Book-wide variables and attributes

FrameMaker iconYour FrameMaker documents may have many variables that are common across all files in a book. If you’re using unstructured FrameMaker, you can set these variables in one of the files in the book and then use the File > Import > Formats command to import these variables into the other files.

If you also plan to import paragraph format properties from this file, ensure that it uses all the common styles used across the book. For example, if some of the files in the book have <Heading 4> topics and the file you’re importing formats from has none, you may notice formatting (and numbering) anomalies in the final PDF. In such a case, it is recommended that you set and import variables and paragraph formats from a file that has <Heading 4> topics.

Import Formats.jpg

See “Import formatting properties” and “Import formats from a template or document” topics in FrameMaker Help for more insight.

If you’re using structured FrameMaker, you can have book-level attributes and use them (for instance) in running header/footer variables using the <$attribute[AttributeName]> or <$attribute[AttributeName:ElementName]> building block.

3 Responses

  • It looks like you have to do this for each chapter in a book. I was looking for a way to create a variable across all chapters in a book and then be able to update or change that variable only once and it would be updated in all chapters.

    For example if I have a variable “Report Type” that appeas in all 27 chapters of a book, I would like to change it say from “Draft Report” to “Final Report” in just one location rather than having to go to each chapter and change the variable. Is there a way to do that?

  • I’ve been searching for a way to do that, and then I just stopped searching. Nothing but silence everywhere I looked. You have to write your own script using ElmSoft’s FrameScript, or find one to purchase, which I also have not been able to find. Seems like someone would have written a script to do this by now.

  • I may have to eat my words, because I just found this:

    Update variables across all files in a book
    1.Update the variables in one document from the book.

    2.Select all the remaining files in the book and choose File > Import > Formats.


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