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Adobe FrameMaker: Dictionary-Style Running Heads

by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on FrameMaker
Updated: May 22, 2020

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.

More on working with master pages

Adobe FrameMaker: Master Page Basics

Using variables in headers and footers

Adobe FrameMaker: Smart Running Heads

Adobe FrameMaker: Even Smarter Running Heads

Adobe FrameMaker: When Chapter Titles are Too Long for a Running Head

Working with custom master pages

Adobe FrameMaker: Creating Custom Master Pages

Adobe FrameMaker: Automatically Assigning Custom Master Pages

Rotating pages

Adobe FrameMaker: Adding a Landscape Page to a Portrait Document


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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] 🙂