DITA-FMx User Guide

Customizing the Formatting in the Default Structure Applications

When customizing or localizing a structure application, changes need to be made to the paragraph and character formatting applied to elements by that application. Locating the files that define this formatting may not always be easy.

To modify a structure application for direct-from-FrameMaker output, such as PDF, the place to start is book_1.1.template.fm. To modify the appearance of the authoring view, the template with which to start is topic_1.1.template.fm, and perhaps map_1.1.template.fm. Before altering the original files, refer to “Cloning the Default Structure Applications.”

Most of the formatting for DITA elements is defined in the template files themselves in the form of paragraph and character tags. The EDD file associated with each of these template files applies paragraph and character tags to elements, as they are found in specific contexts; however, there are some elements for which formatting is applied directly by the EDD without, or in addition to, the use of a paragraph or character tag. To alter this formatting, the EDD itself must be modified.

Tip: After making any modifications to the EDD, its element definitions must be imported into the appropriate template file.

There are two EDD alterations to prefix/suffix formatting that are new with DITA-FMx 1.1:

  1. A group of template paragraph tags in the template handles the prefix/suffix text for the note and permissions elements instead of the EDD adding that text directly.

  2. Variables in the EDD document itself handle the various indent values used for the note and screen elements. These can be altered globally (within the EDD) by changing the variable values: indent_1, indent_2, indent_3, and indent_4.

In the table below, an attempt has been made to be thorough with the inclusion of all elements to which some direct formatting is applied by the EDD. Consequently, in some cases, the elements included have negligible prefix text added by the EDD. For example, the title element has in some contexts a space set as a prefix prior to whatever title content is input or imported by the user.

Note: Where nothing seems to display within a Prefix element, the contents might be a space (regular, en-space, em-space, etc.) or a tab character.

Near the end of the EDD are two FormatChangeLists: CompactYes and CompactYesEntry. These lists affect the vertical spacing of some elements (based on the value of their @compact attribute), and are called from within the formatting rules of some elements.

The following table lists the elements that have some direct formatting applied by the EDD:

Table 1. Elements with formatting properties applied by the EDD
  Text, attribute values, or other prefix/suffix characters Indents1 Above/below spacing, across all sideheads and cols, etc. Separator lines from template reference pages Font properties
audience x     x  
author x   x    
boolean x        
brand x     x  
category x     x  
choices     x    
cmd     x    
codeblock     x    
component x     x  
context     x    
copyrholder x        
copyryear x     x  
created x     x  
dd     x    
ddhd     x    
delim x        
dl     x    
dt     x    
dthd     x    
entry2     x    
example     x    
featnum x     x  
fig     x    
fm-link x   x    
fragment     x    
fragref     x    
groupchoice     x    
groupcomp     x    
groupsep     x    
info x        
keyword x   x    
keywords x     x  
kwd x        
li     x    
link     x    
linktext     x    
lq x        
msgblock     x    
note x x      
ol     x    
oper x        
othermeta x     x  
p x   x    
parml     x    
pd     x    
permissions       x  
platform x     x  
postreq x   x    
prereq x   x    
prodname x     x  
prognum x     x  
prolog       x  
pt     x    
publisher x     x  
q x        
repsep x   x    
related-links x        
resourceid x     x  
result x   x    
revised x     x  
screen   x x    
sep x        
series x     x  
sl     x    
source x     x  
state x        
stepresult x        
steps-unordered     x x  
steps     x x  
substeps     x    
syntaxdiagram     x    
title x       x
tm x       x
tt         x
tutorialinfo x        
uicontrol x        
ul     x    
var x        
vrm x     x  
1 The first and left indents for the elements note and screen are handled using variables. To change their value globally (within the EDD), modify the value of variables indent_1, indent_2, indent_3, and indent_4.
2 The entry element has been included for thoroughness, even though in its case, the changes are in alignment, based on attribute value, and will likely not require any modification.