I'm a fairly novice user of FrameMaker. When I work with fm files (doesn't happen very often) I do so on an already fully complete layout. So technically I don't have to create anything from scratch but rather alter an existing content - for the most part rather minimaly.
I'm aware of FM's interfaces (unstructured, structured and XML) and was wondering:
Can you tell if a project (a file or a set of files/Book) is of structured or unstructured, so that I know in which interface to use before opening a file?
Does it make any difference if I open a structured document in an unstructured FM interface, and vice versa? Can such file still be opened and worked on correctly?
Is there a save bet (default interface choice) that I can use for opening an FM file if I don't know which interface was used origionally?
Thank you so much! it really helped me understand exactly what i needed.
We are always happy to help.
If you have need of an XML version of your documents, you will want to use the XML Author or structured user interface. Since you haven't mentioned that, I assume that this is not the case.
FrameMaker supports two different document models. An unstructured document is essentially a sequence of paragraphs, with different formats (or styles) distinguishing headings, list items, and so on. A structured document is a hierarchy of elements (for example, a book is divided into chapters, a chapter into sections, a section into paragraphs and lists, a paragraph into ranges of text interspersed with inline elements such as cross-references, emphasized phrases, and part numbers. FrameMaker formats these elements automatically based on context. The structured document model provides a WYSIWYG view of XML data.
The structured user interface supports editing of both structured and unstructured documents. Its menus and dialog boxes provide some commands and options that are only relevant to structured documents so if your documents are not structured, sticking with the unstructured user interface can be simpler.
You can open a structured document with the unstructured user interface. When you do, however, FrameMaker strips all information about structure from the file; if you save the file in its unstructured state you will lose valuable information. FrameMaker warns you of this risk when you open a structured document in the unstructured user interface.
Thank you Lynne for your detailed answer - makes it all a little clearer to me now..