Using Conversion Table to apply structure to unstructured document

Engaged ,
May 17, 2021 May 17, 2021

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In our EDD, we have Chapter as the highest-level element.

Each Chapter can contain multiple Section elements.

Each Section element contains a Heading element (containing Level context rules) and a Paragraph Element. In turn, each Section element can also contain a Section element, up to 6 levels deep (including the first level).

In our unstructured documents, we have a different Paragraph Style for each Heading level (H1 - H6).

I've created a Conversion Table to apply structure to one of our unstructured documents as a test. I have no problems wrapping our Heading Paragraph Styles into the Heading element. My problem is when I have lower level headings (H2 - H6). These are wrapping in individual Section elements, rather than (sub)Section elements. To illustrate:

In my unstructured document, I have (indentation for visualisation only):

H1

Paragraph

  H2

  Paragraph

    H3

    Paragraph

 

When I apply structure, end up with (indentation for visualisation only):

Section

   Heading

   Paragraph

Section

  Heading

  Paragraph

Section

  Heading

  Paragraph

 

Instead of the structure:

Section

  Heading

  Paragraph

  Section

    Heading

    Paragraph

    Section

      Heading

      Paragraph

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 17, 2021 May 17, 2021

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I am definitely not an expert for EDDs and conversion tables.

However, I think that our structure experts need more info.

Can you provide excerpts from your EDD and your conversion table which show the conversion and how this should look like?

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Advisor ,
May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021

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Quintin,

    You need to use qualifiers in your conversion table to distinguish headings and sections at different levels. Check the Structure Application Developer Reference. If you have questions about qualifiers, please show us the part of your conversion table that pertains to Heading and Section elements.

      --Lynne

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Advisor ,
May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021

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Quintin,

    You can't stop writers from changing paragraph formats in a structured document. If they change entries in the paragraph catalog, the results can be persistent. Overrides to a catalog entry may or may not survive some types of further editing. If your publication process includes importing first formats and then element definitions from the template, most  changes will not survive. The exception is properties such as table or cross-regference formats in which the EDD defines initial object formats. FrameMaker was deliberately designed to allow writers to customize more visual aspects of a document to support environment where such freedom is required.

      --Lynne

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021

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Hi Quintin, 

 

Lynne's on the money regarding the qualifers. You need to identify the differences in the headings so that you can wrap in a parent structure. After identifying a qualifier, you can write rules that will use the qualifier to specify which elements get wrapped in higher levels of structure.

Here is an excerpt from the conversion table section of my FrameMaker Structured EDD Development Workbook

Screen Shot 2021-05-18 at 8.22.17 AM.pngScreen Shot 2021-05-18 at 8.23.01 AM.png

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Engaged ,
May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021

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@Lynne A. Price  and @Matt S - Tech Comm Tools Thanks for those tips. I did look into the use of the Qualifier, but couldn't quite work out how to use them. @Matt S - Tech Comm Tools , your example is a great help.  I can see how to use to qualifier and rules to wrap sequencial elements in a single element. However, in our case, the 'parent' element isn't always the same, i.e. a BulletList element could have a Paragraph, NumberedList or another BulletList as it's parent. How would I write the rules to wrap the element based on the preceding element?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021

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It sounds like you'll need qualifiers for the para tags that then would be used to trigger wrapping rules like the ones for the sections shown in my screenshot.

Really hard to say, though, without looking at your content, your conversion table, and the results.

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Advisor ,
May 18, 2021 May 18, 2021

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Quintin,

   When you read your unstructured documents, how can you tell that a BulletList is inside another List or inside a Paragraph? Sometimes the logic you naturally use when reading can help you write both the conversion table and the EDD. Note that the definitions in the EDD work from the top down; you start with an element and define its possible children. The conversion table works from the bottom up. You start with the leaves of your tree and combine them together. 

   By the way, it is not always possible to completely structure a document with a conversion table. Sometimes, you can get further saving a tentative structure as XML and using XSLT to manipulate it. Sometimes, a person needs to make a decision about the logical relationships amont the parts of the document.

   You mention that a BulletList can be a child of a Paragraph, of a BulletList, or a NumberedList. There are certainly many structured documents (including XML and SGML documents) that use such a model. It seems more natural to me to put lists and paragraphs on the same level--so that a list can be next to a paragraph rather than within it. It is common to allow one list to be a child of another. My analysis is usually that a sublist is a part of an item in a list and not a sibling of the items.

    --Lynne

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