Some very good advice, too, in the Adobe FrameMaker Template Series
Primer,, and
FrameMaker Template Design and Enforcement,, which is
broadly applicable notwithstanding its structured emphasis.


-----Original Message-----
[mailto:framers-bounces at] On Behalf Of Karen Robbins
Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 12:20 PM
To: framers at
Subject: Re: Merge Multiple Doc Styles?

Rick and Art,

Thanks for your insights. Both sensible approaches and at least somewhat
less painful than rebuilding the entire thing from scratch :-).


>==Rick's Reply==
>Hi Karen,
>Here is how I would approach the problem. Find the component the book 
>that is the most solid as far as styles. Make a copy of this and call 
>it your "template." Delete all of the paragraph format formats in this 
>document that still need work, leaving only the solid formats.
>For each of your other components, identify a one or more styles that 
>you know that are in good shape. Think in terms of categories; for 
>example, maybe you spent a lot of time getting your list styles in 
>place in a particular document. Make a temporary copy of this document 
>and delete all paragraph formats except the list styles. Now import 
>these paragraph formats into your template and discard the temporary
>You do not necessarily have to do this in one sitting; you can do it 
>over time as you work on your book. What you are doing is building up 
>your template by adding solid formats to it. Since the paragraph 
>catalog only contains your good formats, you can at any time import the

>paragraph formats from this document into all of the other components 
>in the book. Once your template's paragraph catalog has the same number

>of formats as the book's components, then it should be pretty complete.
>You can do this process with your template's other categories of 
>styles, like character and table formats. To round out the template, 
>you could make this into a style guide for your book. When you want to 
>modify or add formats in your book, do it in the style guide (template)

>first, and then import the formats into your book's components.
>Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thank you 
>very much.
>Rick Quatro
>Carmen Publishing Inc.
>rick at
>==Art's Reply==
>I think any method you choose depends on having one known-good file 
>that you can use as a template for the others. It may be a true 
>template or one of the chapters, but it should exist so you can clone 
>it to the others and enforce consistency. Depending on the version of 
>FM that you're running (you should provide that information, and your 
>OS, when you post).
>There are a couple of methods you can use to reconcile the tags and 
>other styles -- tables, colors and so on. I'd recommend the Clean 
>Import plugin because it removes all existing styles from all catalogs 
>and then pulls in the set from your template file. Simply importing 
>formats will add the "good" tags to the existing ones but not remove 
>what's there.
>At that point you need to apply your good tags to the content in the 
>files if there's a difference in tag names and remove any manual 
>over-rides. There are several other tools that can help with that, 
>although you can often just work with the Global commands in the 
>paragraph and character designer tools.
>Art Campbell
>art.campbell at

On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 7:56 PM, Karen Robbins<karendesign at>
>  Hello Frame Gurus,
>  I'm rather new to the list so please bear with me.
>  I have a book containing 12 files. Over time (starting before I ever

> worked with these files), each file's paragraph style sheet has been  
> modified so that now the book's styles are a sea of inconsistency.
>  Using Paragraph Tools I can reduce the mess to what's actually in use

> and eliminate what I don't need. I still need to re-name/spec what  
> remains more consistently.
>  To get one file's formats into another, I know I could import  
> paragraph formats to individual files. But I would have to re-create  
> all the formats in one document first (even though they already  
> exist, spread throughout several documents). Will this give the same  
> result as if a single merged style sheet had been applied to all  
> files in the book? Is there another (more
>  effective/efficient/reliable) way?
>  Anticipating your wisdom....
>  Karen
>  _______________________

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