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Adobe FrameMaker: Multiple References to One Table Footnote

by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on FrameMaker
Updated Dec 19, 2017

Footnotes in FrameMaker are pretty straightforward. Place your cursor where you’d like the footnote reference to appear, and choose Special menu > Footnote. If your cursor was in the body of the footnote, the note will appear at the bottom of the page. If your cursor was in a table, the footnote will appear directly below the last line of the table. (If you are new to footnotes, review the basics in Adobe FrameMaker: Formatting Footnotes.) What do you do when one table has multiple references to a single note? I use one of two techniques:

I. Add a Cross-Reference

  1. Start by putting in the first footnote with Special menu > Footnote.
  2. Click on the note under the table and jot down the Paragraph Format (FrameMaker defaults to TableFootnote).
  3. Create a Character Tag for superscript:
    1. Press Ctrl+D to open the Character Designer.
    2. Press Shift+F8 to set the Character Designer to As Is.
    3. Name the Character Tag “Superscript” and click twice in front of Superscript to activate the command.
      Adobe FrameMaker: Create a Character tag called Superscript
    4. Click Apply (NOT Update All) to create the new format, and then be sure to UNCHECK Apply to Selection before clicking Create.
  4. Place your cursor back in the table, where you want to place a second reference to the first footnote.
  5. Choose Special menu > Cross Reference.
  6. Set the Document to Current, the Source Type to Paragraphs, and the Paragraph Tag to TableFootnote (or whatever Paragraph tag you jotted down in step 2).
    Adobe FrameMaker: Cross reference the TableFootnote
  7. A list of all the TableFootnotes in the document appears: scroll to find the one you want to reference, and click it.
  8. Create a Reference format for the footnote references:
    1. Click the Edit Format button in the lower right corner
    2. Change the Name to Superscript
    3. Delete everything on the Definition line and replace with <Superscript><$paranumonly[TableFootnote]>
      Adobe FrameMaker: Create a new cross reference format These building blocks tell FrameMaker to turn on the Superscript Character Tag you created earlier, and then they pull the paragraph number only (not the text, or any additional punctuation you may be using) of the tag called TableFootnote. You do not need to reset the formatting back to Default Para Font after the paranumonly building block—it resets itself.
    4. Click Add, Done, OK (to losing History, if activated) and Insert.
      Adobe FrameMaker: An example of two references to one note.
  9. There you go! If you need to reference the note a third or fourth time, its way easier because you’ve done all the hard work.
    1. Click your mouse where you want the next cross-reference to go
    2. Special menu > Cross Reference
    3. Click TableFootnote
    4. Click Insert
  10. If you end up adding or deleting the table footnotes, you’ll find that these will all update automatically when you update your references, or update your book.

II. Cheat

True confessions. When I feel fairly confident the footnotes won’t undergo edits that will force renumbering, I’ll just type in the letter of the note and superscript it. Shhhh. That’s our little secret.

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2 thoughts on “Adobe FrameMaker: Multiple References to One Table Footnote

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for writing this informative article. The information you provided was clear and concise and exactly what I was looking for. I spent hours on the Adobe site trying to figure out how to do exactly what your site showed me in 5 minutes, kudos to you.

    I have added you to my bookmarks list and will revisit often as I see you have quite a few other articles that also look beneficial for technical writers and the like.

    Best regards,

    Adam Jasper