I am using Framemaker 19. I have two separate books and want to know if I can import a section of one book's file into a section of another book's file so that when the 1st document is changed it will update the other book through the update process.
In other words, I want to pull a small table from a document file in book 1 and have it linked into a section of a document file in book 2. I know I can do it with source files, but I'm trying to keep from having to manage many numerous sources or having to update information in multiple locations when there are revisions.
Sounds like Text Insets to me (unstructured FM, right?)
Unstructured, yes. How would I set that up? My understanding of text insets (I have over 14,000 text files I import) is that they are stand-alone "source" files. I'm trying to avoid having a stand-alone file vs. importing just a portion of another Framemaker document file. I'm not sure how to do that.
Here's an example of Book 1. I have about 20 charts like the one below representing different tires. I want to have this chart show in book 2 and then update when Book 1 changes.
I'm pretty sure you can't just "reuse" a chunk of text inside another file without having that chunk of content within it's own .fm file. A cross-reference will only pick up a paragraph's worth of content, so I don't think that's going to work. I would think that with unique part numbers, your separate files would be easy to organize and maintain as source docs for your constructed files inside your books.
You can't use text insets to do that, as they either import the entire file or import a named frame from a file. (I've done that in the past, but it's not suited for documenting something, only for collecting information used in multiple documents.)
However, I think you can set up a cross-reference to do what you're asking, possibly with markers. I haven't done this, so you'll probably need to research this a bit, but I think what you do is set up a cross-reference marker in the paragraphs that you want to import, and then create a cross-reference format that pulls the entire <paratext> in.
HOWEVER! You'd have to have both files open at the same time to create the cross-reference, and also any time you regenerate the document.
As a suggestion, you might want to look into using structured FrameMaker for this if you're importing information to or from that many files. That's the sort of situation that DITA was designed for, and there are plenty of folks around here who can help you with learning how to do that and setting it up. It would take a significant investment in time and capital, but with the size of the documentation you're describing, I expect it will be cheaper in the long run.
Actually, come to think of it, you could set up a single Frame file that has each table in its own named Frame, and then just insert those frames into any book that uses that information. Then you'd update it only in the file containing all the text insets and it would propagate as soon as you open a file containing the inset.
You'd need a good central location to hold that file and a good naming convention for each frame containing the information to be inset in other files.