Hi! I'm quite new to structured framemaker and I'm considering migrating legacy unstructured documentation to XML. In legacy documentation along with ordinary tables I have Note and Attention messages in a table format:
The icon is a paragraph format with a Frame above Pgf., and the table has shading
When I generate a conversion table, framemaker creates only one set of elements for table cells, rows, etc. I'm a bit confused about how do I handle those tables both in conversion table and in EDD file so that I can save the converted file to XML, then load it and get the same table format? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!
It is always tempting to start a new structured FM project by converting legacy documents. I recommend, however, that until you have experience with structure, you start by building an EDD and structured template and get a good start on debugging them with test data. Once you created an element catalog, it will give you a target for both a conversion table and setting up an XML application.
A structured FM table must have elements for each part of the table: the entire table, any table title, any table heading, the table body, any table footing, every row, and every cell. Each of these element types can be used for only one purpose. You cannot, for example, have a general element called TableSection that is used for the heading, the body, and footing or an element called Title that is used for section titles as well as table titles. However, you can have multiple elements of each of these types.
An EDD defines all the elements for tables and the various table components, including the order of any subelements. It can also define an initial table format, that is, the format applied when the table is created and initial structure patterns that specify the names of the row elements in a table heading, body, or footing and those of the cells in each type of row. Notice that these are initial formats and structure patterns only.
In your case, for example, you might define a table format called Message that has the desired shaded background. If Note and Attention messages have different icons, you can define two table elements, one called Note and one called Attention. The body of a Note might be called NoteBody, and the single Row of a NoteBody could be NoteRow. The two cells in a NoteRow could be called NoteIcon and MessageText and might contain paragraphs whose formats have the same name as these elements. Attention tables would be defined analogously.
To build a conversion table that structures such content, remember that any conversion table generated by FM is only a starting point. The draft FM creates does not define multiple table heading, body, footing, row, or cell elements. You can modify the conversion table to do so. For example, the portion of your conversion table for Notes would then be something like:
|Wrap this object or objects|
In this element
|With this qualifier|
This fragment of conversion table defines a table cell that contains a paragraph tagged NoteIcon to be a NoteIcon element, a cell with a paragraph tagged MessageText to be a MessageText, a row containing an element tagged NoteIcon followed by one tagged MessageText to be a NoteRow, a table body containing a single element tagged NoteRow to be a NoteBody, and a table consisting only of a NoteBody to be tagged NoteTable.
Thanks a lot, Lynne!
I've managed to create a structure application that allows me to save my test file to XML and get a valid structure. But I'm still having troubles loading that file to FM. Probably my EDD is not perfect.. For some reason FM doesn't create enough columns in a table and puts all the content of a row in the first cell.
UPD: I found table attributes for RW rules and managed to fix that too! 😃