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.

My FrameMaker tweets

I have been tweeting recently about FrameMaker concepts and tips. In particular, I have been tweeting about the basics of structured authoring in FrameMaker. As I stumble upon interesting things, I plan to continue tweeting about the Technical Communication Suite.

You can access current (and future!) tweets at and Follow me on Twitter at

Do let me know your thoughts. If you want me to tweet about some particular feature in FrameMaker, do let me know as well.