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Use of Adobe FrameMaker

New Here ,
Nov 01, 2018

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Hello,

I have a client looking for a professional to layout a 900-page catalog using FrameMaker.  I have never heard of such a thing.  I know one would use InDesign but FrameMaker?  To give some background, the client's sister company is in Europe and they are sending, to the states, their 900 page catalog that needs to be edited for USA use:  some products are not available in the state, converting metrics, and converting European English to American English.  So, again, I'm wondering if there was a miscommunication.    Can anyone offer insight?

Thank you!

Shannon

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Use of Adobe FrameMaker

New Here ,
Nov 01, 2018

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Hello,

I have a client looking for a professional to layout a 900-page catalog using FrameMaker.  I have never heard of such a thing.  I know one would use InDesign but FrameMaker?  To give some background, the client's sister company is in Europe and they are sending, to the states, their 900 page catalog that needs to be edited for USA use:  some products are not available in the state, converting metrics, and converting European English to American English.  So, again, I'm wondering if there was a miscommunication.    Can anyone offer insight?

Thank you!

Shannon

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Nov 01, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 01, 2018

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Sounds like it already is in FM - a 900 page doc isn't out of the realm for FM.

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Nov 01, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 01, 2018

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900-page catalogs tend to be quite consistent in their formatting, so yes, Fm would be a good choice. Plus, with conditional text, GREP support, and scripting options, it would be much easier to edit the existing project than to reflow into something like InDesign (which, by the way, is another app that I love to use)

-Matt

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 01, 2018

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By the way, I've had a few clients that use FrameMaker to publish database output of catalog content. These projects were of similar size, but because it was based on database (either MIF or XML) output, they were able to keep the content up-to-date throughout the year, and only spent one week a year on catalog layout and production.

Pretty cool, actually.

-Matt

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2018

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Hi Shannon:

I'm an Adobe Certified Instructor on both applications, and I'd say the answer depends on:

  1. the layout (how it needs to look),
  2. what form the document is in right now (if it isn't a new project), and
  3. all else being equal, what application they are comfortable using if they hope to take over managing the file. A longtime Fm user will be more comfortable using FrameMaker rather than having to learn InDesign. They may also already have FrameMaker license and not want to purchase a Creative Cloud license. Or maybe it's the sister company that is calling the shots and pushing them towards FrameMaker, and your client is hoping to get support from them when they run into trouble?

You've already heard why one might use FrameMaker, so I'll just note that both applications can handle 900+ page documents (divided into chapters and pulled back together into books), both can handle UK English and US English, and converting from metric measurement to imperial measurement. Both support the three features Matt mentioned above (conditional text, GREP (though Fm is limited to GREP Find/Change while InDesign also supports GREP styles) and scripting).

I think an InDesign advantage is that data merge is built right into InDesign via a panel. The data source typically originates from a spreadsheet or database application, but you can create your own data source file using InDesign or any text editor by creating comma-delimited (.csv) or tab-delimited (.txt) text format files. Data merge is easy to set up, and easy to update.

In addition, InDesign offers a few features that lend themselves to catalog work: nested styles are a huge timesaver but are not part of FrameMaker and InDesign's object styles are much more robust than the equivalent feature in FrameMaker.

Hopefully, this is enough information for you to discuss the merits of one app over the other with the client—if you get the chance, come back and let us know which way they decide to go.

~Barb

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Nov 04, 2018 0
Adobe Employee ,
Nov 09, 2018

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Hi shannons39638181​,

you got a couple of great and in-depth answers from the nice people in this forum. I would be great, if you find a minute to get back to them 😉

Cheers,

*Stefan.

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Nov 09, 2018 0