Character Formats in FrameMaker
Create character formats for items based on function, not based on formatting or appearance. This approach allows you to modify formatting over time and the format names continue to apply. It also prepares you for structured writing in the future. If you are using DITA, character formats are already defined.
For character formats, use As Is to start with as base, which allows you to apply multiple character formats to the same text. It also allows each character format to define only the aspects of the formatting required for that character format. Customize each format for your specific need by specifying only the properties required for that format.
Common character formats include:
*Book titles in cross references
*Emphasized text
*Command names
*File and folder names
*User interface items
*Optional steps or if clauses used to introduce optional steps
*Links
*New terms
*Step numbers, which allows you to apply formatting to the number for a step
*Text the user must type
*Variables
ePublisher projects use custom marker types, paragraph formats, and character formats to define online features. You need to give the list of marker types and formats to the writers so they know how to implement each online feature. The writers use the markers and formats you create to define online features.
The Stationery defines the custom marker types, paragraph formats, and character formats. To reduce complexity, you can use the format names defined in the documentation, or you can define the online feature to a different format. The following list identifies additional character formats you may need to support ePublisher online content features:
*Link character format, which identifies the text to include in the link. Include the marker and text in the Link character format.
*Multiple language support, such as bidirectional languages and text, can require a paragraph or character format with Bidi support enabled.
*Abbreviation character format identifies abbreviation alternate text for browsers to display for abbreviations, such as SS#, when a user hovers over the abbreviation in output. Screen readers also can read the abbreviation alternate text. This character format is used in combination with the AbbreviationTitle marker type.
*Acronym character format identifies acronym alternate text for browsers to display for acronyms, such as HTML, when a user hovers over the acronym in output. Screen readers can also read the acronym alternate text. This character format is used in combination with the AcronymTitle marker type.
*Citation character format identifies the source of a quote using a fully-qualified Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) when a user hovers over the quote in output. Screen readers can also read the URI for the quote. This character format is used in combination with the Citation marker type.
*See Also character format identifies the text you want to include in a See Also button. This format controls the appearance of the text on the button.
For more information about enabling a specific online feature, see “Designing, Deploying, and Managing Stationery”.