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  Beyond text basics

Now that you've seen how easy it is to create and edit FrameMaker content, you can move forward in this course to learn how to create more complex structures.

Remember that FrameMaker is not only efficient, but it's also quite powerful. If you'd like to learn more about FrameMaker's advanced text editing features, check out the syllabus for my FrameMaker Advanced Authoring and FrameMaker Templates courses

One text editing feature that sets FrameMaker apart from other applications is its numbering capabilities.

The following section is a sampling of the numbering schemes FrameMaker can manage inside a well-designed template. The automatically applied numbering in each item is shown in bold.


Full control over custom numbering strings is only part of the are some automatic numbering situations that are easy to create, apply, and manage in FrameMaker, but that are deal breakers in MS Word:

  • Chapter 1: Title Text
    The Chapter prefix (and the colon + space) are placed automatically and updated contextually.
  • Table 1-1: Title Text
    Both the chapter number and the table number are displayed here. The second digit shows contextually where this table resides relative to other tables in the chapter.
  • Figure 1-1: Title Text
    In this example, figures and titles in the same chapter are independently numbered. FrameMaker makes it easy to account for them independent of each other.
  • WARNING: Failure to prepare properly may result in death
    In this example, I'm using the autonumbering properties to apply a text prefix. Not numbering per se, but incredibly useful in tech comm.
  • Section 1.1.1
    Military/aviation-style numbering is easy to manage and automatically update, thanks to FrameMaker's endlessly customizable building blocks and book numbering options. In this example, the number is generated automatically, showing current chapter, section, and subsection values based on position, or context, within the document. The number might be show either with or without title text.

FrameMaker also allows you to use different formatting for the autonumber portion of your paragraph. You can use this for changing the color, weight, or angle of the autonumber text. But with a little creativity you can design autonumbers that do some pretty amazing things, like this series of paragraph styles that I use in my reference and workbooks.