Is there a way to convert an auto-number sequence to text?
I was given a parts list numbered with a chapter number, a fig. number and then an auto Item number. Example: (8-3-1, 8-3-2, 8-3-3, etc.) the next parts fig. numbering would be (8-4-1, 8-4-2, 8-4-3, etc.).
When I try to copy and paste into excel I lose the numbering.
I can cut/paste into Word and then it will convert the auto number to text, but it doesn't understand the sequence and restarts every new parts list at 8-1-1.
What I need to do is delete everything but the part numbers and the item numbers and then sort by the part numbers for a locator table.
I presume that if I do a sort in frame by the part number, Frame will renumber the item numbers to the new sort?
Is there a way to turn off the auto numbering without losing the numbers before doing the sort?
I'm not quite following which numbers you want to keep. You have three-part numbers. Is only the item number automatic? And how does the part number you want to keep correspond to the chapter number and fig. number?
Also, you mention Word and Excel and well as FrameMaker. Would you prefer to leave the document in FrameMaker but would consider Excel to get the sorting you need, or do you want to move the content into Excel?
Is the original document solely a table or is there content preceding and following the table? Multiple tables in one file?
Regardless of these details, there are several techniques you can use:
1. To get the table into Excel, save the FM document as text, including table cells row by row. FM will use a separator (by default a tab) between cells. You can open the resulting text file in Excel. Excel has options for interpreting the separator you've used to create the text file correctly. All 3 parts of the number will be preservd; if that's not what you want you can probably remove the unneeded parts within FM before you save the text file.
2. If you want to sort the modified table within FM, one approach would be to use a script to make the requisite changes. If you don't want to write it yourself, there are several consultants who regularly participate in this forum who could do it for you.
3. If you are using unstructured FrameMaker, consider switching to structured FrameMaker. It should be a simple matter for someone comfortable with structured applications to add structure to a document that consists primarily of a table. You can then save the structured document as XML using an application that uses XSLT to resort the table as needed. The result could be opened either in FM or in Excel. Depending on the effort needed to structure the document, you could continue to edit the unstructured document and structure it only when you need to sort the table, or you could convert once and do further editing to the structured version.