Design the page layout

1)Create a document. You can start with either a custom new document or a copy of an existing document you plan to modify.

tip:   To see how facing pages look as you design the page layout, display them side by side. Choose View > Options, and then choose Facing Pages from the Page Scrolling pop-up menu. Make the document window larger and zoom out, if necessary, to fit both pages in the window.

2)Define the column layout. If you started with a custom document, you have already specified the margins and the number of columns. If you’re modifying an existing document, you may want to change the column layout.

3)Add and name any custom master pages you will need.

4)Enter background text and graphics on the master pages, including headers and footers.

If a running header or footer shows the text or an autonumber of a document paragraph, such as a chapter or section title, it contains a Running H/F variable that refers to the paragraph. To set this up, determine the tag for that paragraph.

5)Define the custom document properties, such as numbering and text options, and specify the view options.

Designing text formats

After designing the page layout, define how you want the text to be formatted:

If your document will be opened or printed on computers other than your own, use fonts that are widely available.

Paragraph formats provide the foundation of text formatting, so set them up before setting up the character formats.

When creating a character format, set all the options in the Character Designer as As Is, and then specify only the settings you want to change. This way, the format will work with any paragraph format.

Use tags that express the purpose rather than the appearance of the text. For example, name a format for emphasized text Emphasis rather than Bold. Then if you decide to change to italics for emphasized text, you can redefine the Emphasis format without having to retag any text.

Use names that are easily recognizable. For example, you might name the formats for numbered lists Step1 and StepNext rather than st1and stn. Or, if you want to use the keyboard to apply paragraph and character tags, consider naming your tags st1 Step1 and stn StepNext. That way the tags and descriptions are quickly available from the keyboard.

If the template uses more than one series of autonumbers, add a series label to the format for each autonumber. For example, define step autonumbers as S:<n+>, where S: is the series label.

In paragraph formats, use either Space Above or Space Below consistently to add space above or below the paragraph. (FrameMaker uses only the larger of the two values to determine the space between paragraphs.)

Standardizing graphics, frames, and tables

If the documents will contain graphics, frames, or tables, follow these guidelines to maintain consis­tency:

Place standard items on a reference page. You can include graphics that users will need again and again—for example, a symbol that calls attention to notes and cautions, or an anchored frame with a standard height and width. Users can copy and paste these items as needed.

Create a paragraph format for anchored frames to provide consistent spacing around graphics. For example, a paragraph format named Frame could contain a Space Below setting of 20 points and a Line Spacing setting of zero. Then, each frame could be anchored to a blank para­graph with the Frame tag. Alternatively, you can use single-cell tables and their titles for graphics and their captions.

If you will use text frames for graphic callouts, create a paragraph format for the callouts. If you will use text lines for callouts, create a character format. (You can’t apply a paragraph format to a text line.)

Choose a color model and redefine colors and color views if necessary.

Prepare standard table formats. Not all the properties you set for tables can be imported into another document. The width of text in actual tables varies greatly, as do other properties. So, regardless of how you prepare your tables, users will probably need to adjust some of these properties themselves. Think of your tables as models for users to start with.

Setting up numbering

The page numbering for new documents is set to Restart at 1. If you are building a template for continuous page numbering in books, you may want to set the page numbering in the template to Continue Numbering From Previous Page In Book. In addition, you may want to set the chapter numbering to Continue Numbering From Previous File In Book.

Define special text and fonts

You may need to do the following to set up special text items:

Select a footnote numbering style and number format, and other footnote properties.

Define formats for cross-references. Standardize as much of the cross-reference format as possible. For example, if cross-references should always be introduced by see, include that word in the format definition.

Consider defining user variables for product names, document names, and other items that may change during the course of the project.

Define condition tags, condition indicators, and view settings for conditional tags.

Define custom marker types if you have to create specialized indexes.

Define equation sizes and fonts if any documents will have equations.

If your documents will contain Japanese-language text, define the combined fonts you want to use and set the properties of rubi text.

Set up HTML options

If documents based on your templates will be converted to HTML, you will need to set up the mappings and conversion macros that define how documents are converted.

Set up the mappings from FrameMaker paragraph formats and character formats to HTML tags.

Create the conversion macros that convert cross-reference formats to a form suitable for online documents.

Create any other conversion macros you may need (for example, to place a logo at the top of every new web page, or to define the title of the HTML document).


September 30, 2016

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