Yes, that's what I thought -- we should be using variables and not cross references, especially because the cross references turn into hyperlinks when pdf'ed. I had forgotten about that.
Thank you for the explanation about how the cross references markers work. That helped me a lot. Deirdre On 6/17/08, Fred Ridder <docudoc at hotmail.com> wrote: > A confused and frustrated Deirdre Reagan wrote (in part): > > > 1. If we are crossreferencing back to paragraph tags, and we change > > the source paragraph tag, do we have to keep the fat black T? That > > seems awfully picky, since we just want to double click the line of > > text and type in our new text. To keep the T, we would have to click > > and backspace. Plus that T doesn't preceed the original cross > > reference. It appears only to indicate that this line of text has > > already been cross referenced. So it's absence shouldn't affect FM's > > ability to update cross references, right? > > The key concept is that *all* cross-references are references to > cross-reference markers, which show on screen as the same kind of > T-shaped symbol as any other marker type (e.g., index entry marker, > hypertext marker, conditional text marker). When you create an x-ref, > you typically use the list of paragraphs display in the x-ref dialog, but > you are *not* referencing a specific paragraph, you are referencing > the paragraph where a specific x-ref marker is located. You are *not* > referencing a paragraph tag (since that is not a unique entity except > in the context of the Paragraph Catalog). You are *not* referencing > a variable, or a line, or a paragraph. You are referencing the marker > and retrieving information about where it is located (e.g., the text, > the autonumbering, the page number). > > If there is no x-ref marker in the target paragraph you identify when > you create an x-ref, FrameMaker automatically creates one for you. > Embedded in the marker is a semi-unique ID number plus a snippet > of the text from the paragraph which may be useful to you if you > later display the list of markers rather than the list of paragraphs of > a particular type (but if you change the text of the paragraph, the > text in the marker does not update to match, so it really isn't as > useful as you would think). > > What confuses a lot of FrameMaker users is the Paragraphs display > in the x-ref dialog. They think that because they picked a paragraph > to target with an x-ref, they have done something fundamentally > different than if they had picked an item from the Markers list. The > Paragraphs list is just a convenient way for writers to identify the > place they want to refer to based on its tagging and content and > to automatically create an x-ref marker if one is needed. Once > they've identifed the location and there is an x-ref marker there, > the x-ref works just like every other x-ref--it points to an x-ref > marker with a particular ID in a particfular file. In other words, the > Paragraphs display is only an alternative UI into the exact same > mechanism. > > The ID number embedded in the x-ref marker (the T) at the target > end of a cross-reference is the key to the whole x-ref mechanism. > At the referencing location (where the text will appear), FrameMaker > embeds some code that identifies the marker ID, the filename and > relative path of the file that contains the marker, and information > on what information to extract from the target paragraph and how > to display it. Whenever you open the file that contains the x-ref, > FrameMaker silently opens the file that is identified in the x-ref, looks > for the marker by ID, and updates the result in the referring document. > If it can't find the file, or if it can't open the file, or if it can't find > the > marker with the specified ID when it searches the file, you get the > dreaded "unresolvced cross-reference" message. When you delete > the x-ref marker on your title page, you make every reference that > points to it becoime unresolved. > > > 2. What was the original writer doing, making this line of text a > > paragraph tag and not a variable, like every other line of text on the > > page? Is there a good reason for this? (Probably a rhetorical > > question, but I thought I'd throw it out there, in case there is > > something everyone but me knows.) > > You don't "make a line of text a paragraph tag". A paragraph tag is > a *property* or attribute that is applied to each and every paragraph > in a document to identify the formatting that will be applied to the > paragraph when it is rendered. > > I guess what you're asking is why the writer entered this text string > as regular text instead of as a variable. But if you're consistently > using the cross-reference mechanism to pull title page information > into all of the component files I think the real question is why you > are using variables at all, since it is simply an unnecessary step. > If everything is entered and handled as a variable, then once you > import the variable definitions from the title page into all the component > files you can reference the variables locally and never have to use > a cross-reference. You can accomplish the appearance of the same > result either way, but it seems to me that using the two mechanisms > interchangeably in the same book has no benefit and only causes > confusion among users and potential maintenance issues. > > > 3. Shouldn't I get rid of all these cross references and change them > > all to variables? That way I can update the variable once and it > > changes everywhere and there are no fat black Ts to worry about and no > > broken cross references for me to get super frustrated over. Or would > > I have to change the variable in each individual chapter? > > In line with my preceding mini-rant, my advice would be to get rid of > the cross-references and use variables instead. Updating will become > a two-step process--first update the variables in the title page file, > then import the variable difinitions into all the component files--but > you'll avoid unresolved cross-reference issues, and you won't create > dozens (or hundreds) of useless hyperlinks that will only take the > reader to the title page if followed. What you will have to do to make > the transition, though, is edit each chapter to change the inter-file > x-refs (pointing to the title page file) into to local user variable > references. > > -FR > > > >