Adobe FrameMaker: Adding tabs to a table of contents
by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on FrameMaker
Updated: May 23, 2020
“Discoverable”. That’s a new Adobe buzzword for features that users can discover on their own. I’d say that adding a tab character between the entries and page numbers in a table of contents does not fall into that category. One of my most memorable consulting moments was watching a student update her book and TOC, and then start manually adding all the tabs back in after FrameMaker stripped them out. I can only imagine she was saying, “I hate FrameMaker, I hate FrameMaker” with each tap of the Tab key.
Don’t hate FrameMaker! It’s such a simple fix:
- Open your Table of Contents
- Use View > Text Symbols to turn on the non-printing characters, if they aren’t on already.
- View > Reference Pages
- Tap PgDn until you reach the TOC Reference Page, which looks something like this:
- Take a close look at the text. What do you see between each <$paratext> and <$pagenum> building block? It’s a space!
- Simply delete the space after each <$paratext> and replace it with a tab character. In this example, I’ve already set a right-aligned tab stop with leader dots, so adding the tabs scoots them over immediately. You will have to add the tab stop before your page numbers move to the right:
- View > Body Pages.
- Remember, Reference Page changes to generated documents don’t take effect until you update your book, so update now and as much as you like and you won’t need to ever need to add those tabs manually again. I love FrameMaker, I love FrameMaker.