Insert elements

To add an element to a document, you either insert an empty element and enter contents, or wrap an element around existing contents. Before you can begin, your document must have element definitions in its Element Catalog.

If you haven’t yet fully planned your document, consider inserting just the high-level elements, such as Section and Head elements, and then use this structure as an outline for developing the document.

You can also enter all the elements in their correct order and hierarchy as you go, or concentrate on contents rather than on structure, and then validate later to correct errors.

The Element Catalog shows the elements that are available at the current location. You can change the scope of elements available—for example, to show elements that are not valid at the current location. Ask your application developer for a summary of what each element can contain.

If you have turned on element boundaries, then once you insert or wrap an element, a pair of element boundaries appears in the document window, and a new bubble appears in the Structure View.

Empty element boundaries (left) and bubble for the new element (right)

Insert an element using the Element Catalog

  1. If the document does not have element definitions, import the definitions from a structured template, EDD, or a DTD.

  2. Specify the scope of elements available.

  3. Click where you want to insert the element. If you’re inserting it between other elements, work in the Structure View rather than the document window.

  4. Select an element tag in the Element Catalog, and click Insert. If only one element appears in the catalog, you can click Insert without selecting it.

    You can also double-click an element tag to insert the element.

    Note: The Element Catalog always displays only those elements that are valid at the insertion point.
  5. If the Attributes For New Element dialog box appears, enter attribute values for the element and click Insert Element.

    This dialog box appears only if the element has attributes and if an option is set in the New Element Options dialog box to prompt for attribute values when you insert new elements.

  6. If you insert a table, a marker, a graphic, or a cross-reference, provide more information about the element in the dialog box that appears.

  7. Add content to the elements. You can add content as you insert elements, or after you build the structure of your document.

Press Return to insert elements

In many cases, pressing Return inserts an element automatically. Whenever you press Return, FrameMaker checks the current element’s definition for the following conditions—in the following order—and sometimes inserts a child element:

One valid element
If only one child element is valid at the current location, pressing Return adds that element. For example, after you add a Section, perhaps a Head is the only element permitted next. You can also use this technique to create repeating elements, such as body paragraphs and list items.

More than one valid element
If more than one child element is valid, pressing Return highlights the Tag area to prompt you for an element tag. Type until the tag you want appears, and then press Return to insert the element.

End of an element
If the insertion point is at the end of an element and no more child elements are valid, pressing Return looks for valid elements in ancestors after this location. If a valid element is found, the insertion point moves to the ancestor and the element is inserted (if only one is valid) or the Tag area is highlighted (if more than one element is valid).

Other conditions
If none of the preceding conditions are true, pressing Return causes a beep and no element is inserted.

Set options for inserting new elements

  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 Element > New Element Options.

  3. Specify how you want to be prompted for attribute values when you add new elements:

    • To enter all possible attribute values as you add elements, select Always Prompt For Attribute Values.

    • To enter only required attribute values as you add elements, select Prompt For Required Attribute Values.

    • To enter attribute values after adding elements, select Do Not Prompt For Attribute Values.

  4. To allow FrameMaker to insert child elements automatically for new elements, select Allow Automatic Insertion Of Children.

  5. Click Set.

To speed up the process of adding new elements, select the Do Not Prompt For Attribute Values and Allow Automatic Insertion Of Children options.