Adobe FrameMaker 8

About change bars

A change bar is a vertical line (usually in the margin) that visually identifies new or revised text. If you want all changes marked, you can have change bars appear automatically whenever you insert, change, or delete text.


Change bars identify new or revised text.


At times, you may want to flag only the most important changes to your document rather than flag every change. For example, if you're sending out the second revision of a document for review, you may not want to call the reviewers' attention to every added comma or reorganized sentence. Instead, you probably want reviewers to focus on substantive changes. In these situations, you can select specific text to mark with change bars rather than add the change bars automatically.

When working with a structured document, adding change bars manually to particular text is useful for marking a few revisions or for identifying changes in structure, attributes, or formatting. Your custom application may have an element defined for this purpose.

Note: When working with structured documents, change bars do not detect changes that affect only structure (for example, if you unwrap an element), attributes, or formatting.

Later you may want to remove the change bars from text. For example, between drafts of a manual you'll want to remove the old change bars before adding new ones.

You can insert change bars in the newer of two versions of a document by comparing the versions. For information on adding change bars this way, see Comparing document versions.

Note: When you add change bars to an entire paragraph of text and then update the paragraph's format (for example, by importing formats from another document), don't remove format overrides during the update if you want to retain the change bars. Adding change bars to an entire paragraph alters the paragraph's format, and the alteration counts as a format override.

To add change bars automatically:

1. Make the appropriate document window or book window active. If a book window is active, select the documents you want to affect.

2. Choose Format > Document > Change Bars.

3. Specify the thickness of the change bars and the distance from the column of text to the change bars.

4. Choose the position of the change bars from the Position pop-up menu. Choose Side Closer to Page Edge or Side Farther from Page Edge if you want the position of the change bars to vary from side to side based on the page layout.

The position is relative to the edges of the column that contains the changed text, regardless of the number of columns on the page.

5. Choose a color for the change bars from the Color pop-up menu.

6. Select Automatic Change Bars, and click Set.

Automatic change bars don't detect changes in graphics imported by reference unless the imported file's name has been changed. Automatic change bars also don't detect changes that affect only formatting. For example, if you only change the tag of a paragraph from Body to Bullet, no change bar will appear. In this case you can add a change bar manually if necessary.

Note: If cross-references are updated when Automatic Change Bars is selected, change bars will appear next to all changed cross-references.

To add change bars manually to selected text:

Select the text you want to mark and choose Format > Style > Change Bar. You can also use the Default Font properties in the Paragraph Designer.

To add change bars manually to entire paragraphs:

1. Click in a paragraph or drag through several paragraphs. (You don't need to select an entire paragraph.)

2. Choose Format > Paragraphs > Designer and display the Default Font properties.

3. Select Change Bar, and click Apply to Selection.