I am new to Framemaker and have inherited a book file where the structure is not valid. It has a high level tag of NoName and BOOK-COMPONENTS for each .fm file it contains.
I want to know how to edit these tags so I can make this have a valid structure. I have searched the help and have found the following advice:
'A new book file has a structure with a highest-level element called NoName and an element called BOOK-COMPONENT for each document and generated file you added to the book. When you update the book, the elements for structured files change to the tag of the highest-level element from the file.
In most cases, you need to make a few corrections in the structure of a book file after updating. For example, you should change the NoName element to the highest-level element defined for the book. And if any file elements are still called BOOK-COMPONENT, add structure to those files and then generate and update again.'
But it does not say HOW to do the above. Can anyone please help me?
I can still generate a PDF file from this information but I'd really like to know how I can make these source files structurally sound.
The direct answer is that you will be able to select the NoName element and change it using the Element Catalog to whatever is defined as your highest level element. Setting the Element Catalog options to Valid Elements Working Start to Finish will help identify this element.
The Validate pod will also help you fix these sorts of errors.
If you're just getting started with structure in FrameMaker, you might want to pick up a copy of my FrameMaker Structured Authoring workbook or attend a training class or course (http://techcommtools.com/structured-framemaker-authoring/).
Let me know if this helps with correcting your root NoName element!
Thanks for your reply. I think I am almost there now. How do I know what my highest level element is? I think it is the .book file but I can't see this as a choice in the elements panel. I have currently set my highest level to be concept as all of my files within the book are concept files. Yet, when I add these files using the Add File icon they appear as BOOK-COMPONENT and the structure from there on is invalid again. Do I need to add each of these files as concept elements and then edit their properties?
I am currently booked proviosionaly on a course but unfortunately I have a deadline to meet before then.
Please can you advise, thanks.
You mentioned concept files...are you working with DITA?
Different content models have different requirements, so it's hard to say what you're looking at. Can you provide a screenshot of your structure view?
Here is a screen shot:
Select the NoName element and press Ctrl+3
This will let you change the element from NoName to the element that is defined to represent a book.
However, if none of this is already familiar to you, you'll benefit greatly from a session with the previous author (highly recommended), from a live online troubleshooting session, a book, or a training course.
I'm happy to help with the last 3 items, but step-by-step training for your specific content model here will be too time-consuming relative to your other options.
Although this looks as if it may be a DITA project, it also seems to be a normal structured book. In a conventional structured book the way to get the BOOK-COMPONENT elements to display their true element names is to run a book update (Esc f g). That will silently open the referenced file in the book and update the structure view in the process.
Thanks for your reply Ian, I tried doing this and oddly it replaces some of the book components with dita refs, so I'm really confused now. I think I'll just have to live with it at the moment as I can generate a PDF from the files. I'll look into it again when I've had some training maybe.
Ah, so Ian and I were correct!
You have a number of options while working specifically with DITA. You can use .fm, .dita, or .xml for the components. You can also use .book files as you've done here, or use .ditamap to store sophisticated (more nested) collections of DITA files.
Can you please explain to me why some of the files went to dita refs and the others remained as BOOK-COMPONENTS ? I'm still confused...
The reason that some files are still BOOK-COMPONENTs is that they are unstructured. NAB_TOC.fm is a generated table of contents which are never structured. I would guess that the Cover is also unstructured. When you open the cover file does it show anything in the structure view?
Ah yes, I did notice that the Cover is unstructured as there is nothing in the structure view. Thanks for this, very helpful 🙂
FrameMaker is quite unusual in the way that structured and unstructured content can be used in the same book. Of course you will find that if you are exporting your book to XML there will have to be some structure for that front cover. When saving a structured book the generated files are discarded and re-generated when re-opened from XML.
One odd thing that I've just noticed about the book component files is that they are all FrameMaker files - they have a .fm extension. For a typical DITA project I would expect those files to be .XML or .DITA...
Yes, I understand what you mean. It appears I have inherited some very confusing files. I have worked with DITA files in a previous Technical Authoring role am new to structured Framemaker. I think it's going to be a case of working slowly towards getting these files in a more consistent format.
Out of interest, I just found some notes from when presumably the topics were created. The then author wrote: 'All documentation is written in Stuctured FrameMaker v9.0 using DITA templates without much customization'. Why would you want to use DITA templates? I just wondered if this made any sense to either or both of you?
Yes that does make sense. In structured FrameMaker each XML Application defines the rules for opening, displaying and saving a specific type of XML document. Part of the information stored in an XML Application definition is the name of the Structured Template that is used when you open the XML.
Back in FrameMaker 9 the DITA support was more rudimentary than what is provided in FM2017. However you would be able to create, edit and save those documents as XML. It does seem however that you have FrameMaker format files and not XML files? It is possible that the built-in DITA support gets a little confused by that - it sees recognised DITA element names and structure, but does not expect the associated XML application name.
Ultimately the best way forward would be to get the content exported as real DITA XML and go from there.
One other thought occurs to me. It could be that the Leximation DITA-FMx plug-in was used to create the documents. This can be found at: http://leximation.com/dita-fmx/