Deirdre Reagan wrote:> Just to mix things up, the next question will appear in the form of a statement. > > There is very little difference between cross-references and variables. > > Discuss.
Disagree almost completely. IMO, about the only thing they have in common is that they are methods of inserting content into a FrameMaker document by reference. Cross-references are used to retrieve some combination of attributes (e.g. page location, paragraph autonumbering) and content of a specific target paragraph. You can build cross-reference formats that specify different attributes and include various bits of static text and punctuation, and you can globally redefine these formats to repurpose the same files for use in different deliverables (e.g. including the page number in printed or PDF outputs but omitting it in HTML deliverable). Cross-references always point to a specific paragraph, which makes them less useful ifd you are using some of the same component files in multiple books. User variables, on the other hand, retrieve a fixed text string of up to 255 characters. Period. No page number. No autonumbering. No ability to build different variations of the content. Just a text string. Eminently useful for things like product names or model numbers, and document titles and reference numbers. Variable definitions are stored locally in each file, but are easily updated across a book by importing them as format properties from one file (e.g., a template), which works well when you are sharing some chapters among multiple books. Cross-references are automatically refreshed every time you open a file. This is overkill for relatively static content like document titles and product names. Cross-references get turned into hyperlinks when you publish a document to PDF (and usually to HTML, as well). To me, this is worse than overkill if you use x-refs for book titles because I think it's a major annoyance to have each and every instance of the title be a live hyperlink that takes you to the title page of the book. _________________________________________________________________ Helping your favorite cause is as easy as instant messaging.?You IM, we give. http://im.live.com/Messenger/IM/Home/?source=text_hotmail_join