.

  5. Click Change.

  6. To verify that the change occured, select View > Reference Pages, and look at the HTML Mapping Table on page 3.

    The entry for C:Emphasis should look similar to the following:

The Emphasis character format is now mapped to the Code HTML tag. When you export a document to HTML, any text formatted with the Emphasis paragraph format will appear as code in HTML. For more information about converting to HTML, see Conversion Techniques.

Storing Custom Math Elements

FrameMaker allows you to define custom math elements. These custom math elements are stored on a reference page named FrameMath. You can insert these elements using the Equations palette. In this exercise, you define and store a custom math element on a new reference page. For more information about math elements and equations, refer to Adobe FrameMaker Online Help.

To create and store a custom math element:

  1. From any reference page, select Special > Add Reference Page.

  2. In the Name box, type FrameMath, and click Add. (You must type FrameMath exactly as it appears in this procedure.) If you receive a message the these changes cannot be undone, click OK.

    Observe that there are now 8 reference pages, including the newly created FrameMath reference page.

  3. Select Graphics > Tools to open the Graphics Tools Palette. Click Place a Graphic Frame, and draw a small graphic frame.

    The document window should appear similar to the following:

  4. In the New Frame box, type MyMultiply, and click Set. If you receive a message stating that the these changes cannot be undone, click OK.
  5. With the graphic frame selected, select Draw a Text Line, and type the letter x within the frame.

  6. Select the graphic frame, and then select Special > Equation to display the Equations Palette.

  7. From the Equations pull-down menu, select Add Definition to Catalog (!mc).
  8. From the Type pull-down menu, select Infix, and click Add.

Your custom math element is now available through the Insert Math Element list located on the Equations palette. The custom math element will be visable in the next step.

To verify that your custom math element is available:

  1. Select View > Body Pages. Press Enter once to move the cursor to the next available line of text in the main text frame. The cursor should be placed just under the Chapter 1 heading and pressing Enter once will move the cursor the the correct position.

  2. From the Equations Palette, select New Medium Equation (!ms).

    The document window will appear similar to the following:

  3. From the Equations pull-down menu, and then select Insert Math Element.

    The Insert Math Element dialog box appears.

  4. Select MyMultiply from the Element list.

  5. Select the Show Custom Only check box.

  6. Click Insert.

    Your document window should look similar to the following:

    For more information about equations, refer to the FrameMaker Online Help.


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