Numbered lists for FrameMaker and HTML help

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Numbered lists for FrameMaker and HTML help

Postby johnbwriter on Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:53 pm

Hi,

I've done a little bit of experimentation with Flare, including importing FrameMaker documents and HTML help projects. I've also tried creating FrameMaker and HTML help outputs. One of the things that I have noticed is that numbered lists seem to be an either/or choice. Perhaps this is a result of my inexperience with the product.

What I mean is that I can have auto numbering in Flare and FrameMaker, but instead of <ol> tag lists in the HTML help, lists are output in tables.

Or I can have the proper HTML tagged lists (<ol>) that work in Flare and HTML help -- but instead of getting proper auto numbering and FrameMaker, I get hardcoded numbering.

Is there any way to create a numbered list style that will work properly in FrameMaker, Flare, and HTML help without resorting to tables or hardcoded numbers?

Thanks,
John B.
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Re: Numbered lists for FrameMaker and HTML help

Postby LTinker68 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:35 pm

What do you mean by hardcoded numbers?
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Re: Numbered lists for FrameMaker and HTML help

Postby johnbwriter on Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:31 pm

Hi Lisa,

First of all, I expect a certain behavior from numbered lists. If I put the cursor at the end of a line in a numbered list, and press the Enter key, I expect the new line to be properly numbered. For example, if I have the following list:
1. First item
2. Second item
3. Third item

... and I put the cursor at the end of the second line and press Enter, I expect to get:
1. First item
2. Second item
3. New item
4. Third item

When I say that the numbered list in FrameMaker is hardcoded, when I mean is that the behavior I get is:
1. First item
2. Second item
2. New item
3. Third item

In other words, when I position the curse or at the end of the line and press Enter, the new line simply repeats the number of the previous line. In FrameMaker, the paragraph style auto numbering for the second line is: <n=2>.\t

So that is what I mean by hardcoded. If the numbered list were going to behave properly, the auto numbering for the second and later paragraphs would be <n+>.\t and only the first line auto numbering would be <n=1>.\t

Thanks,
John B.
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Re: Numbered lists for FrameMaker and HTML help

Postby LTinker68 on Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:40 am

If you're using regular lists (click the list icon in the toolbar), then the lists will behave the way you're expecting them to.

If you're using a <p> tag (or other tag) with auto numbering, then it depends on how you have the auto numbering parameters set up. Can you paste your stylesheet code for the auto numbering so that we can see how you have it formatted?
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Re: Numbered lists for FrameMaker and HTML help

Postby johnbwriter on Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:01 am

Here's the stylesheet code for autonumbering for the two numbered list styles:
p.stepfirst mc-auto-number-format {n=1}.
p.step mc-auto-number-format {n+}.

p.stepfirst is for the first item in the numbered list
p.step is for all remaining items in the numbered list

Thanks,
John B.
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Re: Numbered lists for FrameMaker and HTML help

Postby LTinker68 on Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:14 am

Why separate them like that? If they're different classes then the auto numbering will only continue from the same class, not from any class or tag that has auto numbering enabled. So use p.step for all the steps in the list, including the first item. I believe the {n+} format will be sufficient.
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Re: Numbered lists for FrameMaker and HTML help

Postby johnbwriter on Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:49 am

Doesn't output to FrameMaker correctly. In FrameMaker, you need to "initialize" a list with the stepfirst style; otherwise, the new list continues the numbering from the previous list. And since a FrameMaker document may have many lists, it's necessary to start each new list with <n=1>.

Thanks,
John B.
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Re: Numbered lists for FrameMaker and HTML help

Postby jbarwick on Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:19 am

why can't you use <ol>?

I use the <ol> quite successfully outputting to FrameMaker with numbered [bulleted] lists.

For numbered Paragraphs (such as chapter section sub-paragraphs, etc) I too have a <p class="start"> and a <p class="continue"> which will provide the numbering for paragraph auto-numbering. Section/Chapter/Volume restarts are handled in the TOC. Since this is so, I simply have a <p class="section"> <p class="chapter"> <p class="volume"> that formats the number on the left or right (I found some bugs here and reported to MadCap...what bug? Try to put the number on the right side...doesn't work...very well.).

This is exactly how you would do it in Microsoft Word (or other word processor)...right click paragraph - Properties - numbering - restart numbering 1

Sometimes, I think Auto-Numbering is tedious, and I simply "hard-code" it.

1. Paragraph
2. Paragraph

Chapter 1
Chapter 2

Why auto-number?

I had originally tried

Chapter {chapter}

But the mc-auto-number would not put the number on the right side of the text in the paragraph. It put the number to the right of the paragraph!!! such as (without leaders...):

Chapter ........................................................ {chapter}

I gave up (after a support call with MadCap) and numbered my chapters manually.

Anyway, I found that most of the time I really don't want to auto-number paragraphs or sections.
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