How to quickly adapt a word document to its framemaker replacement

Participant ,
Feb 13, 2020

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Hi,

 

Let me first  say how much I welcome the possibility of going away from Word, which has been a nightmare in many occasions.

 

That being said, I wish there was a better way to tell me how to quickly get back to speed in adapting to the new configuration.

For instance:

 

How to create a TOC

How to duplicate (or close enough) the navigation pane of  Word, (Display of headers, or pages)

How to transfer the bookmarks (or create new ones if that is needed in Framework)

How to update the headers and footers (or create new ones)

etc

 

Can someone point me to relevant tutorials?

Thanks

 

Serge

TOPICS
Content migration, Formatting and numbering, PDF output

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2020

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Pick up a copy of Matt R. Sullivan's Publishing Fundamentals books & check out Barb's site - rockymountaintraining.com for great how-to stuff. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2020

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In addition to what Jeff recommends, when you first open FrameMaker you'll see something called WelcomeScreen. In the lower right corner is a panel called Learning that has links to Tutorials, Training, and Matt Sullivan's introductory course for FrameMaker. It's online and free and covers most of the introductory information you'll need, but be aware that the courses unlock over a period of days. You can't binge, in other words.

 

There's also a link to the User Guide.

 

Be aware that Frame and Word have very, very different approaches to documentation. One thing you will NOT find in Frame is the Navigation panel you are talking about. You can get the book files to display the text contents of the first line, but that's about it.

 

You can also FrameMaker courses in LinkedIn Learning, if that's accessible to you.

 

Edited to add: Also, Matt Sullivan had a presentation covering moving from Word to Frame about a month ago. It is also free and online: https://2020-01-14-stepping-up-from-word-to-adobe-framemaker.meetus.adobeevents.com/?

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Participant ,
Feb 13, 2020

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Thanks.
I've looked in the www.rockymountaintraining.com but I find the 600 bucks a bit too
much for my wallet.

What's the title of the book by Matt R. Sullivan you refer to?

Best

Serge

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Participant ,
Feb 13, 2020

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Hi,

Yeah, I understand that there is no such thing as Navigation Panel of Word
but cant we approach that in some fashion?

I thought perhaps via the bookmarks, or a TOC?

Best

Serge

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2020

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I was referring to Barb's blog articles - they're free.

Matt got started with the FM "bible" with Unstructured FM11 - still a relevant reference even though the UI has changed a bit. See https://www.amazon.com/Matt-R.-Sullivan/e/B016CJHEVU%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share for some of his others.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2020

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Barb's FrameMaker blog is here: https://www.rockymountaintraining.com/category/framemaker/

 

As Jeff says, full of great information in nice, focused nuggets.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2020

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Hi Serge:

 

Any way to reach Adobe management?

This is a user-to-user forum, meaning users helping users. We do get visits from the engineering team but no, you aren't going to reach Adobe management through this post. 

 

As a career FrameMaker trainer (coming up on 30 years), in my opinion you have already received excellent advice. FrameMaker isn't hard, but it isn't Word and it isn't intuitive. Find a class, work through a book, watch the free online course, look up specific topics on my blog, and ask questions here. FrameMaker is a powerful program, but there aren't any shortcuts to getting up and running without an investment of time and/or money. That said, I think I am speaking for all of us that FrameMaker totally worth learning. Word doesn't come close.

 

~Barb

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2020

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Frame doesn't have bookmarks, per se, although the PDF generated from a Frame book can have them.

 

The TOC can act as a navigation panel once it's generated, but it has to be regenerated when new information is added. It is not automatically updated. You also have to reselect the TOC each time you want to use it as a navigation aid. The book file can be set up to be always visible, and that will at least take you from file to file within the book.

 

In general, it is considered a best practice to keep chapters in separate files, although this is not always necessary. 

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Participant ,
Feb 15, 2020

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Hi,

Many thanks for your reply.
I see that I was quite mistaken about Barb's blog.

I have seen it now and it is indeed very good.

But my plea remains and I wish I could reach adobe management to tell them
the following:

I have published 2 books over 500 pages each using MS word as it was, and
remains today, the word processing program having a quasi monopoly in this
field.

I am presently working on a third book nearing publication in a few months.

Having gone through many, many difficult cases of misbehavior of that
software, I would welcome switching over a sturdier program.

And when I heard, recently, that FrameMaker 2019, was now accepting word as
input to it, I had welcomed the idea.

But, after starting using it, it becomes quite clear that in order to
really using it, one has to go through a steep learning curve (the manual
has over 800 pages) and that takes way too much time.

I thought, and still doo, that Adobe could do a very good job of producing
a quick way of "converting" an existing word document to what a framework
structured one could be.
I am quite sure that a programmer knowing both word and FM could see what
is relevant in this case and produce the process in just a few days.
And, in this case, and only in this case, I will be among the ones to
switch to that probably much better program.
Otherwise, I will have to continue struggling with the beast I am using,
but, however bad it is, eventually produces the output I need.

Any way to reach Adobe management?

Thanks

Serge

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Participant ,
Feb 15, 2020

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Thanks a great deal.

I have no doubt that Framemaker is a much better program than Word.

But what I am trying to say is that, I for one, cannot invest so much time
in learning it in order to convert my Word Documents to it.

And since Adobe seems to wish to convert word users to switch to it. I hope
they can develop a procedure to enable us to quickly adopt it.

It should not be that difficult and with that investment from them would be
a win/win situation.

That's what I wish I could tell Adobe management.

Best

Serge

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Adobe Employee ,
Feb 15, 2020

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Hi Serge

 

Let's connect over an email and then we could have a connect session.

 

Thanks

Amitoj Singh

amisingh@adobe.com

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Participant ,
Feb 15, 2020

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Hello,

My email is [personal information removed in accordance with Adobe policy].
Be listening for yours

Best

Serge

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 17, 2020

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Serge, he wants you to email him.

 

(Adobe policy is that users should not be posting their personally identifying information in a public forum like this.)

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Participant ,
Feb 17, 2020

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Yes I know.

I discovered too late that he had left his email

I did contact him since.

Thanks

Serge

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2020

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No worries. I hope he was able to give you the help you needed.

 

As I'm sure you're noticing, the biggest difference between Word and FrameMaker is that Word comes with dozens of templates that pre-set layouts and styles and colors, but it expects you to do what it tells you to do unless you want to suffer the consequences (or are good enough with Word to avoid/fix the consequences).

 

In contrast, FrameMaker gives you only a few barebones templates and lets you tell it what to do. This means you have to spend a bit of time learning how to tell it what you want it to do.

 

As a tech writer, I prefer being able to control what happens, so I like this paradigm, but it does require an upfront investment of time.

 

You might want to sign up for the frameusers email list (framers-request@lists.frameusers.com), not as active as in the past but still a good place to talk to other Frame users. There's also the website, which provides access to various tools and links to sites that specialize in FrameMaker plugins. It even has my (very-out-of-date by now) list of FrameMaker plugins.

 

In addition, the Tools page on the site has downloads of the old Adobe FrameMaker templates series. I'm not certain how old it is (I think a couple of decades by now), but it's still a decent source of examples on how to develop templates. 

 

Oh, and in addition to Barb's and Matt's courses, Shlomo Peretz of Microtype does, I think, still hold FrameMaker template development courses. They are pretty awesome.

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Participant ,
Feb 18, 2020

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hi,

Thanks a lot.

I am in contact with Manning and I will look into what you just told me.

Regards

Serge

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Participant ,
Feb 18, 2020

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oops,
I meant Mannish,

Sorry

Serge

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2020

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I thought you might be interested in a new plugin created by our own Klaus Daube that adds a navigation panel composed of specified tags. I know I am!

 

https://daube.ch/docu/fmaker84.html

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sergec112 AUTHOR LATEST
Participant ,
Mar 02, 2020

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Great

Thanks a lot

Serge

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