Adobe FrameMaker: Formatting Footnotes
by Barb Binder
When you write in Adobe FrameMaker and need to add the occasional reference, it seems straightforward enough. Just choose Special > Footnote and there you go. A footnote number immediately appears at the cursor position and the footnote itself appears at the bottom of the page. Better yet, if your Word document has footnotes, they will just come into FrameMaker when you import the file. But what if you don’t like how they look? That’s a little trickier because the controls are spread all over the program. Here are the four steps to footnote formatting:
- Choose Format > Document > Footnote Properties
This is where you can control the height allowed for a footnote on a single page, the paragraph tag assigned, and the look of the actual number. The default is to superscript the number in the text, but have it baseline-aligned in the reference and follow it with a period and a tab. Whatever you choose here changes all the footnotes in a document when you click Set.
- Choose Format > Document > Numbering > Footnote tab
You can control the numbering style here and, if you publish loose-leaf updates, definitely consider starting the numbering over on each page to simply your life.
- Choose Format > Paragraphs > Designer
Obviously, you need to make a stop here to set the typeface, size, style, etc.
- Choose View > Reference Pages > Reference
And finally, visit the Reference pages to refine the footnote rule that appears above the first footnote on every page. You can adjust the rule, the frame, or both to globally update the division between the text and the footnotes.
Phew! That’s a lot of stops on the footnote train, but… once you finish, all your footnotes should be looking pretty good. Unless, of course, they fall too far down on the page. In that case, you end up with the reference on one page and the footnote on the next. All I know to do is to start playing with Pagination properties to force them back together.
Note: You’ll see a reference to table footnotes in most of these screen shots. Use the same four steps to format them as well. Because tables frequently use a bottom rule, notice that the the TableFootnote frame on the reference pages does not show a rule. Instead, all you see is an empty frame, which acts as space above the footnotes. Making that frame taller or shorter will adjust the spacing above the table footnotes.