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Markers, variables and cross-reference formats

This page puts together information about the nature of markers, variables and cross refrences which can not be found in the Adobe documentation. I did much experimenting to find this information.

Marker types
System variables
User variables
Cross reference formats
References

[To top/bottom of page] Marker types

Marker type Allowed building blocks Notes
Name ID
Author 5 Any text 1, 2
Comment 3
Conditional Text 10
Cross-Ref 9
Equation 7
Glossary 6
Glossary Term 18
Header/Footer $1 … $8 0,1,11…16 Display the contents of the corresponding variables <$marker1> … <$marker8> 1, 3
HotSpot 19 Any text 1, 2
HTML Macro 17
Hypertext 8 Text starting with a keyword and contiuing with a particular syntax. 1
Index 2 : (separate levels) ; (separates entries) [ ] (indicate sort order) text_element
<$startrange> <$endrange> <$nopage> <$singlepage> <character_format_name> </>
1
NoPageBreak 22 <NoSplit\> 5, 6
PageBreak 22 Topic Title | File name 5, 6
Subject 4 Any text 1
TopicAlias 21 Topic_alias_or_ID 5, 6
User defined 20 Any text 1, 6

Notes:

  1. The whole contents of a marker is limited to 2023 (single-byte) characters. For characters such as ‡ multiple bytes are used (UTF-8 coding).
  2. The building block </> is identical to the building block <Default ¶ Font> . This short forms exists since FM-8.
  3. Header/Footer $n markers are placed on the body page and define the corresponding system variable ($markern) which in turn is used in the system variable Running H/F m on a master page. The system variable $markern is active until it gets a new setting in another Header/Footer $n marker.
  4. You can enter a tab character in marker text by typing either \t or the hexadecimal code \x08. However, if you generate a list of markers, only tabs entered as hexadecimal codes appear. If you generate an index of markers, only tabs entered as \t appear [FM-14 help].
  5. Since FM-12 there are marker types which are not handled the traditional way (Insert > Marker), but by Insert > Publish Marker: Page Break Marker, No Page Break Marker, CSH Marker = TopicAlias (Context Sensitive Help) and Index Marker. They become effective only during publishing to HTML5 or MS HTML Help. The marker ID's have changed from FM-12 to FM-13 (2015)!
  6. The ID's > 19 depend on the time of the creation/insertion: In the test here the sequence was user_1 (20), TopicAlias (21), PageBreak (22), NoPageBreak (22), user_2 (23).

[To top/bottom of page] System variables

You can not rename or create (with a new name) system variables. Of course you can also not delete them from the catalogue.

yyy yyy
System variable Default defintion in FM-en Allowed groupes of building blocks
Chapter Number <$chapnum> user, pagenum, paranum, docinfo, time
Chapter Title Name <$chaptertitlename> user, pagenum, paranum, docinfo, time
Creation Date (Long) <$daynum> <$monthname> <$year> user, time
Creation Date (Short) <$daynum>/<$monthnum>/<$shortyear> user, time
Current Date (Long) <$daynum> <$monthname> <$year> user, time
Current Date (Short) <$daynum>/<$monthnum>/<$shortyear> user, time
Current Page # <$curpagenum> user, pagenum, paranum, docinfo, time
FM User Directory <$FMuserdir> user, pagenum, paranum, docinfo, time
Filename (Long) <$fullfilename> user, file, time
Filename (Short) <$filename> file, time
Modification Date (Long) <$daynum> <$monthname> <$year> <$hour>:<$minute00> <$ampm> user, time
Modification Date (Short) <$daynum>/<$monthnum>/<$shortyear> user, time
Page Count <$lastpagenum> user, pagenum, paranum, docinfo, time
Running H/F 1
Running H/F 2
Running H/F 3
Running H/F 4
Running H/F 5 … 12
Running H/F 13 … 18
<$paratext[Title]>
<$paratext[Heading1]>
<$marker1>
<$marker2>
<$paratext[paratag]>
<$marker3>… <$marker8>
user, marker, paratxt, paranum, paratag, time
Section Number <$sectionnum> user, paranum, time, pagenum, docinfo
Sub Section Number <$subsectionnum> user, paranum, time, pagenum, docinfo
Table Continuation (Continued) user, time
Table Sheet (Sheet <$tblsheetnum> of <$tblsheetcount>) user, tblsheet,time
Volume Number <$volnum> user, pagenum, paranum, docinfo, time

Notes:

  1. A particular system variable can only be built by the allowed building blocks. For example, the system variable Table Sheet can only be built by building blocks from the groups user, tblsheet and time. This ends up in the building blocks any costant text (at various places), <$tblsheetnum>, <$tblsheetcount>, <$second>, <$second00>, …, <$imperialyearspecialkanjinumeric>. Of course in reality only a selection of these possibilities is used: The standard system variable Table Sheet is defined as (<$tblsheetnum> of <$tblsheetcount>) . The constant text herein is ( of ) .
  2. The building block </> is identical to the building block <Default ¶ Font> . This short forms exists since FM-8.
  3. Running H/F 5 … 12 introduced in FM-7; Running H/F 13 … 18 introduced FM-11.
  4. All system variables are valid on Master pages. All but Current Page # and Running H/F 1 … 18 are also valid on Body pages or Reference pages.

Groups of building blocks

Group name Building blocks start with < and end with >
user Any text outside the building blocks, <character_format_name>, </>
docinfo <$volnum>, <$chapnum>, <$sectionnum>, <$subsectionnum>, <$chaptertitlename>, <$FMuserdir>
file <$filename>, <$fullfilename>
marker <$marker1>, <$marker2>, <$marker3>, <$marker4>, <$marker5>, <$marker6>, <$marker7>, <$marker8>
pagenum <$curpagenum>, <$lastpagenum>
paranum <$paranum[paratag]>, <$paranumonly[paratag]>
paratag <$paratag[paratag]>, <$condtag[hitag, ..., lotag, nomatch]>
paratxt <$paratext[paratag]>
tblsheet <$tblsheetnum>, <$tblsheetcount>
time <$second>, <$second00>, <$minute>, <$minute00>, <$hour>, <$hour01>, <$hour24>, <$ampm>, <$AMPM>,
<$daynum>, <$daynum01>, <$dayname>, <$shortdayname>, <$monthnum>, <$monthnum01>, <$monthname>, <$shortmonthname>, <$year>, <$shortyear>,
<$currenttime>, <$modificationtime>, <$creationtime>,
<$daynumkanjikazu>, <$daynumkanjinumeric>, <$monthnumkanjikazu>, <$monthnumkanjinumeric>,
<$imperialera>, <$imperialyear>, <$imperialyear01>, <$imperialyearkanjikazu>, <$imperialyearspecialkanjikazu>, <$imperialyearkanjinumeric>, <$imperialyearspecialkanjinumeric>

Notes:

  1. The building block </> is identical to the building block <Default ¶ Font> . This short forms exists since FM-8.
  2. Running H/F 3, Running H/F 4 and … Running H/F 13 … 18 are the only variables which can use the Header/Footer $1 … $8 Marker building blocks.

[To top/bottom of page] User variables

Building blocks for user variables can only be:

Group name Building blocks. They start with < and end with >
user Any text outside the building blocks, <character_format_name>, </>

Notes:

  1. You can not create a user variable with the same name as a system variable.
  2. You can not use the building blocks of system variables - they will not be 'evaluated'.
  3. The building block </> is identical to the building block <Default ¶ Font> . This short forms exists since FM-8.

[To top/bottom of page]Cross reference formats

Group name Building blocks start with < and end with >
user Any text outside the building blocks, <character_format_name>, </>
<$pagenum>, <$paratext>, <$paratag>, <$paranum>, <$paranumonly>, <$fullfilename>, <$filename>, <$volnum>, <$chapnum>, <$sectionnum>, <$subsectionnum>, <$chaptertitlename>, <$pagenum[paratag]>, <$paratext[paratag]>, <$paratag[paratag]>, <$paranum[paratag]>, <$paranumonly[paratag]>

The follwowing are unique to the cross-reference building blocks (do not exist for system variables):
<$pagenum>, <$paratext>, <$paratag>, <$paranum>, <$paranumonly>, <$paranumonly[paratag]>

[To top/bottom of page] Reference

[1] S. O'Keefe and S. A. Loring, FrameMaker 7: The complete reference. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2002.
[2] M. Sullivan and S. O'Keefe, Publishing fundamentals: Unstructured FrameMaker 11. Research Triangle Park, N.C: Scriptorium Press, 2013.
[3] Experiments, tests and research.

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 URL:  Created: 2018-05-01  Updated:
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