I would like to copy a paragraph format from an existing file to another file. Is this possible?
Sure - open up both docs, then do File > Import > Formats - pick & choose what you want to transfer.
Use the Copy Special option in the Edit menu to pick up the paragraph format in the one document. Then place your cursor in the paragraph that you want to apply this formatting to and just Paste.
You will then need to add this new paratag to the document's Paragraph Catalog. You can do this by either using the create and apply tags from formatting option under the File menu [Caution: if you've got any overrides anywhere in your doc, you'll get lots of "extras".] or use the Paragraph Designer to do an Update.
Note: Jeff's method will bring over ALL formats from the other document and any with the same names will get superceded [fast, efficient, but can bring in other baggage and make unintended changes - best for template updates].
The method I suggest brings one over at a time [slow and bit of a PITA, but it gets only single one across].
thank you very much. that worked great. however, I'm getting hung up on adding the paratag to the paragraph catalog. Can you explain this more?
When a paragraph tag is added via the Paste, it is just applied to the paragraph in the document as an override [along with the tag name], but FM doesn't add it into the document's internal catalog. You should notice an asterisk beside the paratag's name in the status bar indicating that this is a format that differs (or doesn't exist) from the catalog definition.
In order to add it to the Paragraph Catalog (so that you can apply it to other content or use this document as a template for other docs), you can either:
a) File > Utilities > Create and Apply Formats [however this will also take any override in the document and make a new catalog entry for these as well - you may get a rude shock from this operation].
b) place the cursor in the newly formatted paragraph and open the Paragraph Designer for the new tag. Then click on Update All at the bottom of the designer. This will update any paragraphs with this definition (i.e. only the one that you've just entered into the document) and add it to or update the Paragraph Catalog as required.
Option b is safer and more specific.
Thank you very much for your help. Option b worked great.