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Adobe FrameMaker: Copy a Paragraph Format to All Chapters in a Book

by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on Adobe FrameMaker
Updated: Mar 17, 2015

This question came in yesterday:

How do I get a paragraph tag that is present in one .fm file (and its corresponding paragraph catalog) to appear in all the .fm files and paragraph catalogs within the same book? Of course there is a Rube Goldberg way to do it. I’ve been pasting an instance of the desired tag into each of the .fm files and then selecting Commands:  > New Format… in the paragraph designer, but there has got to be something better.

Here’s what I do:

  1. Open the chapter that has the desired paragraph format(s).
  2. Remove all of the other paragraph formats, except for the one(s) you want to copy to the other chapters in your book. (If you have a really long list, use Alt+e to rapidly delete them.)
  3. Save the file as “para format.fm” and leave it open.
  4. Open your book file.
  5. Select all the files within the book window that need the format(s) added.
  6. Choose File > Import > Format. Pick “para format.fm” from the top row. Remove all the checkmarks except Paragraph Formatting. Click Import.

That should do it!

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2 thoughts on “Adobe FrameMaker: Copy a Paragraph Format to All Chapters in a Book

  1. Cool trick. I would switch steps 2 and 3 though. It’s scary to see “Remove all the other paragraph formats…” before you realize you are saving the file with another name, and the new file has the sole purpose of keeping only the format(s) that will be imported into the other files. Thanks for the tip about Alt+e also!