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Need any bright ideas for a Framemaker / Word review workflow :-(

Engaged ,
Jun 09, 2020

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[FYI, using the latest Frame2019 and Word 2016 (desktop)/Word365(online) ]

 

Normal workflow:

  1. Author in Frame.
  2. Export to PDF.
  3. Markup for review (import, or replicate where necessary, unaddressed comments/questions from earlier PDF).
  4. Shared review.
  5. Update in Frame based on review comments.
  6. Back to step 2.

 

Group of SMEs are (thankfully) willing to dive into large-scale revamping of very technical section of document (inherited from earlier development group and writer).

HOWEVER... they insist on using Word so that they can edit (including large-scale addition, deletion, and moving of content) and comment. I've tried getting them to mark up in PDF and they're not going for it. I have no stick to wield 😞

 

So... this is how I did the adjusted workflow:

Normal workflow:

  1. Author in Frame.
  2. Export to PDF.
  3. In Acrobat, Export to Word.
  4. Markup for review (Import, or replicate where necessary, unaddressed comments/questions from earlier PDF Word doc).
    [edit: Oh yes... the *really* fun part. Some of the SMEs sometimes turn Track Changes *OFF*, so there's no markup showing where they've changed content. Meaning... I get to manually review every. single. word. to look for changes.]
  5. Shared review. Shared online Word document that SMEs edit and comment to their heart's content.
  6. Update in Frame based on review comments replicating changes and addressing changes from the Word doc.
  7. Back to step 2.

 

This is ... time-consuming. PLUS, the SMEs are asking 'what about the comments we made earlier, have we lost them?'. Well.. YES!

 

The only way I can see to get the unresolved comment threads from the earlier Word review into the new Word review is to re-enter them manually (summarize the threads into single comments and add them myself).

 

Can *anybody* suggest modifications to the workflow (or a totally new workflow :-))  where the doc source is maintained in Frame but reviews must be done in Word?

Thanks linsims.

 

I'll look into giving this a try!

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Need any bright ideas for a Framemaker / Word review workflow :-(

Engaged ,
Jun 09, 2020

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[FYI, using the latest Frame2019 and Word 2016 (desktop)/Word365(online) ]

 

Normal workflow:

  1. Author in Frame.
  2. Export to PDF.
  3. Markup for review (import, or replicate where necessary, unaddressed comments/questions from earlier PDF).
  4. Shared review.
  5. Update in Frame based on review comments.
  6. Back to step 2.

 

Group of SMEs are (thankfully) willing to dive into large-scale revamping of very technical section of document (inherited from earlier development group and writer).

HOWEVER... they insist on using Word so that they can edit (including large-scale addition, deletion, and moving of content) and comment. I've tried getting them to mark up in PDF and they're not going for it. I have no stick to wield 😞

 

So... this is how I did the adjusted workflow:

Normal workflow:

  1. Author in Frame.
  2. Export to PDF.
  3. In Acrobat, Export to Word.
  4. Markup for review (Import, or replicate where necessary, unaddressed comments/questions from earlier PDF Word doc).
    [edit: Oh yes... the *really* fun part. Some of the SMEs sometimes turn Track Changes *OFF*, so there's no markup showing where they've changed content. Meaning... I get to manually review every. single. word. to look for changes.]
  5. Shared review. Shared online Word document that SMEs edit and comment to their heart's content.
  6. Update in Frame based on review comments replicating changes and addressing changes from the Word doc.
  7. Back to step 2.

 

This is ... time-consuming. PLUS, the SMEs are asking 'what about the comments we made earlier, have we lost them?'. Well.. YES!

 

The only way I can see to get the unresolved comment threads from the earlier Word review into the new Word review is to re-enter them manually (summarize the threads into single comments and add them myself).

 

Can *anybody* suggest modifications to the workflow (or a totally new workflow :-))  where the doc source is maintained in Frame but reviews must be done in Word?

Thanks linsims.

 

I'll look into giving this a try!

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Jun 09, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2020

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Ouch. I feel for you. My boss's boss wanted to do this also and my response was "no, it's not possible to do this," with an explanation of why. (Left out was the fact that trying to do what he wanted would probably triple the amount of time it took to run through reviews.)

 

Meantime, I can suggest that for the SMEs who don't remember to turn on track changes that you (a) turn it on in the Word file before sending it to them or (b) run a compare between your original Word file and theirs to pick up the changes they make. Word actually lets you do a side-by-side comparison, which is a very nice feature.

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Jun 09, 2020 0
Engaged ,
Jun 09, 2020

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Thanks for the commisseration 🙂

Unfortunately, if I want their detailed help, this is about the only way I'll get it. On the plus side (for me), I'm a contractor so I get paid by the hour 🙂 But it irks me to no end 😞

 

For the track changes  -- they're posting the document on the internal Sharepoint and everybody can turn it off or on on a whim 😞

And... as noted, there are some large-scale mods being made, which renders side-by-side just about impossible. Especially when you consider the font, paragraph, table and figure modification madness they manage to apply.

 

On the plus-ish side, it only took me 15 minutes to track down (i.e. scroll through the earlier Word doc in Draft mode) all the comment threads (about 30 threads comprising 60 comments) and use copy/paste to apply them in the new doc. Busywork really annoys me, though.

 

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Jun 09, 2020 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jun 10, 2020

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I would recommend to generate the PDF using File -> Send as Review PDF. In case you have Document Cloud subscription, please send it for online review and once completed , please import into FM the final review pdf with comments. 

 

With Online Review functionality from Document cloud - the review can be opened directly in a browser so anyone can comment or track changes. We are working on a new functionality which would make it really easy to run these online reviews.

 

Please do have a look at this recorded webinar that we had presented few months back

https://2019-09-30-adobe-technical-communication-suite.meetus.adobeevents.com/

 

Hope this helps.

 

Thanks

Amitoj Singh

 

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Jun 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2020

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Amitoj, the issue is that the people they are working with have mandated the use of Word and refuse to use a PDF to provide comments.

 

jaggedpeak, you should still be able to compare your original version of the Word file to the marked-up file on the Sharepoint server, no matter what your reviewers do, as long as you keep it on your hard drive and maybe add something like "-original" as part of the name so there's no chance it can get overwritten.

 

You might want to try creating a Word template with matching style names and add some extras for their most common style preferences. Then instead of creating a PDF and exporting to RTF, you can export the Frame book to an RTF file, and then import the styles from your Word template into the result. Then if you lock the styles, they won't be able to do anything but use the styles you've given them. And if they complain, tell them you're doing it this way so that the file doesn't get corrupted beyond repair and lose all their valuable feedback. If they've worked with Word for any length of time, they will wince in sympathy because they've lost tons of work and (hopefully) cooperate.

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Jun 10, 2020 1
Engaged ,
Jun 18, 2020

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Thanks linsims.

 

I'll look into giving this a try!

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Jun 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2020

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Definitely a nightmare scenario. I was going to mention that both FrameMaker and Acrobat have a document compare feature designed to help you locate updates. I didn't know that Word did too until Lin mentioned it. 

 

~Barb

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2020

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I'm a contractor so I get paid by the hour 🙂

Thank goodness.

 

~Barb

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Jun 09, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2020

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In case there is still interest in this question, here is how I do it:

  1. Create a Manuscript template in FM will all relevant styles defined.
  2. Write manuscript in FrameMaker
  3. Export Manuscript in HTML with CSS representing the styles defined in FM
  4. Open the HTML document straight in word 2016 (or above).
  5. Save as a word document. In the process, the css styles will be turned into word styles.
  6. Perform the entire editing round in word by leveraging Microsoft Cloud (free under 5 gig).
  7. Once the editing is complete, create a new document based on the template that was used for writing the manuscript. Remember, it has the same set of styles as in the word document.
  8. Import the word document into that empty document. The styles will match since they carry the same names.
  9. Save the document in FM. Done.

 

Things to watch for:

  1. This works when your entire document is stored inside one FM document or when you don't mind if on the way back from Word you end-up with a single FM document. From what I've gathered, FM Word import is unable to split the word document into separate FM files based on headings.
  2. If your initial document included images by reference, your returning document from word would not carry these references, you'll have to reset them by hand or write a script to do it.

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Jun 18, 2020 0