If you have a look at the supplied templates with FM, you can get examples of implementations for multiple numbering styles (File > New click on Explore Standard Templates and then scroll down to the Outlines, pick one and click Show Sample).
Here are also some links to various tutorials and papers on doing this:
You need to actually specify a tab location in the pargraph format using the Paragraph Designer. If there is no stop specified, then FM simply ignores the tab character.
I'm sorry I am so confused about this but for example, if I have • > displayed, isn't the > a tab? The blinking cursor starts right after the bullet instead of after the tab, so when I type, the words are on top of the bullet. If i hit tab, the cursor actually goes where I want it to. Sorry for my newbie questions!
As Arnis said, you need to add a tab stop to the paragraph format for the sub-sub step. Maybe you have already done this. Because your content displays a > after the bullet but nothing is tabbed over, I am guessing that the first tab location in the paragraph format is close to or to the LEFT of the bullet location. Open the Paragraph Designer for the sub-sub step and see where the tabs are. Then make sure the first one is to the right of the bullet location.
You may have the tab character (>) displayed, but if the "tab stop" isn't defined in the paragraph format, then there is no location for FM to move the following content to, so it is ignored in that situation.
As I said before, it needs to be defined in the paragraph format:
The above paragraph format doesn' have any tabs defined. So even if you have multiple tab characters inserted on a line, nothing will happen.
While the above paragraph has a left-tab stop defined (absolutely) at 1.0" from the left margin of the text frame. To change or add tabs, you need to click on the Edit button to make the changes. It looks like this:
The above entry would add a right-tab at 5.0" from the left margin (not 5in over from the previous stop) and would use a dot leader between the tab character and the stop location.
Keep in mind that all tab stops in FM are specified as absolute locations. So this also means that if you insert a tab character in the content that is past the location of the stop specified, again, nothing will happen as you are already past the defined stop.
Say, folks, FrameMaker's tab stuff is plenty confusing because it's like no other common application. So, please, try to avoid confusing it further, by observing "safe tab-talking."
Safe tab-talking involves saying "tab character" when you mean that the Tab key on the keyboard has been pressed, or when you mean the "\t" representation of a tab character in an auto-number format definition, a find/change query, or a GREP pattern.
Safe tab-talking also involves saying "tab stop" when you mean the arrow symbol on the text ruler that identifies the distance from the left page edge that a tab character advances the text insertion pointer, if the tab-behavior rules* are met (see below.)
Unlike almost all other applications, FrameMaker has no default tab stops. A default tab stop is where the text insertion pointer moves to when the Tab key is pressed, whether or not any tab stops are defined for the paragraph. It's a typewriter-era behavior. Search Google for terms like "typewriter tab stops" without quotes for details.
* FrameMaker tab behavior rules:
- A tab character in FrameMaker text does not advance the text insertion pointer unless there is a tab stop positioned to the right of the tab character's position.
- Each tab character in text is "associated" with a tab stop. The leftmost tab character (the first tab character) is associated with the leftmost tab stop (the first tab stop.) The next tab character to the right (the second tab character) is associated with the tab stop to the right of the first tab stop, so it's the second tab stop. This elaborates the rule that a tab character can only advance the insertion pointer to a tab stop positioned further to the right than the tab character. With multiple tab stops and multiple tab characters, the rule becomes "the n-th tab character is associated with the n-th tab stop, AND it can only advance the insertion pointer to the position of the n-th tab stop if the n-th tab stop is to the right of the n-th tab character.
NOTE: Tab characters defined in the paragraph format's auto-number format count the same as tab characters typed into the paragraph text. So, if there's a "\t" in the auto-number format, and you type a tab character in the paragraph, the auto-number tab character is associated with the first tab stop, and the paragraph tab is associated with the second tab stop.
For example: if there are tab stops at 1", 2", and 4" in a paragraph format, and the text pointer is less than 1" into the text, the first tab character inserted into the text will advance to the 1" tab stop. If the text insertion pointer is at 3.5", and the first tab character is inserted at 3.5", the pointer won't advance. Inserting a second tab character at 3.5", or even as far as 3.999", won't advance the pointer. FM ignores these tab characters; they don't advance because they are inserted to the right of their corresponding tab stops. A third tab character inserted anywhere to the left of the 4" tab stop (AKA the third tab stop,) even if it's at 3.999", will advance the text insertion pointer to the 4" position.
This is how it is, regardless of why it is so. Probably the most-confusing aspect of the whole thing is that none of your prior experience with tabs and tab stops, makes sense in FM. Embrace FM's clarifying "safe tab-talking" behavior, and may stay out of trouble.
a typewriter-era behavior
Ooh, I feel an irellevant quibble coming on … older office typewriters I've encountered, where you set tabs by moving pegs on a rail, usually did have default tabs, because leaving the pegs on the rail was the easiest way to avoid losing them; newer typewriters, where the pegs were fixed to the rail and you set the tabs by flicking the pegs into an "active" position, tended not to. Remember the sound of a typewriter carriage hurtling from end to end after you pressed Tab with no stops set?
I'm all in favour of clear language, though. One thing, one term: two things, two terms …