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FrameMaker to Flare Conversion

New Here ,
Jan 31, 2019

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Has anyone in this community ever converted FrameMaker files to Flare files, without having any version of FrameMaker installed?

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FrameMaker to Flare Conversion

New Here ,
Jan 31, 2019

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Has anyone in this community ever converted FrameMaker files to Flare files, without having any version of FrameMaker installed?

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Jan 31, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Nope - not a chance. I'm also 99.9% sure that Flare doesn't have an import for .fm or .book binary files. If you're migrating your FM content out, you're probably going to have to load a trial copy of FM to be able to generate some form of output that Flare can digest. I'm also 100% sure that the process will be painful (the import into Flare & processing of it once there).

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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I wish I had been able to install a trial version, but wasn't given the rights to do that. And it's 100% that Flare doesn't have an import for .fm or .book binary files.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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"I wish I had been able to install a trial version, but wasn't given the rights to do that."

Well that makes things real simple then - "you don't give me the tools, so you don't see your content again! Bwah-ha-ha!"

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Sadly, that wasn't an option.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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LOL - how about doing it at home? Nothing stopping you there, right?

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Unfortunately that wasn't an option either. The FrameMaker files were on a secure server I didn't have access to from home.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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I agree with Jeff...if they won't permit installation of the tools, you can only suggest that they contract out the conversion.

Kinda like asking to tune up a car without a set of wrenches.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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That's exactly how I felt when I was given the task. I was a brand new employee. Contracting it out wasn't an option either.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Who would need to access them from home? - USB key download & work away at home!

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Good thought. Wish I could have done that. However, USB ports on my computer have been disabled. Completely inoperable.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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No internet access either? Sounds like the higher-ups really have no clue as to what needs to be done to get their content migrated over ;>)

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Their only need was to spend no additional money for the project, other than my salary. But they had no clue as well. I was responsible for finding a way to get it done—without the requisite tools.

My reason for asking the question on this community was to receive expert validation of the absolute technical inability to do the conversion without an installed version of FrameMaker.

BTW—I found a way.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Do tell.... Did it involve using the already published content to copy/paste it all over into Flare?

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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And...What did you come up with?!

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Commendable guess Mr. Coatsworth. Halfway right.

Not FrameMaker files, but PDF files, saved out of FrameMaker.

My task: Convert 19 User Guides created in FrameMaker comprising 1010 pages of content, including 430 individual graphic files into Flare.

Yes, I had to copy|paste individual paragraphs, not pages, and in some cases individual sentences. As well as recreate many tables. As for the graphic files, I had to copy them individually into paint, save each, and insert them into their proper place in Flare. Not to mention create the requisite CSS file.

A tedious, mind-numbing exercise in how not to do it. But—I did it.

Last question: Think they appreciated what I accomplished?

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Hmmm, 10 bucks says - NOPE!

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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That was obvious wasn't it.

I was scolded for having some missing graphics, missing links (did I mention I had to add those manually as well), and some missing words (try copying lots of text out of hundreds of pages of PDFs and see if you might miss some too).

They "expected more from someone having the title Senior Technical Writer". Verbatim quote.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Guess they like blowing big bucks on wasted effort - "penny-wise, pound-foolish"?

Or,

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe the horse was lost.

For want of a horse the rider was lost.

For want of a rider the message was lost.

For want of a message the battle was lost.

For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

LOL!

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Employee ,
Feb 01, 2019

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An alternative way might have been to save the PDF as DOCX with Acrobat Pro DC or open the PDFs direktly in Microsoft Word 2016 and save as DOCX. And then import the DOCX into F****.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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There's always something new to learn in technology.

I never knew a PDF could be opened directly from Word.

Could that have helped make the job a bit easier? It's quite possible. But I won't know.

Thank you Stefan for the new knowledge. Sorry I didn't have it sooner.

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Feb 01, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 02, 2019

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I've never used it myself, but the competing product claims: "You can create a new project or topics by importing Adobe® FrameMaker® files.", and the on-line help implies that it can be done with .book, .fm and .mif (but doesn't require .mif).

In general, by the way, when doing a migration, the forum for the destination platform is apt to have deeper info on the process.

re: They "expected more from someone having the title Senior Technical Writer"

Well, you've now learned a key thing that all STWs need to know: these air-gapped, USB-blocked, locked-config, security-theatre sites can easily amount to assured failure. Heck, Adobe has to have a special process just to manage license activation for such clients.

It's like expecting "more" of a senior wood worker, who is not provided with tools, and can't bring their own.

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Feb 02, 2019 1
Engaged ,
Feb 02, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Bob+Niland+%28Error+7103%29  schrieb

I've never used it myself, but the competing product claims: "You can create a new project or topics by importing Adobe® FrameMaker® files.", and the on-line help implies that it can be done with .book, .fm and .mif (but doesn't require .mif).

Well, to be fair: it's not completely absurd to assume that somebody who HAS FrameMaker files to convert also has the originating tool, i.e. FrameMaker. When you open FrameMaker files in Flare, it automatically launches FrameMaker and does a conversion in the background.

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Feb 02, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 02, 2019

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Be.eM: Well, to be fair: it's not completely absurd to assume that somebody who HAS FrameMaker files to convert also has the originating tool, i.e. FrameMaker.

I disagree. That is an unreasonable presumption on the part of Madcap, and needs to have a prominent caveat, which it clearly does not. People often no longer have an active-license version of a subscription FM, or the doc was authored on a version of FM that won't even run on a modern Windows, or was even on another platform, like Mac or a Unix.

re: When you open FrameMaker files in Flare, it automatically launches FrameMaker and does a conversion in the background.

Looks like people have to come to Adobe to learn of this little killer footnote. Yikes. Thanks for the report.

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Feb 02, 2019 0
Participant ,
Feb 05, 2019

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Well, I tried to stay out of this conversation, I promise I did....

Bob...

"...these air-gapped, USB-blocked, locked-config, security-theatre sites can easily amount to assured failure."

Snark about "security theatre" aside, there are real users out here for whom these are real constraints, and not because our bosses and their bosses are idiots. You're not the first to make dismissive noises about it, but not all of us are freelancers, consultants, or small business owners who have control over our own computing infrastructure or data security environments. I can't swear my company's approach to security is ideal -- I am, after all, a mere editor/desktop publisher, and not a sysadmin or network engineer -- but I'm quite sure our need for security is real: We have not only a fiduciary duty to protect our intellectual property, but also a legal obligation to protect a large fraction of the information I publish from disclosure outside authorized channels.

Honestly, much as I would like to have easy control over my virtual workspace, in a large corporate environment, allowing individual end-users' machines unmoderated access to outside servers, or allowing individuals to take company data home on thumb drives, would be irresponsible. People could get fired; people could go to jail.

"Heck, Adobe has to have a special process just to manage license activation for such clients."

Another way of saying this is that Adobe needs to have ways to serve the legitimate needs of a particular class of actual customers. Maybe you think Adobe's response should be, "Screw 'em: If they can't 'phone home' for activation and updates, let 'em use Word"... but I hope that never becomes the answer, because I love Frame and would be bereft if I couldn't use it anymore.

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Feb 05, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 05, 2019

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Doesn't Word (and all Microsoft applications, including the OS) require you to "phone home" also. I think they use a similar workaround to Adobe's.

Must be hell when it's time to push (or get) OS updates, but I think MS has long had a process in place for secure sites. I know I've worked at sites that managed when and how MS got to push OS updates, and I'm sure they do something similar with the all-subscription, all-the-time model that so many companies are intent on selling us.

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Feb 05, 2019 0
Participant ,
Feb 05, 2019

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"Doesn't Word (and all Microsoft applications, including the OS) require you to 'phone home' also."

I don't know: Word (along with Windows, and MS apps generally) is an enterprise-level installation at my company, and it's managed by our IT folks (a combination of inhouse managers and an outsource vendor). Certainly my local desktop machine never connects directly to Microsoft servers in any way that's visible to me. I believe (but can't be 100% sure) updates are downloaded at the site level, verified, and then pushed out through the internal network (i.e., inside the firewall).

"Must be hell when it's time to push (or get) OS updates..."

As I say, our OS and all our standard software tools are managed at the enterprise level. The problem is that FrameMaker is a special-purpose, "exception" tool: My small group of 5 tech writers are literally the only people in the company (out of ~30,000 U.S. employees, if I recall correctly) who use it. We're constantly having to justify the hassle by insisting that yes, it's really worth the trouble, and no, we can't just use Word.

The larger point is that when someone on this forum says, "Thanks, but that advice won't work at my company," getting an eyerolling response along the lines of, "Well, that's because your company is STOOOOOPID!" isn't particularly helpful. Even if it were true, it wouldn't be helpful... but it may not be as true as the eyerollers think.

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Feb 05, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 06, 2019

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dauphinb: … there are real users out here for whom these are real constraints, …

And that was really my point. Anyone desiring to be a versatile DTP professional needs some appreciation for the obstacles that enterprise security policies can present. They can range from rigid client computer configurations to dysfunctional total environments ‒ and then, the job at hand turns out to amount to document recovery from arcane source materials.

In addition to Stefan’s Acrobat Pro DOCX hack, where that might not be available, also check to see if any of the site copiers can do scan-to PDF, with OCR, to {intranet} email. I used that hack once where a document that only existed as an nth-gen hardcopy needed to be restored to FM maintainable form.

>> "Heck, Adobe has to have a special process just to manage license activation for such clients."

re: Another way of saying this is that Adobe needs to have ways to serve the legitimate needs of a particular class of actual customers.

My recollection from when net activation began was that the alternate process might not actually have been in place, and had to be hastily created. I could be mistaken.

It’s still not readily apparent that an alternate path exists. The FrameMaker FAQ on this site says only: “Access to the Internet is required during installation and licensing of your software and once every 30 days thereafter.”

I have to wonder if sales have been lost because potential new customers don't press the issue.

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Feb 06, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 01, 2019

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A quick internet search should yield some advice on this, and I'd expect you will also need to download a 30-day trial of FrameMaker.

Interesting that you want to move away from FrameMaker...

Since Fm's digital output is excellent, and Flare's PDF/print conversion of their XHTML base code necessarily isn't as good as Fm, do you no longer have a print requirement?

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Feb 01, 2019 0
New Here ,
Feb 01, 2019

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Moving away from FrameMaker was not my decision. There's more to this story that I'll gladly share if anyone would care to hear it.

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Feb 01, 2019 0