Paragraph Formats in FrameMaker
Create paragraph formats for items based on function, not based on formatting. This approach allows you to modify formatting over time and the format names continue to apply. It also prepares you for structured writing in the future. If you are using DITA, paragraph formats are already defined.
Name your paragraph formats starting with naming conventions that group formats by function. For example, group procedure-related formats together by starting the format names with Procedure, such as ProcedureIntro, ProcedureStep1, ProcedureStep, ProcedureSubStep1, and ProcedureSubstep. You do not need to restart numbering using a step1 format. If you have a format that always proceeds a numbered list, such as a ProcedureIntro, you can restart the numbering with that format, which allows you to not use a step1. Either method is fine, but one can require less maintenance when updating steps in a procedure topic.
Note: Format names should not include a period in their name. The period can cause display issues when ePublisher creates the cascading style sheet entry that defines the appearance of the format.
To simplify formatting and save time for future maintenance and customization, set the default paragraph font for all formats, then customize specific formats that need customization. You may need multiple paragraph formats to define functions that support pagination settings, such as a BodyListIntro format that has Keep with next paragraph set.
In ePublisher, you can scan the source documents to list all the paragraph formats. Then, you can organize them in ePublisher to allow property inheritance and to streamline the customization process for your generated output.
To automate and simplify template use, define the paragraph format that follows each paragraph format. This process allows the writer to press Enter after writing a paragraph and the template creates the next paragraph with the format most commonly used next. For example, after a Heading format, the writer most often writes a body paragraph of content.
Common paragraph formats include:
Anchors for images and tables. You may need multiple indents, such as Anchor, AnchorInList, and AnchorInList2.
Body paragraphs. You may need multiple indents, such as Body, BodyInList, and BodyInList2.
Headings, such as ChapterTitle, AppendixTitle, Heading1, Heading2, Heading3, and Heading4. You may also need specialized headings, such as Title, Subtitle, FrontMatterHeading1, FrontMatterHeading2, and FrontMatterHeading3.
Bulleted lists. You may need multiple bullet levels, such as Bullet, Bullet2, Bullet3. You may also need a bullet item within a procedure, such as a ProcedureBullet and a bullet item within a table, such as a CellBullet. For more information, see “Bulleted and Numbered Lists in FrameMaker”.
Numbered lists. You may need multiple levels, such as ProcedureStep that uses numbers and ProcedureSubstep that uses lowercase letters. You can use ProcedureStep1 and ProcedureSubstep1 to restart numbering, or you can use a common paragraph that precedes each list to restart numbering. You may also need numbered list items in tables, such as CellStep and CellStep1. Be sure to consider related supporting formats, such as ProcedureIntro. For more information, see “Bulleted and Numbered Lists in FrameMaker”.
Examples, such as code or command syntax statements, usually in a fixed font. To keep the lines of a code example together, you can set the Example format to keep with next paragraph and use an ExampleLast format to identify the end of the example. You may also need multiple example levels, such as ExampleInList and ExampleInListLast.
Paragraphs in tables, such as CellHeading, CellBody, CellBody2, CellStep, CellStep1, and CellBullet. Although you can reuse paragraph formats in tables and adjust the margins when those formats are in a table in FrameMaker, create unique paragraph formats for use in tables to give you complete control in ePublisher.
Legal notice and copyright or trademark formats for inside the cover page.
Table of contents and Index formats. However, these formats are defined on the reference pages rather than as paragraph formats.
Definition lists, such as term and definition or description. You can use a two-column table for this purpose, but a definition list allows long terms, such as field labels in a user interface, to run across the page without wrapping. Then, the definition or description are indented below the term.
Header and footer formats to control formatting.
Notes, cautions, tips, and warnings. You can use the numbering property of a paragraph format to insert default text at the beginning of a paragraph, such as Note, Caution, Tip, or Warning. In ePublisher, you can use the Bullet properties for the paragraph style to add an image to the left of each note, caution, tip, or warning.
Page breaks, which can be identified with a small-font paragraph format with Keep with previous paragraph set and a large space below the paragraph that pushes the next paragraph to the next page. This paragraph format is hidden in online content. This approach allows you to put page breaks in the content where needed to achieve the cleanest printed output without customizing the pagination settings for individual paragraphs. However, you need to review all these paragraphs each release and remove unneeded PageBreak paragraphs. This approach increases maintenance, but it prevents format customization for pagination.
ePublisher projects use custom marker types, paragraph formats, and character formats to define online features. You need to give the list of markers and formats to the writers so they know how to implement each online feature. The writers use the markers and formats you create to define online features.
The Stationery defines the custom markers and formats. To reduce complexity, you can use the format names defined in the documentation, or you can define the online feature to a different format. The following list identifies additional paragraph formats you may need to support ePublisher online content features:
Paragraph or character formats to support multiple languages, such as bidirectional languages and text.
Dropdown paragraph format that identifies the start of an expand/collapse section. You can end the section with a paragraph format defined to end the section, or with a DropDownEnd marker.
Popup paragraph formats that define several aspects of popup window content:
Popup paragraph format identifies the content to display in a popup window and in a standard help topic. This format is applied to the first paragraph of popup content.
Popup Append paragraph format identifies the content to display in a popup window and in a standard help topic. This format is applied to additional popup paragraphs when you have more than one paragraph of content to include in a popup window.
Popup Only paragraph format identifies the content to display only in a popup window. This format is applied to the first paragraph of popup content.
Popup Only Append paragraph format identifies the content to display only in a popup window. This format is applied to additional popup paragraphs when you have more than one paragraph of content to include in a popup window.
Related topics paragraph format that identifies a link to a related topic, such as a concept topic related to a task or a task related to a concept.
See Also paragraph format that identifies the text you want to include in an inline See Also link.
For more information about enabling a specific online feature, see “Designing, Deploying, and Managing Stationery”.