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Can you - somehow - convert Adobe Illustrator graphics to FrameMaker graphics?

Community Expert ,
Aug 07, 2023 Aug 07, 2023

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I would like to create vector drawings in Adobe Illustrator and convert them to the type of graphics that FrameMakers internal graphics tool produce. But can it be done?


Bjørn Smalbro - FrameMaker.dk

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Community Expert ,
Aug 07, 2023 Aug 07, 2023

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Hi Bjørn:

 

Are you asking this because you want to be able to edit the illustrations directly in FrameMaker? I really don't think so.

 

But you know that you can right+click the .ai file, chose Edit With > Illustrator which opens the original file, make your edits, save and close and the edits will be immediately reflected in the FrameMaker doc?

 

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
Aug 07, 2023 Aug 07, 2023

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Yes, I was hoping to make it easier to create graphics which were directly editable in FM.  The option you suggest is also good but there are many uses who don't have acces to Illustrator.


Bjørn Smalbro - FrameMaker.dk

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Community Expert ,
Aug 07, 2023 Aug 07, 2023

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FM's vector editor hasn't gotten much in the way of updates over the last ¼ century. I usually find myself doing the opposite: rough out the art in FM, save as PDF, open in AI, complete\optimize, save to SVG, and import into FM.

There are multiple SVG editors available, and SVG is the only vector format to use these days (unless it can't do the job).

You may already have found it, but there used to be tools for the FrameVector data structures.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 07, 2023 Aug 07, 2023

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There used to be an AI to MIF converter that was actually quite good. But that was probably 30 years ago :-). I am not sure if it still exists somewhere, but I doubt it.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 07, 2023 Aug 07, 2023

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https://www.reaconverter.com/convert/ai_to_mif.html

Wonder whether this will work...?


Bjørn Smalbro - FrameMaker.dk

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Community Expert ,
Aug 08, 2023 Aug 08, 2023

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I  have just tested this (https://online.reaconverter.com/) - the MIF is not MIF at all...

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Community Expert ,
Aug 08, 2023 Aug 08, 2023

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Ah... now I am a little bit miffed! 🙂 Thank you for testing! It seems I shall have to stay with ai/or svg, but as can be seen in another post, I think previews are not so good.


Bjørn Smalbro - FrameMaker.dk

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Community Expert ,
Aug 08, 2023 Aug 08, 2023

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Bjørn, there was a wunderful MIF-graphic tool develeoped by CERN (Geneva) named Visual-thought. It allowed to connect shapes (from a library of shapes) the same way as with SmartDraw or Visio. The output was plain MIF.

The last version 1.5 was issued 1995. Nevertheless the program still worked in Windows 7!

Unfortunately it has a 'time bomb' and terminated service after 2014-05-07 (and propably would not run on Windows > 7). The following is a screenshot of one the imported MIFs (from my archive):

network-VT.png

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Community Expert ,
Aug 09, 2023 Aug 09, 2023

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Yes, @K.Daube It is a pity that most of the utilities, which were a great help with FrameMaker, have disappeared.


Bjørn Smalbro - FrameMaker.dk

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Community Expert ,
Aug 09, 2023 Aug 09, 2023

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I have just tried this:

  • I have a download of VT (Visual Thought) and a licence file for my old laptop (they have the name of the machine in the encrypted license).
  • On my Win10 LT I switched off the communication to avoid automatic time setting
  • Set the date to 2013-08-09
  • Start VT and import the license file
  • It works perfectly on Win10, althoug the installation pgm does not run...

See the attached MIF...

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Community Expert ,
Aug 10, 2023 Aug 10, 2023

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The result look neat, definitely, but I am still  on Win10 and hoping to upgrade to Win 11 soon, so I am not too keen on solutions which will require me to fiddle too much with the OS


Bjørn Smalbro - FrameMaker.dk

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Community Expert ,
Aug 09, 2023 Aug 09, 2023

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In case this helps others recall details, I recall an odd format back in the day (perhaps PGL?) that was a printer output-oriented format.

It allowed you to use the graphics tools to modify the placed file when copied into a FrameMaker document.

 

Unfortunately, I don't recognize the format from either the list of available formats when importing images, nor from Illustrator's list of exportable formats. 😞

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Community Expert ,
Aug 09, 2023 Aug 09, 2023

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Matt: …(perhaps PGL?)…

Which I'd guess is not HP-GL, a vector language for the pen plotters of yore.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 10, 2023 Aug 10, 2023

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I'm almost completely certain that's the format.

If only we had a way to export HPGL from Illustrator!

If you have a Frame Technologies training manual laying around, it feels like there was an exercise that used that feature. (So...pre Fm 5.1 unstructured training materials...blue and white cover, LTR size, and spiral-bound)

-Matt

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Community Expert ,
Aug 21, 2023 Aug 21, 2023

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In case this helps others recall details, I recall an odd format back in the day (perhaps PGL?) that was a printer output-oriented format.

It allowed you to use the graphics tools to modify the placed file when copied into a FrameMaker document.

This document from the FM-4 aera describes an Intermediate Printer Language (IPL).

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Community Expert ,
Aug 10, 2023 Aug 10, 2023

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So it seems one could - if it works - use this tool:

https://visual-integrity.com/products/pdf-fly-pdf-conversion-suite/

It promises conversion from pdf to mif.

They have a free test conversion which I shall try later. It is not ideal because the business of having an extra conversion tool will almost always introduce new problems in the workflow. Solve some and create new 🙂

I really wish that FrameMaker was able to handle svg properly or at least have a proper preview of ai / pdf / eps files.


Bjørn Smalbro - FrameMaker.dk

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