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User-Defined Variables in FrameMaker Templates



User-defined variables can be employed to provide much more than just those
things that change from document-to-document. They can also be used to
facilitate the insertion of commonly used special characters.

An example of a variable definition for a special character that uses the
symbol font is shown below:

        <Varible><FMSymbol>char_code<Default  Font>

Where:
<Variable> is the name of a character tag that distinguishes variables from
ordinary text by making the text blue.

<FMSymbol> is the name of a character tag that specifies the Symbol font.

char_code is the character code for the special character.
         
When I develop templates for a client, I provide him with a "starter" list
of variables. The client then deletes those which are not applicable, and
adds anything else they want to have included.

Here's an example of such a list:

DOCUMENT-DEPENDENT AND COMPANY-DEPENDENT VARIABLES
These variables are used in running header/footers, as well as in body text.
They assure total consistency in the way the associated information appears
throughout the document.
        Company Name
        Company Address
        Fax
        Phone
        URL
        Email 
        Copyright Year
        Document Number
        Document Release Date
        Document Revision No.
        Document Type
        Product Name
        Product Nickname
        Product Number
        Product Release No.
The template also has a reference page named "Variables" for the above
variables, as well as for system variables. These variables are listed in a
two-column table, where the first column indicates the variable name, and
the second column indicates the current value (or in the case of system
variables, the current format). This allows the user to review and edit all
such variables from the reference page.

FRACTIONS & CARE-OF
The names of these variables have the form FmFracND, where N = the
numerator, and D = the denominator. The numerators and denominators are
defined by character formats that specify a font size that is 2 pts less
than normal body text, and also specifies superscript or subscript. The
following fractions are provided:
        1/2 1/3 1/4 1/5 1/6 1/8 2/3 2/5 3/4 3/5 3/8 4/5 5/6 5/8 7/8
        FmCare-of: c/o
Here's how the definition for such variables looks:

   <Variable><FmNum>N<Default  Font><Variable>/<FmDenom>D<Default  Font>

Where FMNum and FMDenom are character tags for defining the formats of
numerators and denominators.

DASHES & SPACES
        Em Dash
        En Dash
        Em Space
        En Space
MATH/TECHNICAL/GREEK SYMBOLS
        Degree
        Divide
        Greater or Equal
        Greater Than
        Less or Equal
        Less Than
        Micro
        Multiply
        Not Equal
        Ohm Symbol
        Plus or Minus
MISCELLANEOUS SYMBOLS
        Copyright Mark
        Dagger
        Double Dagger
        Ellipsis
        Registered Symbol
        Trademark Symbol
     ____________________
     | Nullius in Verba |
     ********************
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory@primenet.com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646


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