Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- 15 Questions to Ask After You Finish a Technical Document Project - February 12, 2018
- THY’s Perfect Information Design - February 9, 2018
- Waterfall vs. Agile Models in Technical Documentation - February 7, 2018
© 2010 Ugur Akinci
Adobe FrameMaker 9 (as well as its earlier versions) is very flexible when it comes to creating cross-references. A cross-reference (which some sources express as “x-ref”) is used to link different parts of a document through a hyperlink. When you click on a cross-reference, FM9 automatically takes you to the link destination and displays that part of the document.
All cross-reference linking is done through the Cross-Reference dialog box.
1) Select Special > Cross-Reference from the menu bar to display the Cross-Reference dialog box.
2) Select Paragraphs from the Source Type drop-down list to display all the paragraph tags with their corresponding content:
(Click to enlarge the image)
These are the paragraph tags that you can use as a cross-reference from anywhere inside your document. You can create a cross-reference to another document as well as long as it is open on your desktop.
For example, you can make a cross-reference to the name of the author. Since the name is on the first page, when the link is clicked, the reader will automatically be transported to the first page.
Here is how we can do that in our sample document:
We are in the SECOND page of our document:
Just before the “Previous Achievements” sidebar header, we’d like to insert a cross-reference to the author, something like “The author’s previous achievements include the following” where the words “The” and “author” are cross-referenced to the name on the first page.
1) Type the sentence “The author’s previous achievements include the following” in the indicated position.
2) Select the words “The author” since we’d like to replace that by the author’s real name through a cross-reference.
3) Select Special > Cross-Reference from the menu bar to display the Cross-Reference dialog box.
4) Select Paragraphs from the Source Type drop-down list to display all the paragraph tags with their corresponding content.
5) Select “ReportAuthor” tag from the Paragraph Tags list and “Dr. J.Z. Williams” from the respective text box on the right.
As you can see there are more than one formats available for your cross-reference. Experiment with the available options and see which one fits your purpose the best.
For example, if we select “Heading & Page” format and click the Replace button, this is what we get for a cross-reference:
Well, this is obviously not what we want. We need to get rid of the quotation marks as well as the page reference.
So let’s reformat the cross-reference:
1) While the cross-reference text is still selected, click the Edit Format button to display the Edit Cross-Reference Format dialog box:
Here the problem is obvious: we’ve got some extra format tags that we do not need.
2) In the Definition field, delete “on <$pagenum>” as well as the quotation marks around <$paratext>. This should leave you with only <$paratext> which is what we want.
3) Click the Done button. Click OK through the “Cannot be undone” warning prompt.
4) If FrameMaker displays an updating screen, select “Internal Cross-References” and click Update.
5) Back at the Cross-References dialog box, click Replace and you’re done. Now the cross-reference looks like this (as it should):
To test whether your cross-reference works or not, bring your cursor over the cross-reference and press the CTRL and ALT keys at the same time. Your cursor should turn into a hand-with-finger, detecting the hotlink.
When you click on the cross-reference, FrameMaker will take you to the Author’s Name on the first page. Yes, the cross-reference works!
NOTE: when you save your FrameMaker 9 document as a PDF file to distribute it to the others, the cross-referenced link will work in PDF as well.