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Working with Referenced Graphics

Before you get started with importing graphics by reference, have a file organization plan in place. The easiest and most logical way to organize your files is in a hierarchical fashion.

For example, say that you create a folder called Project X. The Project X folder houses all the FrameMaker document files that make up a book and subfolders that contain graphic files used throughout each document.

Putting all the ingredients of a FrameMaker project into a single folder enables you to later move these files to a different location with filepaths intact. This reduces the chance of broken links between documents and referenced graphic files (as well as cross-references and text insets).

File-naming conventions are equally important. Suppose you created a FrameMaker project with referenced graphics in a computing environment configured for long file naming. Say that you move this FrameMaker project (including all ingredients) to a computing environment that is set up for eight-character filenames. In this case, you can expect filenames to become truncated. As a result, a FrameMaker document loses its connection with referenced graphics because it can no longer find the original filenames.

With that in mind, let's move on to the finer points of referenced graphics, such as

  • How to import graphics by reference

  • How to get information and keeping track of referenced graphics

  • How to troubleshoot MIA graphics

How to Import Graphics by Reference

After you have your project organized with respect to file naming and organization, you can begin importing graphic files. It's easy to import a graphic file by reference. Here's how to do it:

  1. Place the insertion cursor at the location in a FrameMaker document where you want the graphic to appear.

  2. Select File, Import, File. The Import window appears.

  3. Navigate to the graphic file you want to import. Click one time on the filename to select it. The filename appears in the Filename text field. If you cannot view the file you want to import in the file folder list, but you know it's there, select All Files from the Files of Type pull-down menu to view all file types in the designated file folder.

  4. Select the Import by Reference radio button. Click Import. The Imported Graphic Scaling window is displayed.

  5. Select the correct DPI scaling for the imported graphic. If you make the wrong selection, don't worry; next, you learn how to change it after the graphic is imported.

  6. When you finish, click the Set button. The selected graphic file appears in the document inside an anchored frame.

How to Get Information About Referenced Graphics

After referenced graphics are included in your document, you can get information about or make certain changes to that graphic. This ability is handy for troubleshooting purposes too.

To get information about a referenced graphic, follow these steps:

  1. Click one time on the graphic to select it. Keep in mind that the graphic is inside an anchored frame. Sometimes, the edges of the graphic are difficult to differentiate from the edges of the graphic frame. Clicking in the center of the graphic ensures that you don't mistakenly select the anchored frame.

  2. Select Graphics, Object Properties (Windows users can right-click for a floating menu). The Object Properties window appears (see Figure 3).

  3. For the purpose of this lesson, view information about the selected graphic in the lower part of the window.

    • Scaling: provides the current dpi setting.

    • Facets: provides graphic file type. For instance, if the imported file is GIF format, the facet is GIF. If the file is imported by Paste Special, the facet may display OLE.

    • Referenced file: provides filepath and name.

Figure 3 The Object Properties window provides you with information about referenced graphics.


To keep track of referenced graphics in documents, generate a List of References from a single FrameMaker file or a book file.

How to Make DPI Changes

After a graphic is imported into a document at a particular DPI setting, you can change the DPI at any time. The following steps show you how to do the following:

  1. Follow steps 1 and 2 in the previous exercise, getting information about a referenced graphic.

  2. Click the Set dpi button in the Scaling pane of the window. The DPI window appears.

  3. Select a different dpi setting. Click Set when you have finished. You are returned to the Object Properties window.

  4. Click Set. You are returned to your document window. The graphic is displayed at the new dpi setting.

Troubleshooting MIA Graphics

Importing graphics by reference is easy! Troubleshooting missing graphic files, on the other hand, can be a little frustrating. Have you ever opened a FrameMaker document only to encounter the Missing File window? Or how about ending up with gray boxes in place of graphics?

In this section, I show you how to effectively use the Missing File window and hopefully reduce your frustration at the same time.

Let's review the main reasons why graphic links disconnect in FrameMaker files:

  • Filepath changes: Move the graphic file from its current location, move the file folder from its current location, or move the FrameMaker file to a new location on its own.

  • File or folder name changes: Change the name of a graphic file or change the name of a file folder containing the graphic file.

  • Graphic file is deleted.

All of these problems except for a deleted graphic file can be solved within the Missing File window.

Fix Filepath Changes

If you made any filepath change, as described above, the next time you open the FrameMaker document containing those referenced graphics, you encounter the Missing Files window (see Figure 4).

Figure 4 Use the Missing File window to reconnect broken links to referenced graphic files.

Use the Missing File window to update FrameMaker to use the new path:

  1. View the top pane of the Missing Files window. You see Looking For: filepath and name. This refers to the first graphic file in the document that cannot be found. This is the graphic file you will use to reconnect the path, regardless of how many additional graphic files are contained in the same moved file folder.

  2. Use the Look In field to navigate to the new location of the file folder containing the filename you viewed in the top pane of the window. The content of the file folder is displayed in the file list.

  3. Click one time on the filename (that is shown missing in the top pane of the window). The filename is displayed in the Filename field.

  4. Click the Update Document to Use New Path radio button. If other graphic files in the FrameMaker document are also in this file folder, the path is updated, and all the graphic files are instantly updated with the new file location path. If one or more graphics are contained in a different file folder that was relocated (other than the file folder containing the first graphic file), you are prompted with another missing filename.

  5. Click Continue. The FrameMaker document opens with all the found graphic files intact.

When Not to Fix Filepath Changes

If you are reviewing a FrameMaker document that was sent to you via email or given on disk, the graphics may not be with the FrameMaker file. Let's say that your coworker is in charge of the document and accompanying files, storing and organizing those files on a local disk.

If your coworker passes the document for your review, the graphics may not be with the FrameMaker file. If you are simply reviewing the document text, you may not need to view the graphics. In this case, when you encounter the Missing Files window, click the Ignore All Missing Files radio button and then Continue.

The missing graphics show up as gray boxes. If the gray boxes annoy you, you can always use View, Options and toggle the Graphics display off!

When you pass the reviewed document back your coworker, the graphics are all found again after the document is back in its original location. The filepath is remembered if you skip the missing files.

Fix Folder Name Changes

If you change the name of a file folder that contains referenced graphics and leave the filepath intact, you must use the Missing File window to instruct FrameMaker of the new name of the file folder.

Follow the same steps in the previous example, "Fix Filepath Changes." Make sure you find and select the name of the first missing graphic in order to update the new file folder name.

Fix Filename Changes

If you make changes to individual filenames of referenced graphics, but leave the file folder name and path intact, you must go through the same exercise for each file that has a new name.

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