Advanced Structured FrameMaker – Structured EDD Development

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I’ve been teaching this material live for many years. It’s also known as the “Structured FrameMaker Templates” course because EDDs play a major role in formatting structured FrameMaker content.

Structured template designers will also benefit greatly from the “regular” template design workshop, which covers the unstructured parts of a structured template like master pages, cross-reference formats, etc.

Live interaction with online class and support sessions. There is a live session each week for assignment review and office hours.

In the Live Online Class option, you’ll attend a 2-day online meeting where we’ll work through the material in two solid days of training.

In the Online Course delivery, you’ll work on that same material, and will also complete exercises and work-oriented projects that could never fit into a live class format.

Core concepts are provided as video lessons so that you can catch up on missed work or review as needed.

We maintain a private Facebook group for questions and discussions with your instructor and fellow attendees.

NOTE: The syllabus below is the same for both class and course versions. For live online training, the Intro through Week 3 are on Day 1, and Week 4 through Week 6 are on Day 2.

Online Course Syllabus


The first day of the course is a meet and greet, so there’s no need for prep prior to the course!
This session is designed to ensure your access to both the LMS and the online meeting space we use for live sessions.

You’ll get access to course downloads like the EDD workbook and exercise files, and take a tour of the types of content you’ll be working with during the course.

However, if you have an idea of the structure model you’ll be supporting, or examples of your existing content you’ll be ahead of the game for the first week.


Structured authoring relies upon a content model to define options. In this module you will explore the relationships between

  • Template files
  • Custom content models
  • Document Type Definitions (DTD)
  • Element Definition Documents (EDD)
  • Schema

You also begin to define elements for commonly used parts of our model like:

  • Chapter
  • Paragraph
  • Sections
  • Section headings
  • Container
  • GeneralRule

You will also learn how to control occurrence of content by using a general rule and various occurence indicators.

After this lesson you’ll have a better understanding of structure components and how this can dramatically streamline your content creation process.


Tables play an important role in structured authoring, and each part of the table (row, cell, title, heading, etc.) must work in conjunction with your table model. In this module you’ll learn to define the parts of a table, and see how FrameMaker helps you easily manage the most complex tables you can imagine.

You’ll also learn how to ensure your tables are quickly and accurately created and formatted according to the content model you’ve created.

Elements defined include:

  • Table
  • Table Title
  • Table Body
  • Table Heading
  • Table Row
  • Table Cell
  • InitialStructurePattern
  • InitialTableFormat


As a structured template designer you have the option of automating a number of formatting and content insertion tasks. In this module you’ll learn to create automatically inserted patterns of content that speed content creation for you and other authors.

This module also introduces formatting concepts to your structure model, allowing you to “hook” formatting defined in the unstructured formatting side of your template.

Elements defined include:

  • Inclusions
  • Exclusions
  • Autoinsertions
  • InitialObjectFormat
  • CrossReference
  • Equation
  • Graphic
  • Marker
  • SystemVariable
  • SystemVariableFormatRule


The ability to add metadata, or additional descriptive information,  to your content is a valuable part of structured content. In this module you’ll define attributes and allowable values for your existing elements. In Week 5 you’ll use those attributes and values to create context that lets you format elements based upon their value as well as their position relative to other content.

Elements defined include:

  • AttributeList
  • Attribute (including things like Author, Version)
  • Type
  • Value
  • ReadOnly
  • Optional/Required
  • Choice
  • String/Real/Integer


A short title for a very important topic! In this module you’ll learn to link your (mostly) completed content model to the formatting available in FrameMaker. Plan to spend extra time this week on exercises, as there are multiple routes to accomplish the same task.

Elements defined include:

  • ElementPgfFormatTag
  • AllContextsRule
  • ContextRule, with If, ElseIf, and Else clauses
  • ParagraphFormatTag
  • CharacterFormatTag
  • FormatChangeListTag
  • FormatChangeList
  • ContextLabel
  • FirstParagraph
  • LastParagraph
  • Prefix
  • Suffix


Congratulations! By the time you get to Week 6, the hardest parts of the course are behind you.  This week you’ll learn to wrap up your element definitions with a few book components, and then spend time learning to use FrameMaker’s conversion tables to assist in programmatically processing unstructured content.

Elements defined include:

  • Book
  • TOC
  • Index

Conversion tables will be the primary focus for this module, and there will be time to catch up on formatting or other topics as needed.

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