Change bars

Learn what are change bars and how they help in review and collaboration in FrameMaker.

Change bars help you automatically or manually indicate the changed lines or paragraphs in a document.

A change bar is a vertical line that visually identifies new or revised text. You can have change bars appear automatically whenever you insert, change, or delete text.

Change bar applied to the left of revised text
Change bar applied to the left of the modified text

Sometimes, you want to flag only important changes to your document rather than flag every change. If you’re sending out the second revision of a document for review, 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.

You can remove the change bars from text later. For example, between drafts of a manual, you can 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.

Note: Sometimes you add change bars to an entire paragraph of text and then update the paragraph 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 format, and the alteration counts as a format override.

Apply change bars automatically

Learn to implement change bars automatically in FrameMaker

To apply change bars automatically when you change the document:

  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 to vary the position of the change bars 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 name of the imported file 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 appears. 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 appear next to all changed cross-references.

Apply change bars manually

See how you can apply change bars manually in FrameMaker.

You can manually apply change bars to selected text or multiple paragraphs.

  1. To apply change bars to selected text, choose Format > Style > Change Bar.

  2. To apply change bars to paragraphs, click in a paragraph or drag through several paragraphs.

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

  4. Select Change Bar, and click Apply.

Create and apply change bar character format

Learn how you can create and apply change bar character format in FrameMaker.

You can also apply change bars to text using a change bar character format that you create and apply as a character format. You can set the change bar character format to remain active when you update your document with new formats and remove format overrides.

  1. Click in any paragraph and choose Format > Characters > Character Designer.

  2. In the Character Designer, set all properties to As Is.

    Note: You can set the Family, Size, Color, Background, Weight, Angle, Variation, and Language properties to As Is.
  3. Select the Change Bar option.

  4. In the Style box, enter a name for the character tag.

  5. Click Create.

Remove change bars

Understand how you can remove change bars in a document.

You can remove all the change bars in a document at the same time or selectively.

You can remove the change bars from a single document or from selected files in a book.

Clear all change bars in a document

To clear all change bars in a document:

  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. Select Clear All Change Bars, and click Set.

Remove specific change bars

To remove specific change bars, do one of the following

  • Select the text and choose Format > Style > Change Bar. If some of the selected text isn’t marked with a change bar, choose Format > Style > Change Bar twice to remove the change bars.

  • To remove a change bar applied by a character format, select the text and apply the Default Font from the Character Catalog.

Tip: To examine and change text marked with change bars, use the Find/Change command. You can search for text that has the Change Bar property set or for text that uses a character format that sets the Change Bar property.

August 23, 2019

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