Designing templates in FrameMaker (Part 3)

In this detailed blog post series, Asit Pant, a veteran technical communicator and FrameMaker community member, guides you through the main steps in the process of creating a FrameMaker template. The information in this series is targeted mainly toward creating unstructured templates, but many parts of it also apply to structured templates.

Yesterday’s blog post in this series talked about bulleted lists, tabs, sub-bullets, and related things. Now, let us want more. For example, my sensibilities dictate that the bullets should be square and not round—I hate going around in circles. Or, you want the sub-bullets to have different bullet characters than the main bullets. Sure, no problems. Here is how you go about changing the bullet character.

  1. Click File >Utilities > Character Palette. This gives you a palate, I mean palette, of all the characters that are available on your system.
  2. From the dropdown box, select a font family that has the bullet you need. For our example, we will select the Wingdings font family.
  3. Select the character you want to use as bullet. The character appears in the document. For this example, let us select the solid square character, which corresponds to the letter “n” in the Wingdings font family.
  4. After selecting the solid square character, the corresponding letter in the Wingdings family that creates this character appears in the document. In this example, it is the letter “n”.

  5. In the document, select the letter, in this case “n”.
  6. Open Character Designer (Format >Character >Designer).
  7. In the Character Tag box, select the font family, in this case Wingdings.
  8. Change the size if required.
  9. Click Apply. In the new format dialog box, type a name for a new character tag, for example “bullet_character”, and then click Create.
    This creates a new character tag for the bullet. Next we will use this character tag in the numbering properties of the Paragraph Designer
  10. Open the paragraph designer.
  11. Select the paragraph format for the bulleted list.
  12. In the Autonumber format box, paste or type the character you selected in step 4. In our example, this is “n”.
    Note: The “n” character that we have used in this case has no relation with the building block <n>.
  13. In the Character Format box type or select the character format you created in step 8.
  14. Click Update All and there you have it. All the round bullets are converted to square ones.

That’s it about bulleted lists. Really. Go ahead and create a bulleted list for yourself (apart from being useful, bullets are fun too, as any cowboy will attest).

In the next post in this series, we will move on to its sibling with a slightly more complicated personality – the numbered list. And no, numbered lists are not difficult to handle, despite what some people say. You will actually like them once you get to know them.

Earlier in this blog post series…

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