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📄 Contents

  1. How Character Formats Work
  2. Using Character Formats with Other FrameMaker Features
  3. Summary
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Using Character Formats with Other FrameMaker Features

So far, you learned that you could apply character formats to selected text. What happens if you want to apply a character format to text that you cannot select? Here are a few examples of text you cannot select:

  • Variables that make up headers or footers

  • Cross-references

  • Automatic Numbering

Yet other examples of document elements you may want to apply character tags to include list items in generated files such as a table of contents or an index. Let's say you generate a table of contents, and go through the trouble to apply a character tag to just the page numbers. The next time you update that table of contents, all the information is discarded and replaced with new source information, so all your hard work will be wasted.

In this section, you learn how to include character formats in other FrameMaker features.

Using Character Formats in Header/Footer Variables

Variables used in headers and footers take on the default formatting of whatever paragraph tag is initially applied to that header or footer. By now, you probably noticed that the Running H/F variable behaves like a block of text. You cannot apply a character tag to just a portion of this block of text. However, you can go back inside the definition of this variable to apply a character tag to a portion of this header.

Let's examine a simple example of a header that looks like this:

Chapter 9 FrameMaker is Fun

And is produced by a Running H/F variable with the following definition:

If we add bold character formatting to the chapter number (but not the title), the header looks like this:

Chapter 9 FrameMaker is Fun

In the variable definition window, use the following steps to apply the character tag Bold to part of the header:

  1. With the insertion cursor immediately before the first Building Block of the definition, , select <Bold> from the Building Blocks list. The <Bold> Building Block is inserted. This means that all content in the header variable to the right of this Building Block is formatted in accordance with the properties of the Bold character tag.

  2. Place the insertion cursor after the right angle bracket of the Building Block. Select <Default ¶ Font> from the Building Block list. The <Default ¶ Font> Building Block is inserted (see Figure 3). This means that all text to the right is reset back to the normal default font of the paragraph, and it's not bold. If you do not reset the font back to its normal state, everything in the header to the right of the <Bold> Building Block also becomes bold.

Figure 3 You can apply a character tag to a portion of a variable in the Variable Definition window.


If you used the variable definition Chapter instead, the definition looks like this after adding the Bold character tag:

<Bold>Chapter <Default ¶ Font>

Using Character Formats in Cross-References

With cross-references, we run into a problem similar to that of a variable—the cross-reference is like a block of text. You cannot use ordinary methods to apply character formatting to a part of a cross-reference. That's where Character Format Building Blocks come in.

For this example, you put the autonumber and text of the referenced information (the section number and title) into italics. FrameMaker provides the character tag Emphasis for italics. The remainder of the cross-reference will be the default font of the paragraph. The resulting cross-reference will look like this:

Section 3 Working with Acrobat 5 on page 9

You must make a change to the Cross-Reference Format Definition. The definition looks like this before adding italics:

on page

The definition looks like this after adding the character tag, Emphasis, to italicize the section number and title:

<Emphasis> <Default ¶ Font> on page

Using Character Formats in Automatic Numbering

You can use character formats to apply a character format to only the autonumber portion of a paragraph. That is, the character format will be applied to the autonumber of the paragraph, not to the typed text.

To apply the character tag Bold to an autonumber, follow these steps:

  1. Click one time in a paragraph with an autonumber.

  2. Select Format, Paragraphs, Designer; or press Ctrl+M.

    The Paragraph Designer window appears.

  3. Click on the Numbering tab or select Numbering from the Properties pull-down menu.

  4. Click one time on Bold in the Character Format list.

    Bold is inserted in the Character Format field.

  5. Press Update All to update this paragraph tag.

    The autonumber portion of all paragraphs tagged with this same tag is bolded.

Adding Character Formats to Generated Lists

Generated list items are viewed or printed in the Paragraph Designer's default font, as specified in the generated file. If you apply a character format to a portion of a table of contents list item, the next time you update the table of contents, all the information is discarded and replaced with new table of contents information that does not contain the character formatting.

If you want to include character formatting to any portion of a table of contents list item, you have to add this information to the table of contents structure on the reference page. Then, each time the table of contents is updated, the character formatting that you want is also included.

Let's explore an example of a table of contents list item that includes a character format:

Chapter 4 How to Make Changes to Generated Files . . . 26

In this case, just the word Chapter and the number are bold. Assuming you have a character tag Bold, here are the building blocks that generate this table of contents list item:

<Bold>Chapter <Default Para Font> \t

Adding Character Formats to Index Entries

Index entries are viewed or printed in the Paragraph Designer's default font, as specified in the index file. If you apply a character format to index entry text in the index list, the next time you update the index file, all your hard work is deleted and replaced with new index entry information that does not contain the character formatting.

If you want character formatting applied to particular text in index entries, you have to add this information in the index marker text so that each time the index file is updated, the character formatting that you want is also included.

A cross-reference index entry is a good example of why to use character formatting. Typically, cross-reference index entries begin with the words See also, and are commonly placed in italic to set this type of entry off from other index entries.

Here is an example of what a cross-reference index entry might look like in the index:

See also keyboard shortcuts

Assuming you have a character tag Emphasis, the following example shows you the index entry marker text to produce this effect:

<Emphasis>See also<Default Para Font> keyboard shortcuts

Notice that when you add character formats to index marker text, there is no list to select the character tag name; you must carefully type the character tag name. Be careful of spelling and capitalization!


The character tag used in individual index entries must be included in the Character Catalog of the generated index document file.

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