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Tutorial for the novice user of Structured FrameMaker

Explorer ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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Hi all!

In my current work, I use unstructured FrameMaker. Of course, I know that the developer's site has a document with a complete description of the program («Using Adobe FrameMaker»).

I have never worked with structured documents and the manufacturer's tutorial is difficult for me to understand.

Can anyone recommend a Structured FrameMaker tutorial for a beginner (for a quick start)?

 

Thanks!

Igor

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Mentor ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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Hi Igor,

 

Possibly the greatest marketing failure that Adobe ever committed with FrameMaker was its failure to promote and properly explain the structured authoring feature set. Since the beginning, it has been associated with complicated things like "XML roundtripping" which has made it become now partially synonymous with DITA, all of which is misleading and obscures the wealth of benefits that you can get by using it. Just structured Frame alone... no complicated DTDs, XML, or anything like that... can significantly enhance the authoring experience and make you more productive. And I dare say, more happy.

 

But rather than provide any assistance or encouragement to help users understand and migrate, Adobe has focused on bolstering features for unstructured usage and also DITA, the former of which is polishing up technology that is decades old and the latter of which is way more complicated and overengineered for the great majority of users. Meanwhile, possibly the finest structured authoring interface ever designed is left in neglect and obscurity, used only by a select few that either found it by accident or by some other means. I am sure that if Adobe had leveraged the original genius of this interface, the FrameMaker market share would be far greater than what it is and the currently-entrenched competition would never have had such a rich opportunity to steal it.

 

Anyway, finally getting to your question, there are woefully few resources, and the rant above is trying to provide some opinionated context. I'm not really aware of anything focused on basic structured Frame and the average user. I learned basically on my own, struggling through the Structure Developers Guide and just playing around until I got it. It was totally worth it and I would never go back, but maybe you (reasonably) don't want to go through that exercise.

 

I hope someone can give you some better advice, because I think it is a great idea to take a look at structured Frame. If you are not using the structured interface, you are missing half of what the program can do and would not believe how much time you are wasting on formatting busywork. Plus, without structured content, you are locked into the previous century with regard to portability and versatility of your content.

 

My thoughts. Probably not very helpful, sorry 🙂

Russ

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Community Expert ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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Hi Russ,

 

Thank you very much for this comment! My documents are all unstructured, but I wanted to switch to structure for a long time! Your comment encourages me to follow this route.

I have already a reminder in Outlook to order Matt's books!

I think that Adobe's structure infos are too basic or are related to DITA.

 

Best regards

 

Winfried

Best regards

 

Winfried

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Community Expert ,
Jun 24, 2022 Jun 24, 2022

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Hi Igor, 

 

I publish two workbooks that will help you learn about Structured FrameMaker.

The first, the FrameMaker Structured Authoring Workbook shows you how to create and edit content with a provided structured FrameMaker template.

https://learn.techcommtools.com/collections/frontpage/products/framemaker-structured-authoring-workb...

 

The second, the FrameMaker Structured EDD Development Workbook, walks you through the process of creating the actual structure model used in the first book. It also contains a chapter on setting up an automated conversion from unstructured content to the structure model used in the books.

https://learn.techcommtools.com/collections/books/products/framemaker-structured-edd-workbooks

 

I also have online courses and classes that incorporate these two books. These courses/classes include hours of lecture material to help you understand the concepts covered in each book. For more info, see courses.techcommtools.com

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 26, 2022 Jun 26, 2022

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@IGOR5C0C I tried working through the developer document myself, but found it too bloated with 'fluff'. (I'm one of those "get to the point" learners!) I can highly recommend Matt's workbooks and courses. I found them concise and to the point - making it very easy to learn Structured FrameMaker.

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Mentor ,
Jun 27, 2022 Jun 27, 2022

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Hi Matt, thank you for this. The next time somebody asks, I will have a better answer than just complaining.

 

Russ

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Community Expert ,
Jun 27, 2022 Jun 27, 2022

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No worries, Russ!

There are few folks teaching structured Fm, and I've been at it since the late 90s.

I liked your observation regarding "loose" structured environments; do you have anything written (blog, etc.) on that perspective?

-Matt

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Explorer ,
Jun 27, 2022 Jun 27, 2022

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LATEST
Hello everybody! Thank you for your comments!
I'll try to use Matt's suggestion.
 
Igor

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 26, 2022 Jun 26, 2022

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This may help you with the DITA structure: https://my.adobeconnect.com/xml-dita-authoring-in-framemaker/ .

I will see if I get any further links from my archive for structured FrameMaker tutorials.

 

-Pulkit

 

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