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Adobe FrameMaker: Using Text Insets

by Barb Binder, Adobe Certified Instructor on FrameMaker
Updated: May 31. 2018

Text Insets are great when you need to publish the same copy in several locations. Perhaps it is your mission statement, or a description of your company. Rather than rely on a Copy & Paste technique, which necessitates editing multiple documents when the need arises to revise the copy, you can work with just one file as a Text Inset.

Here’s how it works:

  1. In FrameMaker, create a document that contains the copy you wish to include in several publications. This file will be referred to as the source file.
  2. Save and close the source file
  3. Open up the first FrameMaker document that you would like to insert the copy into and use File > Import > File to import it. Be sure to select Import by Reference at the bottom of the Import File dialog box:
    Adobe FrameMaker: Import by Reference
    The Import Text by Reference dialog appears. There are three parts:
    1. Flow to Import: choose Body Page Flow to place your copy onto the Body page.
    2. Formatting of Imported Flow: pick the first option to have the text formatting match the current catalogs, and the last option to retain the formatting from the source document.
    3. Updating of Imported Flow: if you select automatic, the changes will automatically be reflected in the current document when you update the source document. Otherwise, you have to request the update.
  4. Click Import. The text appears on the page. You import the same source files into multiple documents.

Now, here’s the cool part. When you get an edit to the source file, you just open it up directly, make the change and save your work. The next time you open up the files with the Automatic Update turned on, the changes will be reflected. If you opted for a manual update, just double click the Text Inset in the document and choose the Update Now button. If you wish to change the update status, click the Settings button. Sure makes editing and reusing text easy!

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2 thoughts on “Adobe FrameMaker: Using Text Insets

  1. I appreciate these articles.
    Is it possible to import a text inset so that it does not have and end-of-paragraph character in the file into which it is imported?
    In other words, I want to import the inset into the middle of a paragraph.
    I should mention that I have been using FrameMaker for centuries and have not encountered this problem before. I generally use longer text insets that naturally contain entire paragraphs.

    1. Hi Jim:

      To the best of my knowledge, Fm will add the return. Perhaps a user variable will work?