If you have a document that will be printed hardcopy (or distributed as PDF) as well as used as a help file, the hyperlinked page number cross-references usually create a problem since page numbers do not make sense in a help file and should not be there.
So what are you going to do? Create two different versions of the same document, one with and the other without page number references? Of course not.
With FrameMaker, you can have your cake and eat it too by creating a single source document with conditional text.
When you hide the conditional text (for the help file), the page number references would be hidden too. And when you turn them on (for generating a PDF copy or regular printed hardcopy), you’ll have your page references back on displaying again.
The trick is to split your hyperlinked cross-references into two parts and assign different cross-reference formats to them.
For example, consider the cross-reference “See Chapter 15, Troubleshooting on page 235.”
You want this reference to show as is in the hardcopy print edition since the readers can actually flip to that page (or click to that page if it is saved as PDF).
But in a help file, you want the same reference show up only as “See Chapter 15, Troubleshooting.”
Here is how you do it:
1) You select “See Chapter 15, Troubleshooting” and press Esc+S+C (or select Special > Cross Reference from the main menu) to display your cross-reference designer.
2) Assign a “Heading only” cross-reference style to the selected text, a style that does not include any page number.
3) Click the Replace button to assign the style to the selected text.
4) Then do the same with the text ” on page 235″ – including the space just before “o”. In your cross-reference designer, assign a “Page only” style to the page number text.
5) While the page number text is still selected, display your conditional text dialog box by selecting Special > Conditional Text from your main menu. Make sure the “Conditional” radio-button is selected because you will make this text conditional.
6) Either select one of the “Not In” tags and click the left arrow to transfer it into the “In” box… or, click the Edit Condition Tag button and create your own tag, named something like “HidePageNum”. Then make sure you again select this new tag and transfer it into the “In” box.
7) To toggle the page number text on and off, click the Show/Hide button. In the “Show/Hide Conditional text” dialog box, select your tag and move it into the “Show” box to show it and “Hide” box to hide it. When you press the Set button, the FrameMaker will either show or hide your conditional text, depending on your choice.
8) Repeat the same for all the text in your document that you’d like to hide first before compiling a help file.
If you use the same conditional text tag for all the text that you want to hide, at compilation time all you need to do is hide a single tag and FrameMaker will automatically hide all the text tagged with that same label as a conditional text. It’s as simple as that.
This is a very convenient way to turn on and off hundreds and thousands of different text strings in a long document by just a single command. It is worth practicing it until you get it right because it will save you untold hours of work in the future when you are struggling against the deadline to compile a neat looking help file from your main document.
Enjoy and good luck!