Smart Insert for Enhanced Productivity in FrameMaker 11

I am sure if you had a look at FrameMaker 11, the newly changed Quick Catalogs i.e. Smart Insert (also called as Control Shortcuts, F8/F9) wouldn’t have gone amiss! With this feature, we can use keyboard shortcuts to bring up element catalog at the insertion point – a great productivity enhancement! The catalog also supports typeahead, which allows us to jump to a specific element quickly, by typing the first few characters. In Framemaker, we have had this small but powerful feature for quickly applying style tags. It has been a useful feature for Framers from a long time and we have tried to make it more useful with the new capabilities in FM11. Lets check whats new in it!

Let me explain in brief how Smart Insert works: They are shortcuts to allow users to quickly apply paragraph, character styles and others over different objects via control key shortcuts. It is a unique capability to navigate between the list by typing starting characters. e.g.

  1. Press F9 key or CTRL+9 –> Para list would appear
  2. Type starting characters of the style
  3. Press ENTER (Result = The selected style is applied on the paragraph)

Similarly, all the 10 shortcuts like CTRL+n have their respective usage:

CTRL + n

Style/Element List Usage


for Inserting Variables


for Inserting Elements (Hierarchical)


for Wrapping Elements (Hierarchical)


for Changing Elements


for Applying Conditional Tag


for Removing Conditional Tag


for Making Text unconditional


for Applying Element Attributes


for Applying Character Tags (also F8)


for Applying Paragraph Tags (also F9)

Many of our users wanted the popular method for cycling through the style catalogs with a single-key press traversal. FrameMaker 11 addresses this popular need with the newly designed “Smart Insert” which provides the desired cycling through styles, better typeahead behavior and also the catalogs appear ‘in-line’!

Additionally while authoring a structured document or an XML – the ability to insert multiple hierarchy of elements at-one-go via keys (or mouse) helps in productivity. Multiple elements could now be entered with a single click or keyboard ENTER.

Generally an FM user navigates quickly between the elements in XML or Structured document via CTRL+ALT+<arrow keys>:

The navigation keys used along with Smart Insert for elements is a great combo to reduce time/effort in creating a structured document.

[One may control the elements to be shown in the Smart-Insert from the element catalog.

And to change the listing (ordering) of styles starting with symbols (&, #, & etc) one may use the Maker.ini flag: SymbolSortingBeforeAlphaNumeric=On/Off]

The Paragraph list appears in context

The Paragraph list appears in-line

Insertion of elements via Quick Catalogs

Insertion of elements via Quick Catalogs

Hierarchical insertion of elements

Hierarchical insertion of elements

In short, “Smart Insert” in FM11 provides:

  1. Better typeahead experience in a new interface
  1. In-line appearance of the style catalogs
  2. Hierarchical view for Elements
  3. Better navigation experience via arrow key and mouse both

1-min Video: FrameMaker 11: Smart Insert