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Home / Adobe FrameMaker / Adobe FrameMaker: How to Create a List of Effective Pages

Adobe FrameMaker: How to Create a List of Effective Pages

by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on FrameMaker
Updated on: Mar 17, 2016

A List of Effective pages (aka LEP or LOEP) is a list of every page in a document along with the current revision number and the date of each page’s revision. This is a common requirement for many of our FrameMaker students, and not a particularly fun part of their job. However, one of the fun parts of my job is helping my students solve their layout issues and this one came up yesterday. Up until these students attended our Advanced FrameMaker training class, they were updating their LEP manually, copying and pasting the revision numbers, one line at a time. Ouch.

Note: You can purchase a plug-in to automate this process from Steve Kubis at Silicon Prairie Software. As of the last update, a single-user license is US$30, and a site license is US$300. Please direct questions on the plug-in to

Setting up an LEP is a multi-step process. The steps below detail how to set up your own LEP, using the tools found within unstructured FrameMaker (any version). Please note that this is a task for an advanced FrameMaker user: someone who is already comfortable using master pages, reference pages, variables, books and generated files.

  1. Running heads. Each chapter in your book will need to have running heads set up with an empty template frame with a flow tag* that can accept the revision number/date on the body pages. These frames are added to the master pages. Assign clear, concise paragraph tags to format the running heads (i.e., Revision#Left and Revision#Right for the left and right pages). You will generate a list of paragraphs using these paragraph tags in step 3. (*Consider removing the auto-connect property from the template frames so that a novice FrameMaker user won’t accidentally overset text in a frame and generate unintentional extra pages.)
  2. Chapter numbering. In the book window, you will need to assign the chapter numbers. Remember that for front and back matter, you can set a chapter number to text by right-clicking the file in the book window, and choosing Numbering > Chapter > Format: Text. This is necessary to show TOC–1, or APP–1 (where TOC and APP are the chapter numbers) on the LEP.
  3. Add a List of Paragraphs. FrameMaker will collect the list of revision numbers/dates for you via a generated file. Add a chronological List of Paragraphs (LoP) via the Add menu in the book window, and reference the paragraph tags used on the running heads (i.e., Revision#Left and Revision#Right). Like all generated files, initially the text is presented without formatting. You will need to set up the columns, the paragraph tags for the LoP paragraphs and the all-important reference pages to control the presentation of the data. A typical LoP reference page might be formatted something like this:
    <$chapnum> – <Spagenum>             <$paratext>
    <$chapnum> – <Spagenum>             <$paratext>
    These building blocks will add the chapter number and page numbers in front of the revision numbers/dates automatically. The gap in front of <$paratext> might be handled via a tab stop.
  4. Variables. Once the running heads, the chapter numbering and the generated LoP file are all working, it’s time to begin entering the document edits. As a page is modified, you will need to update the empty template frame in the running head with the current revision number/date. This is most easily accomplished by setting up a user variable in the Variables pod, and adding the variable to the empty template frame in the running head.
  5. Update the list. When the edits are complete and the running heads are up to date, you can simply update your book, and along with the generated files. FrameMaker will scan all of the pages of all of the chapters in your book, and collect the latest page and revision numbers/dates. If you have everything set up correctly, you are done!
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2 thoughts on “Adobe FrameMaker: How to Create a List of Effective Pages

  1. I find FM difficult enough to use as it is what does not help is its own manual clearly assuming some kind of prior knowledge. I can’t even find a button to centre text – how on earth can it be called a publishing tool and not have simple, word like, buttons for formatting text…????? All I need is a list of effective pages saved as an .fm file I can include with the rest of the file, which is smashed in to bits but stored as a .book. None of the above makes any sense at all.

    1. Hi Huw,

      Unlike most of the FrameMaker tutorials on this site—which are step-by-step and include images—this one is meant to be an outline of the process and geared towards for my advanced students. You will find this note in the third paragraph: “Please note that this is a task for an advanced FrameMaker user: someone who is already comfortable using master pages, reference pages, variables, books and generated files.”

      I highly recommend attending a FrameMaker training class, or two. I can’t speak for all instructors, but on the first day of our classes you will learn how to control both paragraph and character formatting, including how to center text.

      FrameMaker is not an intuitive application and I don’t think it ever will be. I highly encourage you to start at the beginning, and work your way up to the task described on this page.

      I wish you the best,