Basic FrameMaker: Authoring Structured Content

FrameMaker enables you to work with both structured and unstructured content.

Unstructured content (the most widely used mode) is more flexible, but for the most part, you have nothing to help enforce the standards you may need to follow.

Conversely, structured content imposes rules about what is allowable. While this sounds cumbersome, it actually simplifies your work, and ensures that your content conforms to industry or contract requirements.

I've taught live classes in both structured and unstructured FrameMaker for many years but this course is an online course version of the same content.

Click here to see Tech Comm Tools scheduled course dates

Looking for information on structured FrameMaker formatting and EDDs?

Check out FrameMaker - Structured EDD Development

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


You'll work on exercises and work-oriented projects that could never fit into a two or three day 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.

You will learn:

Everything you need to be able to create and edit content in a structured FrameMaker environment. You'll learn to create books, tables of contents, indexes. You'll validate content, work with tables, cross-references, and all kinds of paragraph and list structures.

Scroll down to the next section for a more thorough list of topics in the course.

What to expect

This is a four-week online course. Each week you'll participate in course material and assignments via the Tech Comm Tools learning management system. You can expect 2-3 hours outside of class sessions to work through material and exercises.

Course Content


Take a tour of Moodle, of structured FrameMaker, resources in the course, and general FrameMaker text editing capabilities.


Learn all about the Structure View, Element Catalog, and Attribute dialog.

In this session you'll learn how to operate inside a structured environment.


Electronic referencing is at the heart of structured documentation. See how to insert and manage cross-references and footnotes.


Learn what to do (and what not to do) with graphics in a structured environment.

You'll also learn how to validate your content against the structure model. Validation is a core skill when working in a structured environment.


After validation review, we'll work on table content


We wrap up class with a great section showing you how to easy manage long docs with book structures that save you time and headache.

After this lesson, you'll have a complete understanding of working within a content model, and the skills to use it. If for some reason you had to skip material during our time together, you'll have access to the course recordings for a few weeks to catch up.

All students receive a printed copy of Matt Sullivan's FrameMaker - Structured Authoring ($50 on Amazon) at the start of class. Students registering within two weeks of course start date will have access to electronic versions of materials as needed.

About your instructor

Matt Sullivan has been using FrameMaker since the early 90's. He has taught over a thousand FrameMaker authors and template designers to leverage FrameMaker to reduce time spent on formatting and "desktop publishing" tasks. He is the author of the only FrameMaker reference books for FrameMaker 11, FrameMaker 2015, and FrameMaker 2017.

Matt spends his days developing online courses and running Tech Comm Tools, where he helps people with documentation workflows.

Matt holds Adobe training certifications for FrameMaker, Captivate, RoboHelp, Connect, and Presenter. He has also previously been certified in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, and other applications.

Matt contracts with Adobe to produce videos and deliver webinars. He also represents Adobe at various tech comm conferences throughout the year, including the STC Summit, LavaCon, and WritersUA.

Custom training and live training classes

All my courses can be delivered live (online or in person) and customized to fit your training needs.
For more information please contact Matt Sullivan

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