Technical Publishing with Adobe FrameMaker:
Chapter Formatting Project

In this project, you use character and paragraph tags that you import from a template to format text to look like its PDF version.

Note: See the important note about importing graphics into FrameMaker toward the bottom of this page.


Getting Started

  1. Create a folder called Chapter Formatting Project, and then download the following files to that folder:

    PDF document

  2. Open the PDF. This is what you'll make your MIF look like.

  3. Launch FrameMaker and open the faxmodem.mif file.

  4. Save the file as a FrameMaker document by clicking File > Save As on FrameMaker's menu bar. Navigate to your Chapter Formatting Project folder, and then select .fm as the Save As type. For the File Name, follow this format: your first-name initial, your last name, an underscore, chfmt , ending with .fm as the file extension. For example, if your name is Charlie Brown, name the first draft of this project cbrown_chfmt1fm; the first revision,, and so on.

  5. Leaving the document with the unformatted text open, open the  faxmodem_template document.

  6. Return to the document you named after yourself, and then click File > Import > Formats. The Import Formats dialog box opens. In the Import from Document field, select the faxmodem_template document. Then deselect everything except Character Formats and Paragraph Formats, and click Import.

  7. To make formatting easier, delete all the unnecessary tags by opening the Paragraph Catalog (select from the panels at the right of the window, or click Format > Paragraphs > Catalog on the menu bar) and clicking Delete. The Delete Formats from Catalog dialog box opens. Delete all tags that do not begin with bc_. When finished, you should have only tags beginning with bc_ in the Paragraph Catalog. Do the same with the Character Catalog. (Note: These instructions are for FrameMaker 9 and 10. If you're using an earlier version of FrameMaker, contact your instructor for instructions.) 

  8. For a quick way to get rid of those unwanted paragraph symbols, see eliminating FrameMaker hard returns.

Formatting the Paragraphs

Now, start applying the paragraph tags to make your document look like the PDF document.

  1. Open the Paragraph Catalog.

  2. Type the title "Installing Faxmodems" at the top of your of the document and press ENTER. From the list of paragraph tags, apply the bc_head0 tag to that title.

  3. Apply the bc_parag1 to all normal paragraphs, bc_bullet1 to bulleted lists, and so forth. When you create the tables, use bc_cell1 for regular table cells and bc_tablehead for table column headings.

    Note that you will have to edit the text (inserting and deleting words, moving some words to the table, capitalizing words that are not capitalized in the original, etc.) to make your finished document look exactly like the PDF.

    For hints on creating the tables in this project, see above.

  4. Avoid the "widowed" heading that usually occurs on page 1; use the "keep" function available in the Pagination tab of the Paragraph Designer.

  5. Use a double-sided format for this document, with the right pages numbered odd. For the running footers, use Arial 9-point italic. (If the tutorials haven't gotten you entirely ready for this, contact your instructor for help.)

  6. As you format, you should not leave any paragraph break symbols ( ¶ ) on the left margins, as shown in the following illustration. In other words, don't press the Enter key to create more vertical space. Use the Space Above Puff: and Space: Below Puff: fields in the FrameMaker paragraph designer to create vertical spacing.

    Lone paragraph marker, used to create extra vertical space. Avoid this!
    Set bottom and top margins in the Paragraph Designer.

Adding the Graphics

  1. Download the following graphics into the same folder in which your document and the template document are located.

    Note: To download a graphic, click on one of the links above, and then right-click on the graphic. In the pop-up menu, choose Save Image As... and save the image to the folder in which your other FrameMaker documents for this project are located.

  2. When you are ready to insert a graphic, create (if necessary) and use a special paragraph tag that you reserve strictly for graphics. Position your cursor at the end of that paragraph tag.

  3. Click File > Import > File. Locate your graphic and click once on it. Click the Copy Into Document and then click Import. (If you don't click the Copy into Document radio button at the bottom of the Import dialog, recipients won't be able to see the graphic unless you ship it separately with the text file.)

    Note: Writers who develop books with lots of graphics commonly keep the graphics out of the FrameMaker documents; in other words, they take the default, Import by reference, store the graphics in a separate directory, and ship the graphics as a separate, zipped attachment along with the documents9 (also zipped).

  4. In the next dialog box, Frame suggests a dpi (dots per inch) for your graphic. Change this if you want, but note that higher dpi creates large file sizes, even though the graphic will appear smaller in your document. Pick a dpi, and use it consistently throughout the document for all graphics.

  5. Click Set. You will now see your graphic, but note that it consists of two elements -- the graphic itself and Anchored Frame. By default, the Anchored Frame is selected after importing a graphic.

  6. To even up the space between the graphic and the text above and below it, click on the graphic, hold down the Alt key and use the arrow keys to move the graphic around in tiny increments.

Applying Character Tags

You'll notice that in the PDF version, small bits of text are bold, italics, and Courier New font. Rather than directly applying these effects to the text, create character styles named after the function. This way, if a new style is required, you just change the character tag rather than each instance of bold, italics, or Courier New.

When you set up this project, you imported character tags also. Specifically:

Tag name Description
bc_chaphead Cross-references to chapters or headings.
bc_command Actual commands such as the AT command.
bc_emphasis Plain old simple emphasis such as not.
bc_entry Example text that users might enter.
bc_hwlabel Names of button and labels on hardware equipment (not on screen).
bc_keys Names of keyboard keys.
bc_lights Names of the faxmodem lights.
bc_screen Text that displays on screen or in an LED.
bc_setting Values that users select or enter.
bc_warning Highlighting for the warning label in a warning notice.

You'll notice that some of these character tags produce no visible effect, for example, the bc_keys tag. In this particular design, no highlighting for keyboard keys is used. However, some day, highlighting might be required, and when that day comes, it will be easy to modify bc_keys accordingly.

With this introduction and the preceding table, you should be able to apply the character tags to make your text look like the PDF document by doing the following:

  1. Open the Character Catalog by clicking Format > Characters > Catalog on the menu bar, or select it from the panels at the right if it's available. If it's attached to the panels at the right of the window, "grab" the Character Catalog by holding down the left-mouse button while clicking in the dark border at the top of the catalog, and then pull it away from the other panels. By doing this, the Character Catalog should remain open while you work.

  2. Select AT and click bc_command.

  3. Keep applying the character tags until your document looks like the PDF version.

Correcting Formatting Errors

Fix the following:

Sending This File to Your Instructor

Make sure that's you've named this file as requested at the top of this page. Send this FrameMaker file (not a PDF version) as an e-mail attachment to your instructor. Expect to receive e-mail confirmation that your instructor has received your files. If not, contact your instructor.

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