I was a long time IXGEN user. Unfortunately, they've retired and it does not work with FrameMaker 2019.
Has anyone found a good replacement tool for bulk processing of index entries?
One of the things I loved about IXGEN was the ability to generate a table of all the book's index entries, then fix them across an entire book. For example, if I had lots of similar entries that were singular, plural or maybe had slight wording differences, I could quickly make them all the same and apply the changes bookwide.
Any pointers would be sincerely appreciated?
I moved all of my plugins to ExtendScript a few years back because of having to recompile for new FrameMaker versions, etc. I could look at providing you the functionality in ExtendScript if you give me some firm specs. If you are interested, please contact me offlist. Thanks. rick at frameexpert dot com.
If you look at my CrossrefReporter script, you will see that I do something similar with cross-references. In this case, it is just a report, but it could be modified to work with markers and allow updates to FrameMaker.
Hi Rick, Good to hear from you. I am not prepared to get into custom development--at least not yet. But I will keep this in mind for the future.
It works with FrameMaker 2019, but you have to use the 32-bit version of FrameMaker instead of the 64-bit version. Or so Frank told me when I inquired about some of its capabilities back in September. He also said there are 5 DLLs that you will need that Adobe has deleted, so he provides links for them, too.
(Edited for clarification and additional information.)
Hmmm. Where did you find the DLLs from Frank?
I didn't. He told me that there were 5 DLLs required that Adobe had deleted and that if you bought Ixgen, he would provide links to them.
I have not bought Ixgen. I am using Index Tools Pro from Silicon Prairie. It has nowhere near the functionality of Ixgen (or the major indexing tools), but it works for me for the size documents I'm working on, which run from about 20 pages to a bit over 100. If they got any bigger, I'd have to rethink things because (a) we're not USING 32-bit FrameMaker, and I have a suspicion that the next release will be purely 64-bit, and (b) none of the major indexing programs work with FrameMaker files.
Rick, I stand in awe of your ExtendScript prowess, but replicating the functions of any of those indexing programs will be a major undertaking, even though I think you already have chunks of code that could be adapted for use, such as your Find/Change Formats Batch script. Caveat: I am not a programmer, and I may be very, very wrong about this.
I was about to look at Index Tools Pro. How do you like it?
I like it, but as I said, it's functionality is limited.
What essentially happens is that you enter the index text using a special paragraph tag and condition tag. ITP then converts that text into Frame markers and generates the index.
Having the index terms included as text in the document lets you do search and replace on the text without having to open each marker individually. However, you have to manually enter the index terms everywhere they're needed, and there is only limited support for conditioned text. That was actually why I had contacted him, as I wanted to know how well or even if Ixgen handled conditioned text.
Got it. Well I've used IXGEN for at least 15 years and can say without a doubt that it saved me weeks of additional work on each programming languages book we've written.
It's unfortunate that it won't be developed any further and upgraded to 64-bit.
It's like with Mif2Go. Once the owner dies (as Jeremy did) or retires, you lose a really useful tool. Sometimes someone else is able to replicate the tool (Bruce Fosters' Archive plugin was recreated by Rick in ExtendScript), but depending on the size of the project and the ROI, that may not be feasible.
I'm currently taking the ASI courses in learning to Index, and learning that it is a fiddly thing that a lot of companies aren't willing to invest in, which is too bad. I'd far rather use an Index to find information than use a search, because a good indexer will use alternate terms in addition to the preferred term and cross-references to related topics, which you just don't get with a straight text search.
We're doing a lot of stuff with natural language processing now. My guess is we'll eventually have AI based searching in many products and that will obviate the need for indexing.