Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- Test Your Knowledge of 4 Basic Fonts – Drag & Drop - January 27, 2017
- How NOT to Design a Web Site - January 25, 2017
- Hazards of Poorly Written Technical Documentation - December 26, 2016
© Ugur Akinci
PREREQUISITE: Make sure your FrameMaker is set for structured authoring. Select File > Preferences > General and select Structure FrameMaker from the Product Interface drop-down list.
Let’s continue to build our CONCEPT object by adding some CONTENT under the SHORT DESCRIPTION.
(1) Open the Structure View. Bring your cursor right under the SHORTDESC element. The cursor will transform into a right-arrow.
(2) Click the mouse to insert a triangle-shaped position marker.
Let’s insert a CONTENT element under the short description… NOTE: It’s recommended to have your element tags display to understand better what FrameMaker is doing.
(3) Click and display the Elements list. Select “conbody” and click the Insert button:
The “conbody” (BODY) DITA element is inserted automatically, complete with its associated “p” (PARAGRAPH) child element.
FrameMaker automatically inserts the “conbody” DITA element into your concept document. As you can see, your cursor is blinking where the FrameMaker (FM) expects you to enter the body text. Also note how FM rearranged the surrounding tags so that the closing “concept’ and “dita” tags now wrap around the “conbody” element as well.
At the blinking cursor point, type the following body text: “Structured authoring is the wave of the future. Thus all technical writers are advised to get themselves familiar with DITA and FrameMaker’s powerful built-in structured interface.”
(4) Switch to the Structured View. You’ll see that the body text you’ve just add actually created a new “p” (PARAGRAPH) element right under the “conbody” element:
(5) To add another paragraph, bring your cursor right under the “p” element. The cursor will transform into a right-arrow.
(6) Click the mouse to insert a triangle-shaped position marker.
(7) Click and display the Elements list. Select “p” and click the Insert button to insert a second paragraph element:
Please note that with insertion of every new DITA element, the list of available CHILD elements that the new element is allowed to take changes dynamically as well. That’s why after inserting the “p” element, you will not find “p” in the ELEMENTS list since a paragraph cannot accept another paragraph as its child. But two paragraphs (two “siblings“) can be the children of a parent “conbody” element.
Let’s insert this text into this second paragraph: “Benefits of structured authoring:”
Then let’s insert an ORDERED LIST by (in Structure View) bringing our cursor right under the “p” element and then selecting “ol” element and clicking Insert:
Type the following first ordered item: “Single sourcing”.
To enter another ordered list item (“li” element), click your cursor under the first list item group:
Check your ELEMENTS list. You’ll see that ONLY ONE option is listed: another list item (“li”):
Select “li” and click the Insert button. This inserts the SECOND ordered list item:
Type in the following text: “Separating content from formatting”.
Here is the result WITHOUT the element tags (toggled off from the View menu):
To enter an UNORDERED list, follow the same steps above but instead of inserting the “ol” element, insert the “ul” element.
Q: “How do I know a DITA element I’m trying to insert is “illegal” — that is, not permitted by FrameMaker?”
A: If RED DOTS appear when you try to insert an element, it means you are inserting that element at a location where it does not belong. See below: