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Home / Adobe FrameMaker / Adobe FrameMaker: Change Bars (Part I in the Editing Series)

Adobe FrameMaker: Change Bars (Part I in the Editing Series)

By Barb Binder

Once upon a time, the vision for FrameMaker was to be one of those 3-in-1 programs that were popular back in the ‘80s (remember Lotus 1-2-3?). The three components were word processing, illustration and page layout. Fast forward 25 years and FrameMaker is not the first program you are going to consider for word processing or illustration.

It has, of course, emerged as the program of choice for technical writers who need to produce very complex, technical documentation. However, the early features still remain in the software, and recently the word processing features have been improved on. This is first in a series of articles introducing the editing features, starting with change bars. From there we’ll move on to the compare document utility, track changes, importing PDF comments.

A frequent request from my Adobe FrameMaker students is how to indicate were changes have been made to a document. We have a few options, but let’s start with a look at change bars. Here’s how they work:

  1. Open a FrameMaker document.
  2. Choose Format > Document > Change Bars.
    Adobe FrameMaker: Format | Document | Change Bars
  3. Decide how you want the bars to look (distance, thickness, position and color). Don’t forget to enable the Automatic Change Bars check box before you click Set.
  4. Start typing and editing. The bars will appear automatically next to any line that you change.
    Adobe FrameMaker: Change Bars appear in the margins
  5. When you decide that you are ready to remove the change bars, simply return to Format > Document > Change Bars and enable the Clear All Change Bars checkbox. Click on Set and they will be permanently removed.

But what do you do when you make edits before you remember to turn on the change bars? In that scenario, the Compare Documents utility will be just the thing.

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