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Adobe FrameMaker: Dictionary-Style Running Heads

by Barb Binder

If you are creating reference materials like a dictionary, glossary or telephone directory, you may be called on to produce “live” running heads, but with a twist. FrameMaker’s Running H/F 1 variables are all set to go gather paragraphs from a document and display them in a running head, but the assumption is that you want the first paragraph from the page.

For example, if page two has three Heading1s, and you set your variable to <$paratext[Heading1]>, FrameMaker will pull the first Heading1 off the page, and will ignore the other two. In reference materials, that will work great for the left page header, but you may find it helpful to pull the last Heading1 off of the right hand pages, to show the range of information that appears on the facing pages spread. Here’s how:

  1. Set the Running H/F 1 variable on the left page to <$paratext[Heading1]>.
  2. Set the Running H/F 2 variable on the right page to <$paratext[+,Heading1]>.

That’s it! The plus sign (+) tells FrameMaker to find the last paragraph on the page matching the tag rather than the first paragraph.

NOTE: If you simply want to reference the document title, see Adobe FrameMaker: Smart Running Heads. If you want to reference document titles that change for different parts of the book (i.e., ChapterTitle, ContentsTitle, IndexTitle), see Adobe FrameMaker: Even Smarter Running Heads.

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2 thoughts on “Adobe FrameMaker: Dictionary-Style Running Heads

  1. Is there a way to use the first paragraph of the DOCUMENT instead of of the page? I have found that when I insert a subtitle under the main chapter title, using the same “Title” paragraph style, that the sub title ends up in the running head instead of the chapter title on all following pages. I could use a [-,Title] instead of a [+,Title] 🙂