I've used BookVars to do this for a client. I can't recall the details, but
it worked quite well to clean up variables across a few books.

I think your strategy depends on your needs. Things I'd think about are:

- How many variables are shared (the same) across books.

- If there are lots of different variables for each book (actual variable or
value), you might consider separate templates that just contain the
variables (one template for each book).

- If there are just a small number of different variables or values, you
might keep them all in one template and name them in a way that
distinguishes them and makes them easy to insert. 

The easy to insert part does seem to be more of an issue with FM 9. I've
been playing with the trial and, though I thought it was fixed, I can't do
Ctrl+0 and press c multiple times to get to the right variable that starts
with c and press Enter to insert it. Something you might want to keep in
mind and test when naming variables.

Linda G. Gallagher
TechCom Plus, LLC
lindag at techcomplus dot com
303-450-9076 or 800-500-3144
User guides, online help, FrameMaker and
WebWorks ePublisher templates

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:framers-bounces at] On Behalf Of Joseph Lorenzini
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:00 PM
To: framers at
Subject: Variable Plugin and Strategies

Hi all,

I recently started at a new position. The documentation set is almost all in
FrameMaker (which is good) but the templates are a mess (which is very,
very, very bad). There are tons of unused paragraph and character tags in
each book and there are tags in some books that do not exist in others etc.
I've decided to tackle this one step at a time, where I solve one template
issue at a time. In this case, I am focusing on variables, they are used
everywhere but there use is inconsistent and all over the map. It would be a
nightmare to try to deal with this variable issue going document by
document, however if I was able to manage, edit, delete, and add variables
on the book-level then it would be manageable. So here's my question for you

What plugin would you recommend that would allow to handle variables on the
book-level? I have already looked into the BookVars plugin but the info I
have indicates its only compatible with FM 8 or earlier. Also, I'd
appreciate any one who would share their strategy for creating and managing
variables across different books in FM.


Joseph Lorenzini

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