A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Adobe FrameMaker

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Adobe FrameMaker is a desktop publishing (DTP) and word processing application that is popular for large documents. It maintains a strong following among professional technical writers.

 

1.
#24121

Add One Egg, a Cup of Milk, and Stir: Single Source Documentation for Today

What happens when the software firm you work for decides it will not deliver large printed manuals any more? Then the request comes to put everything online. Six months later, user profiles shift to the World Wide Web and you're asked to deliver HTML. In the future, a database of SGML information chunks may let us deliver anything, any which way. Today, we must devise a system that allows us to 'author once, publish many'. Such as system is crucial for software and hardware documentation. The method I chose was to go from FrameMaker to Acrobat .pdf files to HTML. I wrote in Adobe FrameMaker, then converted to .pdf files with Adobe Acrobat, and converted FrameMaker to HTML files with Quadralay WebWorks Publisher. But while we're waiting for the future, just learning SGML and diving deep into DTDs alone could be a mistake. SGML is a language which sets out structure, and most of us are concerned with content. Enter Information Mapping, or information types of your own devising. Identifying chunks of information such as a procedure for changing the default printer is extremely important. If we then mark each chunk for an index and record its type and title, we've also got the keywords for a future database.

Stieren, Carl. Simware (1997). Articles>Documentation>Single Sourcing>Adobe FrameMaker

2.
#22537

Adobe FrameMaker 7.1: Fast Software for Long Documents

Producers of technical documentation have long sung the praises of Adobe FrameMaker, but other print designers may wonder what's the big deal. That may change with FrameMaker 7.1, which includes powerful QuarkXPress and PageMaker filters and whizzy conditional-text features.

Glinert, Susan. Creative Pro (2004). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

3.
#27089

Adobe FrameMaker Autonumbering Examples  (link broken)

Autonumbering had changed as new versions of FrameMaker have arrived. What worked in FrameMaker 5 might have broken in 5.5. This is due to changes Adobe made in the restart building blocks (request presentation). While our examples below use the maximum building blocks (meaning a little extra work), the result is numbering schemes that are more flexible for multiple versions of FrameMaker.

Bright Path Solutions (2004). Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

4.
#35539

Adobe FrameMaker: Custom Master Pages  (link broken)

New FrameMaker documents have default Master Pages. Single-sided documents have one, called "Right," and double-sided documents have two, called "Left" and "Right." We use these pages to place the objects we want to repeat on all the Body Pages, things like our running heads, page numbers and repeating graphics. But what do you do when you need a different look for a Body Page, on a repeating basis? For example, no page number on the opening page of each chapter? You set up a custom master page. Here's how.

Binder, Barbara. Blogs.com (2009). Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

5.
#36063

Adobe FrameMaker: Page Navigation

Sure you know how to get from one page to another in a FrameMaker document, but are you a Page Navigation Expert? If not, you certainly should be. As I've said many times, shaving seconds off your work here and there can quickly add up to minutes or even hours of production time in a FrameMaker project.

Binder, Barbara. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2009). Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

6.
#35267

Adobe FrameMaker: Refining the Type Size List

The sizes listed in the picture above are the default type sizes listed in FrameMaker's Paragraph and Character Designers. If your favorite choices are listed, great! If not, you have to type the size you want into the Size field. If you'd like to modify the Size list so that it includes your favorite Sizes, read on.

Binder, Barbara. Blogs.com (2009). Articles>Document Design>Typography>Adobe FrameMaker

7.
#36198

Adobe FrameMaker: Setting Tabs, Part 1

Why are people afraid of setting tabs? Since 1988, I've taught Word, PageMaker, Ventura Publisher, InDesign and FrameMaker classes, and most of my students walk in the door afraid of tabs. It's one of life's mysteries, and so I always try to set aside some time to address it in class. Here's your motivation to keep reading: once you master tabs in one program, you use the same logic in all the others.

Binder, Barbara. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2010). Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

8.
#36265

Adobe FrameMaker: Setting Tabs, Part II

Last week we talked about setting tab stops. To review the key points: 1.) press the tab key once between columns, 2.) add one tab stop per tab on each line of the table, and 3.) click under the ruler to add the tab stop. In this column, I'd like to address how to modify the alignment and position of tabs.

Binder, Barbara. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2010). Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

9.
#35420

Adobe FrameMaker: Troubleshooting Unavailable Fonts

I never like opening up a FrameMaker document and getting the dreaded unavailable fonts dialog box. Sadly, with multiple authors who contribute documents to me from around the world, it's just a fact of life that I see the dialog box frequently.

Binder, Barbara. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2009). Articles>Typography>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

11.
#20907

comp.text.frame

A USENET newsgroup for discussion among users of Adobe FrameMaker.

Google. Resources>Mailing Lists>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

12.
#14082

Content Repurposing with FrameMaker+SGML and XML  (link broken)   (PDF)

We see content repurposing as taking marked-up content and automatically transforming it for presentation in multiple applications. For example, one of our clients asked us to help them convert existing Word documentation into structured FrameMaker+SGML files, and then export it to a well-formed and valid XML instance. The structured FrameMaker+SGML documents would be used to create user manuals (both print and PDF), and the XML instance would be used for online documentation on PDAs or cell phones. Portions of the content would be applicable for only the printed documents, while other potions of the content would be used only for online display.

Idea Store, The (2001). Design>Content Management>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

13.
#14402

Converting FrameMaker to HTML   (PDF)

Many FrameMaker users need to publish their documents on the World Wide Web. The best approach is to use a converter, which preserves the format and organization of the original FrameMaker document. Good converters can handle long, complex documents that contain elements such as table of contents, index, line drawings, bitmap graphics, tables, footnotes, and equations. We discuss the benefits of having a single source document for paper and Web, the techniques for creating documents that can be converted easily, and the powerful conversion tools available today.

Jackson, Ken and Sonya E. Keene. STC Proceedings (1998). Presentations>Web Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

14.
#24221

Converting FrameMaker to HTML   (PDF)

Many FrameMaker users need to publish their documents on the World Wide Web. The best approach is to use a converter, which preserves the format and organization of the original FrameMaker document. Good converters can handle long, complex documents that contain elements such as table of contents, index, line drawings, bitmap graphics, tables, footnotes, and equations. We discuss the benefits of having a single source document for paper and Web, the techniques for creating documents that can be converted easily, and the powerful conversion tools available today.

Jackson, Ken and Sonya E. Keene. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Web Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

15.
#14491

Converting Indexes with WebWorks Publisher

While WebWorks Publisher (WWP) 7.0 can convert FrameMaker indexes into different online formats, getting things to work initially can be a bit of a challenge. Page ranges in index entries result in hyperlinks to both the starting and ending locations. Index hyperlinks don’t always link to the top of a help topic, but often to somewhere in the middle. For Simple HTML and Dynamic HTML, “See” and “See also” references can fail to convert altogether. However, if you do get stuck, Customer Support can help pull you through.

Brown, Fred. Allegro Time! (2002). Articles>Indexing>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

16.
#14404

Creating an Interactive Online User Guide  (link broken)   (PDF)

Want to create a colorful, interactive online version of your FrameMaker® documents? Not many steps are involved in making the conversion: start with template changes in the FrameMaker files; create a postscript file; convert it into a PDF (Portable Document Format) file using Adobe Distiller®; and add final touches to the PDF file in Adobe Exchange®.

Beren, Wendy G. STC Proceedings (1998). Presentations>Documentation>Online>Adobe FrameMaker

17.
#20726

Creating Online Help from FrameMaker Files Using WebWorks Publisher  (link broken)   (PDF)

WebWorks Publisher from Quadralay lets you develop online help from FrameMaker files without dealing with the inefficiencies associated with help authoring tools (HATs). No longer do you have to convert the FrameMaker files to RTF for use in a HAT—and consequently lose all the formatting, which you must rebuild. You also do not have to maintain two sets of files.

O'Keefe, Sarah S. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Documentation>Online>Adobe FrameMaker

18.
#18219

Creating Online Help in a Multiplatform Environment   (PDF)

With the explosion of online help authoring tools (primarily in the Windows® environment) companies are clamoring for the ability to produce online help on multiple platforms. This demonstration presents one solution to the problem of creating online help in a multiplatform environment. We will demonstrate the process of translating FrameMaker™ files from the Macintosh® to Windows NT®, and ultimately, to UNIX®.

Shelton, Jan D., Anne Navarro and Robbie Fontenot. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>Documentation>Help>Adobe FrameMaker

19.
#18796

Creating Single Source Documents with FrameMaker   (PDF)

A discussion of how to think about FrameMaker templates for single source documents.

Knopf, David A. Knopf Online (2001). Presentations>Content Management>Single Sourcing>Adobe FrameMaker

20.
#31097

Creating Tables in FrameMaker  (link broken)

Tables make information easy to find and understand and are often used for illustrating comparisons among similar data. A table usually consists of a heading row and one or more body rows and may also contain a title.

McMurrey, David A., Jana Owens, Jacqueline J. Pulido and Thomas A. Moore. Illuminati Online (2004). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

21.
#14785

Creating XML Content   (PDF)

Houser provides an overview of XML editors. He discusses in detail three of the most popular content-oriented editors: ArborText Epic, Adobe FrameMaker 7, and SoftQuad XMetaL.

Houser, Alan R. Intercom (2002). Design>Information Design>XML>Adobe FrameMaker

22.
#23459

Custom Toolbar

We recently converted our documents from Word to FrameMaker. Most of the people in my department had been using Word for years and had grown accustomed to applying character formatting using key commands or buttons on the toolbar. I was afraid that they would use the same methods in FrameMaker simply out of habit, rather than using character tags.

Henkel, Rick. Docspages. Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

23.
#18822

Document Layout Concepts (Frames and All That)

The primary reason to use Framemaker is the power that it offers in managing long and possibly technically complex documents. And while detailed control of the formatting of every paragraph and character is important, the overarching concern is overall structure and layout on a document- or book-wide basis. As the product's name announces, at the heart of FrameMaker's structure and layout paradigm is the 'Frame'. Yet I found the user documentation on the actual subject of frames to be perplexingly opaque. Frames are mentioned here and there, and what is described is not incorrect. But nowhere in the user docs is there a concise and complete discussion of this central FrameMaker feature -- which tends to stall efforts to actually get started on using FrameMaker in a productively-planned manner. Indeed, it is tempting to speculate that the FM learning curve is infamously steep precisely because this conceptual core is so ill illuminated. So, determined to dispell the fog (at least for me!), I resorted to studying the very helpful Programmers' Reference and Guide, and built a MIF-Browser tool to get to the bottom of the matter. Herewith is an effort to clarify what to me seem the essentials needed for productive use of FrameMaker, condensed in one place.

Wideman, Graham. WidemanOne. Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe FrameMaker

24.
#34358

Editing XML files on a WebDAV Server Using the Browser Plug-in

You can open and edit XML files stored on the WebDAV server using FrameMaker 9. When FrameMaker 9 is installed on your computer, the Edit with FrameMaker plug-in is added to the browser's toolbar and is listed as an option in the edit menu for XML files.

Adobe (2009). Articles>Content Management>XML>Adobe FrameMaker

25.
#30084

Embedded Indexing in FrameMaker    (PDF)

Embedded indexing is the process of creating index entries electronically in a document’s files. Although desktop publishing packages are not the best tools for indexing, they can be used to create effective embedded indexes. For technical documents that will be updated frequently or will go online, technical communicators can create embedded indexes that will help their audience find information quickly and efficiently.

Mauer, Peg. STC Proceedings (1999). Articles>Document Design>Indexing>Adobe FrameMaker

 
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