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Adobe FrameMaker: Adding Icons in Front of Text

by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on FrameMaker
Updated May 17, 2018

In a earlier post, I showed how to assign a graphic to a paragraph tag (see Adobe FrameMaker: More on Reference Pages). It’s a great solution when you want an image to appear above or below a given paragraph. However, two students in yesterday’s Advanced Adobe FrameMaker class wanted to take it a little further. They both wanted to add an alert icon to the left of a paragraph. Depending on the exact positioning required, there are two different solutions to this dilemma: use an anchored frame or place the image into the first cell of a 2-column table. In this post, I am going to show you how to use a table to control the display.

Note: The steps below assume that you have already added image(s) to the reference pages. If you aren’t sure how, see Adobe FrameMaker: More on Reference Pages for step-by-step instructions.

  1. Select Table > Insert Table to add a 2-column, 1-row table to your document.
    Adobe FrameMaker 11: Insert Table
  2. Create a new tag for the End of Flow marker in the first cell. I called mine AlertImage.
    Adobe FrameMaker 11: Tag the 1st table cell
  3. Reduce both the type size and line spacing to 2 pts, and assign an image to the tag in Paragraph Designer > Advanced properties > Frame Above Pfg. Click Update All. (Note: Advanced properties has been updated in 2015, but Frame Above Pfg is still in the same general area.)
    Adobe FrameMaker 11: Add the graphic via Frame Before Pfg
  4. Create a new tag for the End of Flow marker in the second cell. I called mine AlertText.
    Adobe FrameMaker 11: Tag the text in the second cell
  5. In addition to selecting your family, size, spacing, etc., consider adding the word ALERT via Paragraph Designer > Numbering properties. In my example, I’m using the Emphasis character tag to make the word both red and bold.
    Adobe FrameMaker 11: Add the word "Alert" (or Note, Caution, Warning, etc.) through Auto-Numbering
  6. Finally, create a new Table Format in the Table Designer. I called mine AlertTable. Adjust the column widths, and use Table Designer’s Basic, Ruling & Shading properties to format the table as desired. Update All.
    Adobe FrameMaker 11: Resize columns, and format in Table Designer

In the future, when you want to add another alert, just insert another table. Pick AlertTable from the Table Format list at the left, and click Insert. FrameMaker handles the formatting and assigns the paragraph tags for you.
Adobe FrameMaker 11: Select your format as you add future tables

All you need to do is add the text to the second column.
Adobe FrameMaker 11: The table appears fully formatted. Just add the alert text.

It’s that easy!

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