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FrameMaker 7.0 Tutorial: Introduction and Basic Tasks

Opening FrameMaker

To open the FrameMaker program:

  1. Click Start located on the Windows taskbar.

  2. Select Programs > Adobe.
  3. Select FrameMaker 7.0 > Adobe FrameMaker 7.0.

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.

    A new document is 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.

    Note: If you are working in the TCM computer lab, save the file to your lab account. If you do not have a lab account, please contact your instructor.

Changing Simple Text Characteristics

To change text characteristics:

  1. Within your document, type some text.

  2. Change a portion of the text to bold and another to italic.
    To do this, select the text and do one of the following:
    • Press Ctrl + I for italics or Ctrl + B for bold.

    • Click the Bold button or the  Italics button  button on the toolbar.
    • Select Format > Style, and then select Bold or Italic.

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

  1. Press Enter to start a new paragraph.

  2. Type the words Example Heading, and press Enter.
  3. Select the text you just typed, and select Format > Font > Arial.
    (If you don’t have Arial, select Helvetica or another similar font.)
  4. Select Format > Size > 18 pt to increase the point size of the text.
  5. Make the heading bold and italic using one of the methods.

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.

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.

Little z button Click the Zoom in icon to reduce the magnification.
Big Z button Click the Zoom out icon to increase the magnification.
Zoom Indicator Click the Zoom icon, and select the desired magnification. You can reduce or enlarge the view of the page from 25% to 400%.

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 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 symbols), Tab Symbol (tab symbols), and other symbols, such as cross-reference markers.
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.

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. Open the Paragraph Catalog by clicking the Paragraph Catalog icon (Paragraph Catalog) icon located in the top-right corner 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.

  2. Within your document, type several paragraphs of text. (Remember a “paragraph” is any chunk of text followed by a ¶ (paragraph symbol). A paragraph can be one word, or even one letter.)
  3. Click in one of the paragraphs, and select Heading1 from the Paragraph Catalog. Notice that you do not have to select the entire paragraph to apply the paragraph format; you only need to place your cursor within the paragraph.
  4. Press Enter to create a new paragraph.

    Notice that the new 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. The tabs (shown below) represent the various property groups available within the Paragraph Designer.

    Property tabs

  5. Next, open the Character Catalog by clicking Character Catalog button (Character Catalog) located in the top-right corner of the document window.
  6. Select any word in your document, and then select Emphasis from the Character Catalog.

    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.

    status bar

  7. With the text still selected, click Default ¶ Font from the Character Catalog. This tag returns the text to the regular formats of the paragraph tag.

Creating Numbered Lists

To create a numbered list:

  1. Within your document, type eight lines of text ending each line with a ¶ (paragraph return ).

  2. Select the eight lines of text.
  3. Select Numbered from the Paragraph Catalog.

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 within one of the Numbered paragraphs.

    Notice the symbols that appear on the ruler. The downward-pointing triangles represent indents (first line and left indent), and the upward-pointing arrow represents a left tab.

    Ruler with tabs and indent symbols

  2. Click the left tab symbol, and drag the symbol slightly to the right.

    Notice that the paragraph text moves as well.

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

    Every paragraph with the tag Numbered is updated to reflect the 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 one of the 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, click the left tab in the Tab Stops area.
  4. Click Edit.

    The Edit Tab Stop dialog box appears.

  5. In the New Position text box, type 0.25, and click Continue.
  6. In the Paragraph Designer, 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 First: field (located in the Indents: column), type 0.5.
  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.

    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. Experiment with the other options, such as Top of Left Page or Top of Right Page.

  4. To close the Paragraph Designer, click Close window located in the upper-right corner.

Inserting Page Numbers

To insert a page number:

  1. Select View > Master Pages.

  2. Scroll to the footer frame at the bottom of the master page, and click within that frame.
  3. Select Format > Headers & Footers > Insert Page#.

    The number symbol appears on the master page (this is the location that the page number will appear on the body page).

  4. Select View > Body Pages, and then scroll through your document to see how the page numbers increment.

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:

  • On the FrameMaker toolbar (to the right of the alignment and tab options), you will see a pull-down menu that displays the current paragraph tag. When an asterisk appears next to the paragraph format, it means that you have altered the format or style of that paragraph. This alteration is called an override. Overrides apply only to the paragraph in which your cursor is currently placed. Other paragraphs with this same format are not affected. To apply the override to all paragraph formats, click Update All within the Paragraph Designer.

  • Within the Edit menu, you will find useful tools, such as Find/Change, Find Next, Spell Checker, and Thesaurus.
  • You can insert a symbol that is available with any font on your system. In Windows 98, select Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > CharacterMap. After you find the symbol you want, make a note of the keystroke code that is shown in the bottom right corner of the Character Map window (for symbols, this is usually Alt plus a four digit number). Go back to FrameMaker and insert the symbol by performing the keystroke. For example, to create the trademark symbol (™), select the Arial font, and then apply the keystroke Alt+0153 (that is, hold down Alt, type 0153, and then release Alt).
  • FrameMaker makes it easy to change case by using the case icons located on the toolbar:
    ab Changes the text to lowercase.
    Ab Changes the text to initial capital letters.
    AB Changes the text to uppercase.

    Place your cursor within a word (you do not have to select the entire word), and experiment with the different options.

  • FrameMaker offers a number of toolbars. To scroll through the toolbars, click the downward- or upward-pointing arrows located in the middle portion of the toolbar. The toolbar options that are located to the right of the arrows will change.