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Know Your Paragraph Designer Environment

If you plan to create or modify paragraph formats, let me walk you through some important basic information.

Take a look at the Paragraph Designer window shown in Figure 1. You see the Basic property and its corresponding settings. Each property corresponds to its own page of settings when displayed.

Figure 1 FrameMaker's Paragraph Designer Window.

The features of the left side of the window remain the same, regardless of which property page you display.

Let's walk briskly through these features:

  • Paragraph Tag—This pop-up menu shows you the name of the paragraph tag that you are making changes to. When you click in any paragraph text and access the Designer, the paragraph tag name of the text with the insertion cursor is displayed in the Paragraph Tag field.

  • Properties—Switch between Paragraph Designer properties with this pop-up menu.

  • Apply To and Update All—After modifying settings for any particular Paragraph Designer property, you must apply those changes to either the paragraph containing the insertion cursor or to all paragraphs with the same paragraph tag applied.

    The Apply To Selection and Update All buttons provide a clear distinction as to what is updated. The Apply To Selection fixes changes only to paragraph text containing the insertion cursor or selected paragraphs. The changes are not applied to any other paragraphs with the same paragraph tag, and are not included in the Paragraph Catalog for future use. Using Apply To Selection also creates a format override for the currently selected paragraph or paragraphs. Format overrides occur as a result of a change that you made to a particular selection that no longer matches the predefined format. An asterisk (*) in the status bar Tag area indicates a format override in text. Overrides add to inconsistencies in documents, and must be avoided when possible.


    If you're in the habit of hitting the Enter key on the keyboard after making changes in the Paragraph Designer, the Apply To Selection button will be triggered as the default selection.

    Use Update All to update all paragraphs already tagged with the tag name displayed in the paragraph tag field. Update All also updates the Paragraph Catalog to include changes for future use of this tag.


    If you change any property's settings, you cannot switch to another property unless you apply changed settings with Apply To Selection or Update All. Don't' dismay; if you forget, you are met with the Apply Changes window. The Apply Changes window provides you with three choices before you can move on, as shown in Figure 2. Pressing Cancel dismisses the window, returning you to the Property window you were working with.

    Figure 2 The Apply Changes window reminds you to apply changed settings to paragraph tags.

  • Commands—Provide a suite of commands for updating specific properties of selected paragraphs.

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