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How to Create a Newsletter Using Connected and Disconnected Text Frames in FrameMaker 6

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To auto-flow or not auto-flow. That is the question when creating newsletter text flows in FrameMaker. FrameMaker gives you the tools you need to connect and disconnect text flows for specialized documents such as newsletters. This article gives you background information and a few techniques to create a newsletter.
Lisa Jahred, author of FrameMaker 6: Beyond the Basics, writes a regular column for InformIT.
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FrameMaker gives you the tools you need to complete most documentation tasks including creating newsletters. Creating and working with a newsletter template may be a little different that what you're accustomed to in working with other types of FrameMaker templates.

In this article, I teach you how to work with multiple tagged text frames to create a newsletter document in FrameMaker. I begin with a little background on flow tags and text frames before delving into the necessary techniques to create a newsletter.

What Is a Text Flow Tag?

FrameMaker's default text flow tag A is used in documents most of the time. Click anywhere in a text frame (column) and you see Flow: A in the tag area of the status bar (lower left of document window).

Flow tags enable text frames to be related to each other or not. Other flow tag settings enable pages to automatically connect to each other. Tagged text frames appear on body pages as text columns. This is where you type text on each page of your document. When text flow reaches the end of a page and flow tag autoconnect is turned on, a new page is created using the same page layout and tagged text frame, allowing content to continue from one page to the next. Tagged text frames are initially set up on master pages.


If you type text in tagged text frames on master pages, the typed text does not appear on corresponding body pages using that master page layout.

The lack of a flow tag (on master pages) allows a text frame's content to be in the background on master pages. Background text frame content appears on each corresponding body page in documents. Background text frames usually contain headers, footers, or some other graphic element that must appear on specified body pages in documents.

Although a single text flow tag works well for most documents such as a manual, this doesn't always work well when creating a newsletter. Newsletters typically contain distinctly different flows of text that begin on the first page and then continue in other locations throughout the newsletter. You see this technique used in newspapers, newsletters, and magazines.

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