Special characters

In this topic


In addition to standard characters, you can type bullets, dashes, fixed-width spaces, mathematical symbols, international characters, and other special characters.

Note: In FrameMaker, character (alt) sequences are not implemented for Dingbats and Symbol fonts because Unicode equivalents of codepage 1252 for these fonts are provided by default. The character (alt) sequences are implemented for the MakerRoman font family only.

For a list of characters in the Symbol and Zapf Dingbats fonts, a list of accented characters in the standard character set, and information on inserting the Euro currency symbol, see the online manual FrameMaker Character Sets.

Some special characters are entered or displayed differently in dialog boxes. In Windows, you enter a sequence of characters beginning with a backslash (\), these sequences are listed in Dialog boxes.


Each time you press tab ↹, a tab symbol Tab symbol is embedded in the text. The symbol does not appear in the printed document, but it is visible onscreen when text symbols are visible.

If the current paragraph has tab stops set, FrameMaker moves the insertion point and text one tab stop each time you press tab ↹. If tab stops are not set, pressing tab ↹ doesn’t move the insertion point and text. If you press tab ↹ more times than you have tab stops, the Tab symbols overlap. If you later add tab stops to the paragraph, FrameMaker positions the text correctly at the tab stops.

FrameMaker uses tab stops that are absolute rather than relative. With relative tab stops, each time you press Tab, the insertion point moves to the next available tab stop. With absolute tab stops, the nth tab on a line moves the insertion point to the nth stop. If that tab stop is to the left of the insertion point, the insertion point does not move.

Whitespace characters

When you press the space bar, you insert a proportional space (whose width depends on the characters on either side of it). You can also insert special fixed-width spaces—for example, to increase the space between two words. When you type a special space between two words, the words always remain together on one line.

You can use the following types of special spaces:

When Smart Spaces is on, you can’t type more than one proportional space in a row. However, you can type multiple fixed-width spaces.

Smart quotes

When Smart Quotes is on, FrameMaker uses a curved left, right quotation mark, or the quotation marked you have defined in the Preferences dialog. Whenever you press the single or double quote (Singlequote, Back quote, or Doublequote) key, the configured quotation mark is entered based on your preferences. As the Smart Quotes are language-dependent, the language defined for the paragraph style determines the quote to use.

Note: If you prefer straight quotation marks, turn off Smart Quotes.

Smart Quotes doesn’t apply to text in dialog boxes. For information on typing quotation marks and apostrophes in dialog boxes, see Character sets.

  1. To set smart specials in the book window, select the documents you want to affect.

  2. Choose Format > Document > Text Options.

  3. Change the Smart Spaces or Smart Quotes option and click Apply.

Tip: When you select Smart Quotes, FrameMaker doesn’t change any quotation marks that are already in the document. To find straight quotation marks and apostrophes, and change them to curved quotation marks and apostrophes, use the Spelling Checker or the Find/Change command.