Variables and Conditions in FrameMaker
Variables allow you to define a phrase once and consistently use that phrase throughout your source documents. Then, if you ever need to change that phrase, you can change it in one location and apply that change throughout your source documents. For example, you can use variables for product names, book titles, and company names.
Conditions allow you to single-source information and include or exclude specific sets of information. You can apply a condition to a character, word, sentence, paragraph, or entire sections of content. Then, you can specify whether to show or hide the content with that condition applied to it. This capability allows you to create multiple version of content based on your specific needs. You can also use conditions to include and exclude notes to the writer or reviewer during the content development process. When you combine variables and conditions, you can customize information for multiple versions of a product while reducing your maintenance costs by reducing duplicate information.
When working with conditions, you can customize the appearance of content with a condition applied by using color, underline, overline, and strikethrough formatting for the condition. This formatting helps you maintain and work with the content. However, ePublisher does not display this formatting in the generated output. If you want to apply formatting in the generated output, use paragraph and character formats to define the appearance for the content.
To simplify consistently setting variables and conditions across your source documents, create a standard file with all the variables and conditions defined in it. The file can display the value of each variable and the show/hide state of each condition. Writers can set the variables and conditions as needed in this one file. Then, the writers can import the variables and conditions from this file into all the source documents.
Use each variable and condition for the same purpose and value in all source documents. For example, if you want the footer in the preface file to be different from the footer in the chapter files, use a different variable to define the footer in each file. Otherwise, you cannot import variables across all the source documents.