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Hyperlinking to another document in an adjacent folder

Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Hello,

 

Yet ANOTHER thing that is so simple in Word yet seemingly impossible in FrameMaker.

 

I want to put a hyperlinks in my files in my book that, when clicked on, will open a pdf file in an adjacent folder. For instance:

 

I have a chapter where I list the manuals for indivdual parts on the machine that I'm writing about. So, say I want to link to the power supply instruction sheet. I want to be able to have the phrase "Power Supply" be a hyperlink, that when clicked, will open a folder that's adjacent to the FrameMaker files.

This is what my superiors are telling me is needed in our manuals. The trainer I had for this program assured me that it's doable, but we didn't get around to covering it.

 

There is nothing covering this anywhere in these discussions, at least not one that tells specific commands on how to make it happen. There are some discussions that make reference to commands that I can't find in any of my menus, so I'm completely lost.

 

The FrameMaker manual doesn't cover this either.

 

I'd like to know if:

 

1. It is even possible to do this.

2. What are the specific steps (which menu, which menu selection, what to select when the menu opens) to getting this result.

 

Thank you.

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

This is not correct. You can link to adjacent folders on a local disk or server disk. Are you able to meet via zoom so we can look at this? Please contact me offlist: rick at frameexpert dot com.

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Participant , Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

Update: It CAN be done! Rick kindly demoed for me how this is done:

 

1. Go to the Hypertext or Marker menu

2. Enter the syntax "message openfile." If you're using the "Hypertext" menu, you will notice that this syntax is NOT included, at least in my 2020 version of FrameMaker. This is where "tribal knowledge" comes into play.

3. Enter the relative path for the file you want to link to., preceeded by a /. Be sure to include the file extension (e.g., ".pdf")

4. Test the link with CTRL/ALT click to ope

...

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Yes, it's possible. If your PDF files are going to be in adjacent folders, then make sure the FrameMaker books are also in adjacent folders. Open the appropriate documents in each folder and make your cross-references. When you make your PDFs, make sure that both .book files are open. When you deliver the PDFs, make sure that the respective folder names are the same as they were for the FrameMaker books.

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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I don't understand what you mean. I understand that if you want to link to a FrameMaker file from another file, that's easy. But I'm talking about linking to a separate pdf file that is in an adjacent folder. Sure, I can have that separate pdf file open, but it won't be open in FrameMaker, just open in Adobe Acrobat. It won't show up in the list of files you can link to.

 

When I try to open a pdf file in FrameMaker, I get this:

 

Susan305351693t3o_0-1711385341338.png

 

So how am I supposed to "have them open?"

 

Do you know the steps? With Word, you have the files in a folder that is in the same folder as the word file itself. You go "insert/hyperlink" and you simply select the file from the folder, and viola, there is text in the Word file that links to the pdf file.

 

So which menu do you use, what command, and how do you navigate to the pdf file that you're hyperlinking to?

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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That 2012 thread might be the canonical discussion on the matter.

FS-relative linking works in FM.

Use ../../../dirname/asset.pdf notation Or be prepared to escape \)
Do not use root directory notation (e.g. leading / or C:\).
Make sure the delivery file system paths match the development environment paths.

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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"Make sure the delivery file system paths match the development environmental paths." 

Sorry, I'm not a programmer and have no idea what that means :-). I'm just a technical writer who writes about giant ovens trying to figure out FrameMaker.

 

Are you saying use everything EXCEPT for the root directory notation? So instead of "O:\Department\Engineering_Mechanical\1-Public-Share\Manuals\Manuals 508-xx-xxxx\0508-230147\Furnace Manual Files for 0508-230147\Supplementary Manuals", I would say "Department\Engineering_Mechanical\1-Public-Share\Manuals\Manuals 508-xx-xxxx\0508-230147\Furnace Manual Files for 0508-230147\Supplementary Manuals""?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Think you need to clarify what output you are going to be creating from your FM files, where it's going to exist, and what are you linking to within them.
In your original post you talk about linking to PDFs - perfectly fine. But those PDF links must be in the same folder structure in the output of your FM content that exists within your hypertext link.
If you're going to be creating HTML5 output on the web, then nobody's going to be able to link to some PDF that's located on your internal company drives (e.g. O:\). The PDFs must "live" in a relative folder that maintains its position relative to the topic page that is "calling" it. Most people create a sub-folder called "Assets" or "PDFs" within their FM content's folder structure and place all referenced PDFs in there. Then they make hypertext links to those PDFs in the folder. 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 02, 2024 Apr 02, 2024

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Suppose that the intent is to have manuals on the web at:
example_dot_org/support/manuals/parts/123-456P.pdf
example_dot_org/support/manuals/service/123-456S.pdf
example_dot_org/support/manuals/user/123-456U.pdf

And in User manual 123-456U, you want to have some text like:

See Service Manual 123-456S.

Where the sentence is a hyperlink that opens the Service manual PDF.

 

In FM, highlight the sentence.
Insert 🞃 Hypertext…
Command: Go to URL
message URL message URL ../service/123-456S.pdf
[Create]
Notice: no leading https: or file:, and no leading /
The ../ goes up one level, looking for service/

 

Unless the directory structure of your authoring environment matches the final serving structure, you won't be able to test this until it is pushed to the web server.

The fix for that is to create a local sandbox subdirectory structure, perhaps:
../staging/parts
../staging/service
../staging/user
Put a copy of the service manual (or some dummy PDF renamed 123-456S.pdf) in that service/ dir.
Put a copy of your user manual in the user/ dir.


Open the 123-456U.pdf in staging.
Try the link.

 

I had this sort of situation in a prior position, with the complications that the authoring file system might locally be Windows or Unix, and the local filesystem structures did not match the web's (on IIS). But it was possible to mimic them for testing with no difficulty.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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I am sorry, I misunderstand you. You can do this with a Hypertext Marker. I don't remember the exact syntax, but if you choose Insert > Hypertext, you will see some choices in the dropdown menu of the palette.

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Ok, so I went to Insert/Hypertext and this window opened:

 

Susan305351693t3o_0-1711389819126.png

I wasn't sure what to select from the dropdown menu, so I selected "Open Document" because that's what made the most sense. I also entered the actual name of the file I'm linking to, in hopes that the word "Flowmeter" in the text document would become a hyperlink that would open the flowmeter file:

 

Susan305351693t3o_1-1711389971580.png

When I select "Update," I get this error message:

 

Susan305351693t3o_2-1711390017268.png

 

So I figured maybe I needed to enter the relative path to the file, after the word "openlink?"  But no, I still get the same error:

 

Susan305351693t3o_3-1711390168043.png

I'm at a complete loss here. It is SUCH a simple thing to be able to do, and Word does it so easily.

 

If what I'm asking is NOT possible, I need to know so that I stop wasting my time trying to research it.

 

Thank you.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Are you producing a PDF from the current FrameMaker document that you want to link from? If so, use the openlink syntax that you tried, but enter the PDF's filename but replace the .pdf extension with .fm in the dialog box. You will get a message that the file doesn't exist, but insert it anyway (or uncheck the Validate checkbox).

 

Then when you make a PDF from the original document, the link will work.

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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I tried that:

Susan305351693t3o_0-1711391999783.png

 

Then I created a pdf from it.

 

Susan305351693t3o_1-1711392040427.png

"Flowmeter" is a hyperlink, as evidenced by the finger appearing. But when I click on it, it doesn't work.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Use forward slashes instead of backslashes in the file path. Or double the backslashes.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Stop trying to open the doc - follow these steps:

In File Explorer, navigate to file containing the document

Copy address from File Explorer navigation bar

In Framemaker select; Hypertext Command: Go to URL

Paste clipboard contents after message URL

Append the name of the file you are linking to to the path you just pasted.

Click Update.

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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Thank you. Tried that. Created the pdf. 

When I click on "Flowmeter" in the pdf I get this message:

Susan305351693t3o_0-1711392360453.png

 

I selected "Allow," and then nothing happened. The document didn't open. And no error message.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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O:%E2%80%A1epartment%5C…series.fm


There are a number of issues here:
1. The O: is a file system root, which won't work at all over the internet
2. The % encodings don't even decode to anything sensible:
O:âz¡epartment\…series.fm
Hard to say what that's all about.
3. You are trying to link to an FM source document (.fm), instead of to {perhaps} a PDF rendered from it.

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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I don't know where the % encodings are coming from. I didn't put them there. So I tried using the syntax "Department\Engineering_Mechanical\1-Public-Share\Manuals\Manuals 508-xx-xxxx\0508-230147\Furnace Manual Files for 0508-230147\Supplementary Manuals\flowmeter - Dwyer RM series", omitting the "O:" root.

Susan305351693t3o_0-1711393675588.png

 

I selected "Update," and created a pdf. I clicked on "Flowmeter" and got the usual message:

Susan305351693t3o_1-1711393900536.png

 

And once again, I select "Allow" and nothing happens. I did not enter the "%"s that show up there. It seems to enter all sorts of weird characters that I didn't enter. Nothing fancy or complicated going on here; I'm just using a regular file path to a regular pdf document. 

 

Is it possible to do what I'm trying to do, or is this outside of FrameMaker's capability? I need to know. Thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 02, 2024 Apr 02, 2024

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The % is a result of characters not supported on the web. Your filenames and path names will be easiest to manage without spaces and special dashes. Keeping them as alphanumerics will be easiest.

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Participant ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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I tried it again, using forward slashes instead of back slashes, and got the same result: created a hyperlink but nothing opened. Then I tried it with double forward slashes. Same result.

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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The FrameMaker 2019 user guide had the following sample hypertext command.
message system c:/hypertextdocuments.pdf
message system acrobat c:/hypertextdocuments.pdf

 

The Framemaker 10 user guide had the following sample hypertext command.
message openfile /HardDrive/Graphics/Tuba.eps
message openfile /HardDrive/Scripts/DocReport

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Community Expert ,
Apr 02, 2024 Apr 02, 2024

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quote

I want to put a hyperlinks in my files in my book that, when clicked on, will open a pdf file in an adjacent folder.

 

Links like this can be tricky to insert, and can also be tough to maintain if/when you update documents.

 

FrameMaker links are designed to be used by FrameMaker, or converted to use within the publishing of output from a single FrameMaker file or book.

 

Cross-document links in published output don't inherently "know about" things outside of (in this case) the single PDF output without an explicit absolute path.

 

While it's possible to add those paths in FrameMaker hypertext markers, you may find it easier to use Acrobat to produce cross-document links once you've placed the files in their location on the server.

 

Whether in FrameMaker or in Acrobat, you'll need to have the final path, including the filename and/or location within the PDF available to you.

 

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Participant ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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I think the answer to this question is, no, you cannot link to documents in an adjacent folder unless the folder is on an internet server. You can't do what you can do in Word, which is link to a file in an adjacent folder that simply exists in a package of files with the Word file itself.  The documents you link to have to be on an internet server.

 

Please tell me if this is correct. Thank you. If so, I will mark this as "correct answer."

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Community Expert ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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This is not correct. You can link to adjacent folders on a local disk or server disk. Are you able to meet via zoom so we can look at this? Please contact me offlist: rick at frameexpert dot com.

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Participant ,
Apr 03, 2024 Apr 03, 2024

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LATEST

Update: It CAN be done! Rick kindly demoed for me how this is done:

 

1. Go to the Hypertext or Marker menu

2. Enter the syntax "message openfile." If you're using the "Hypertext" menu, you will notice that this syntax is NOT included, at least in my 2020 version of FrameMaker. This is where "tribal knowledge" comes into play.

3. Enter the relative path for the file you want to link to., preceeded by a /. Be sure to include the file extension (e.g., ".pdf")

4. Test the link with CTRL/ALT click to open the file.

5. Once you have verified that it opens, you can export your FrameMaker file to pdf, and the link you've created should open.

Thank Rick!

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