I agree entirely with your observations, Fred! They are different and needed for different purposes.
I use cross-references for paragraph and other document information that I want to reference elsewhere in the document or book. Like table titles for example. I use variables to hold commonly used text that I can insert in the document to ensure consistent usage. If the text changes, all the variable uses are automatically changed. Z > -----Original Message----- > From: framers-bounces at lists.frameusers.com [mailto:framers-bounces at > lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf Of > Fred Ridder > Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 12:54 PM > To: Deirdre Reagan; Frame Users > Subject: RE: cross reference vs variables > > > 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 > _______________________________________________ > > > You are currently subscribed to Framers as Syed.Hosain at aeris.net. > > Send list messages to framers at lists.frameusers.com. > > To unsubscribe send a blank email to > framers-unsubscribe at lists.frameusers.com > or visit > http://lists.frameusers.com/mailman/options/framers/syed.hosain%40aeris.net > > Send administrative questions to listadmin at frameusers.com. Visit > http://www.frameusers.com/ for more resources and info.