Change and import formats

Learn how to modify and import styles and element definitions in Adobe FrameMaker.

In this topic


In Adobe FrameMaker, you can make style and element definition changes in one file and then update all the files in a book by importing the definitions from the updated file.

To change the definitions in only a subset of files in a book, you can select the files in the book window and then import the definitions to the selected files.

Important: The formatting rules in element definitions often specify overrides so that a file can use as few styles as possible. Normally, when importing styles into a structured book, you should not remove format overrides.

FrameMaker merges the new definitions into the document rather than replacing the existing information.

If a file isn’t open, it’s updated on the disk. If a file is open, it’s updated only in your computer’s memory and not on the disk. You must save the file to keep the changes.

Import styles into a book

  1. Open or create the file that contains the styles you want to use. If you have just created the file, save the file first before using it as a source for importing styles.

  2. In the book window, select the file or files you want to change and then choose File > Import > Formats.

  3. From the Import From Document drop-down list, select the file or template with the styles you want to import.

  4. Select the settings you want to import and update. If you’re updating cross-reference styles, math definitions, or variable definitions that use character styles, also select Character Styles.

  5. If you want to remove formatting changes you made but didn’t save as a style in the style catalog, do the following:

    • To remove page breaks that are not part of a paragraph style, select Manual Page Breaks.

    • To remove paragraph, character, page layout, and table formatting overrides, select Other Format/Layout Overrides.

    In most cases, you should not select Other Format/Layout Overrides in a structured book because the element definitions may use format overrides. However, you can select Other Format/Layout Overrides in an unstructured book without any repercussions.

  6. Click Import.

Import element definitions into structured books

The definitions are stored in the Elements catalog for the book and the other files. You may need to import element definitions in the following cases:

When you import element definitions into a book, FrameMaker replaces the definitions in the book and all its files with the new definitions and reapplies format rules from the definitions. It also validates the book file.

  1. Open the book you want to update and the template, document, or book with the definitions to import.

  2. In the book window, select the files into which you want to import element definitions, and choose File > Import > Element Definitions.

  3. Choose the template or document from the Import From Document drop-down list. The menu lists all open, saved documents and books.

  4. To remove format rule overrides in the files, select While Updating, Remove Format Rule Overrides. Use this setting if you have made text or paragraph formatting changes to elements and now want to return to the formatting described in the element definitions.

  5. Click Import. FrameMaker updates the element definitions in the book file and the files listed in the Update scroll list.