8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 15, 2014 6:29 AM by Bob Niland (Error 7103) RSS

    Are circled numbered steps possible?

    tkelly5446 Community Member

      Can you create numbered steps that have circles around the numbers, and if so, can you specify the font for the number in the circle?

        • 1. Re: Are circled numbered steps possible?
          Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

          You may need to use small anchored frame, at insertion point, with a circle and a text frame inside it, and use an autonumber for the para in the text frame. You will need to create subsequent lines by copy/paste of the anchored frame (if not the whole para).

           

          Unicode has at least one set of circled numbers, which seems like it could be used, somewhat hackishly, to render a numbered list.

           

          Using \u2460 through \u2473 in a well-populated font (like Arial Unicode MS), you would have a couple of paragraph formats for a series of 20 steps or less:

           

          Numbered.Circled=(1)

          would specify the font desired

          set Autonumber Format to

          [<a=\u2460>.\ ]

          and Next Para to

          [Numbered.Circled]

           

          Numbered.Circled

          would specify the same font

          set Autonumber Format to

          [<a+>.\ ]

          and Next Para to

          [Numbered.Circled]

           

          Except that it doesn't work (in FM9). The =(1) paragraph gets what appears to be a letter O, and the subsequent paras revert to a,b,c. Using <A=/A+> doesn't help. FM recognizes the \u notation in the dialog, and even converts the \u2460 to a circled 1, but doesn't apply it to the para, much less the sequence. I suspect this is a side effect of FM trying to be smart about the difference between lower case (a) and upper case (A) lettered lists, and not knowing what to do with characters that are number forms.

          • 2. Re: Are circled numbered steps possible?
            Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

            Using the decimal equivalent of that starting Unicode code point (a=9312) doesn't work either. It just becomes a long string of abcs.

             

            A font overlay dingbats hack also doesn't work. You can apply Zapf or Wingdings, but neither of their short lists of circled numbers fall in the a-z or A-Z range.

             

            > I suspect this is a side effect of FM trying to be smart about the difference between lower case (a) and upper case (A) lettered lists, and not knowing what to do with characters that are number forms.

             

            FM insists on using a-z and A-Z characters only. Having never done a lettered list of over 26 steps, I now see that +a sequences want to rollover at z to aa ... az ... bz, etc., and just add more letters. These two counters are essentially base_26 numerics, using letters for digits.

             

            I conclude that FM has no generic letterform list capability, at least as of FM9. Add <@=1> and <@+> to the wishlist, I suppose.

             

            The numbered and roman numeral sequences are even more restrictive, but I didn't try any of the Asian counter styles.

            • 3. Re: Are circled numbered steps possible?
              Arnis Gubins CommunityMVP

              As an alternate to pasting in anchored frames with the circles so that they land on top of your autonumbers, you could try using two paragraph styles together with the Frame Above set to to a reference graphic of the desired circle to envelope the autonumber.

               

              First, on your Reference page, create a reference graph frame with the circle in it at the desired location on the left side, e.g. something like this:

              Circle_ref_frame.png

              Note the guidelines also inserted in purple (these will help align things and will deleted when th process is done). The physical font height is typically 2/3 of the specified font size and the baseline for text placement in FM is at 2/3 the font height. This gives you a rough guide for calculating what you will need. For a 12pt font, this means 8pt height, so an 18pt circle will allow up to 2 digits in the autonumber to be within the circle. The above image shows an 18pt circle in a 19pt frame. The line thickness is 1pt and the circle is placed at 0.5pt Top and 0.5pt Left (to account for the line thickness),

               

              1. Create a paratag (e.g. "Circle") that has the Frame Above set to use the Circle reference frame.
              2. Set the Space Below to be a negative value about twice the Line Spacing, e.g. for 12pt font, line spacing is usually 14pt, so set this for "-28pt".
              3. Set the Next Pgf Tag for this to be your nuimbered list paratag (e.g. "Numbered").

               

              Edit your autonumbered paragraph tag:

               

              Basic Tab

              1. Set the Space Above to be the same negative value as for the Cirlce paratag, i.e. -28pt
              2. Set the Next Pgf Tag to be the "Circle" paratag.
              3. Set the first tab position (centre-aligned) to be the centre of the circle, e.g. 9.5pt C
              4. Set the second tab position to be Left aligned and just past the edge of the circle, e.g. 24pt L.
              5. Set the Left indent to be the same as the second tab, e.g. 24pt.

              Autonumber Tab

              1. Edit the autonumber format to be "\t<n+>\t"

               

              Save these new/modified paratag definition to your paragraph catalog.

               

              Start a new paragraph using the Circle paratag. You should see something like:

              circle_insert.png

              Now hit Enter and type your first list item. You should now see something like:

              circle_number.png

               

               

              Notice the slight misalignment between the circle grid and the autonumbers. This will vary by font and you may need to slightly tweak the Above/Below offsets for the two paratags to get a better fit. In this case, an adjustment to -27.5pt was needed.

               

              Now just hit Enter twice (once for the circle, once more for the numbers) after your text is entered to continue entering text using the circled autonumbers.

               

              You should now get something like (circles tweaked to be filled and the autonumber had a character tag applied in the designer - you can get as fancy as you want). The left side shows the contents in FM and the right shows how this appears in a PDF:

              circles_final_fm.png circls_final_pdf.png

              • 4. Re: Are circled numbered steps possible?
                CEI TechWriter

                I follow the forum and have used many of the suggestions from past posts. This one, numbered steps with circle, has been something I've thought about for years.
                Aris, I've always been impressed by your knowledge of FrameMaker but now you've reached a new high. Wow!

                • 5. Re: Are circled numbered steps possible?
                  Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

                  Tour de force on the Frame Above hack, Arnis.

                   

                  > As an alternate to pasting in anchored frames with the circles
                  > so that they land on top of your autonumbers ...

                   

                  Actually, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind, which was more like:

                  1. Create a new para format, based on the Body style, perhaps "Body.Fixed", having NO autonumber.
                    Turn on Basic: [*] Fixed (to avoid unwanted line spacing changes).
                  2. Insert an anchored frame, At Insertion Point, at the start of it
                    (with a following non-breaking space, period, tab, etc., and indents as desired)
                    For a typical 10 point body text, this might be:
                    Distance above baseline: -3.6 pt
                    Size: Width 0.2" Height 0.2"
                  3. In that frame draw a circle, perhaps:
                    Width/Height: 0.19"
                    Offsets: 0.005"
                    Border Width 0.7 pt (or whatever matches the text stroke widths)
                  4. Create a text frame inside the anchored frame, perhaps:
                    Size: Width: 0.2" Height: 0.13"
                    Offsets: Top: 0.055" Left: 0.0"
                  5. Create para format StepNum from your Body style, having:
                    Basic: Alignment: Center, Next Tag [StepNum]
                    Numbering: Autonumber Format: [ N:<n+> ]
                    You probably also need a "StepNum=1" format with [ N:<n=1> ] for resets.

                   

                  These autonumbers do increment properly in most cases (which I wasn't sure of until I tried it). As long as you aren't doing anything odd with these lists, no particular Flow tag seems to be required for StepNum.

                   

                  Unlike your more elegant hack, creating new step paragraphs will require pasting a copy of this anchored frame. We use a similar hack for body text references to callouts, and keep a selection of preformatted anchored circle constructs on a Reference Page.

                   

                  Any cross-references to "Step #" require xref'ing the StepNum paragraph, and not the Body.Fixed para. Since it has only the number, it can be hard to identify on the xref dialog, which is another advantage that your solution has.

                   

                  Either technique creates a circled numbered list that survives into print and PDF. I wouldn't place any bets on how they fare in other workflows. What FM really needs here is either/both:

                  • an <@=...> letterform sequence format that just increments the character code point
                  • a <c=...> arbitrary glyph sequence based on a [ Custom ] submenu for Paragraph Designer > Autonumber (as Footnote has).

                  Using Unicode for either would create a numbered list that should survive in any workflow.

                  • 6. Re: Are circled numbered steps possible?
                    Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

                    > ... arbitrary glyph sequence based on a [ Custom ] submenu for Paragraph Designer > Autonumber (as Footnote has).

                     

                    Getting a native circled numbered list does work for Footnotes.

                    Format > Document > Numbering
                    [Footnote] Format: [ Custom ]

                    Custom Numbering

                    Pattern: [\u2460\u2461\u2462\u2463\u2464\u2465\u2466\u2467...]

                    (or just paste in the glyphs from system Character Map)

                     

                    These display, increment and cross-reference (by $paranumonly) correctly, as circled numbers (if the body and footnote paragraph formats are both using a font populated with the \u2460 series Unicode glyphs).

                     

                    So FM does know how to do this, but presently declines to offer it for normal numbered lists.

                    • 7. Re: Are circled numbered steps possible?
                      Art_Campbell Community Member

                      There are some numbered circles in Zapf Dingbat or Wingdings, I think, but

                      you can also download a dedicated font from

                      http://www.fontspace.com/category/numbers,circles or a professional font

                      from (I think) Linotype.

                       

                      Easier than the FM programming steps, IMHO.

                       

                      Art

                       

                      Art Campbell

                                art.campbell@gmail.com

                        "... In my opinion, there's nothing in this world beats a '52 Vincent and

                      a redheaded girl." -- Richard Thompson

                                                                            No disclaimers apply.

                                                                                     DoD 358

                       

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                      • 8. Re: Are circled numbered steps possible?
                        Bob Niland (Error 7103) Community Member

                        > There are some numbered circles in Zapf Dingbat or Wingdings, ...

                         

                        There are, but there are at least two problems:

                        1. Using font-overlay/codepage tricks is inadvisable if you are on FM8 or later, and the glyphs are also available in Unicode (which most dingbats are). Overlay (displayed glyph is not the one you typed) is so 20th century, and a problem for portability, diverse workflows, translation, etc.
                        2. You can't get FM to implement numbered lists with dingbats (other than as footnotes, and even there the overlay is going to make Xrefs tricky).
                        3. The numbered circle dingbats may not occupy the same code points in Zaph Dingbats vs. Wingdings (which was a real nuisance back when Unix FM was more common).