Using Text Insets (was Comparing three documents)
I have three documents A, B and C. In these documents the content may be
- only in A
- only in B
- only in C
- in A+B
- in B+C
- in A+C and of course
- in A+B+C.
I want to get one composite document with standard text (=A+B+C) and three
conditional tags ("A", "B" and "C").
Is it possible to get such a document using the feature "Comparing
documents"? Must I have conditional tags "A+B", "B+C", "A+C" too?
You didn't say whether, in those cases where the content is a composite
of two or more, the sequence varies as well. If it does, then certainly
conditional text won't work. I'm not sure what "comparing documents"
has to do with what you're trying to achieve.
USE TEXT INSETS RATHER THAN CONDITIONAL TEXT
In any event, I think you'd be better off not using conditional text,
and keeping A, B, and C as separate docs. That takes care of
three of the cases.
Now for the combination cases, create composite documents in which
A, B, and C are imported by reference as text insets in any combination
and sequence. This modular approach allows you to later add D, E,
and F to the pot without creating the profusion of confusion that
would result if you were using a conditional text solution in a
Additionally, as described below, the use of text insets has many unique
advantages that are not possible when you use a single-document
conditional text solution.
When you use text insets imported by reference, documents
A, B, and C (as well as D, E, and F if they're added later) become
"masters," and the documents into which they are imported
become "composites." Any change made to a "master"
will all be automatically reflected in all the composite documents
in which the master is an imported-by-reference text inset.
If you don't want the changes to one or more of the altered masters to
be reflected in some of the composite documents, then before the
changes are made, you simply convert those text insets to text
in the composite documents where you want to retain the old version
of the master.
COLLABORATIVE AUTHORING IS FACILITATED
A different author can be assigned responsibility for one or more
master documents, and those authors can work simultaneously on their
assigned masters without producing editing "collisions" in the
ADDING VARIABLES TO THE MIX
If some text in the masters (e.g., the names of things) may vary in
the composites, use variables for that text in the masters. Then,
in the composites, you can change those variable definitions, and
the variables in the text insets will take on the values defined in the
FORMATTING VARIATIONS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE
When you import text insets, you have the option of either
preserving the formatting in the master, or making
the formatting conform to that of the composite document in
which it is imported. If both the masters and the composites
were created using the same template, and you make the
text insets conform to the formatting of the composite
document, you can change the formatting of some tags
in the composites, and the text insets will reflect those
YOU CAN STILL USE CONDITIONAL TEXT, BUT ITS
EVEN MORE POWERFUL
As long as the composites have the same conditional text tags
as the masters, conditional text within any master can be shown
or hidden in any composite where that master appears as a
text inset. In other words, Show/Hide in any composite overrides
the Show/Hide settings in any master contained as a text
inset within the composite. Thus you can have several different
composites containing the same master, and each composite
can have different Show/Hide settings.
| Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory -at- primenet -dot- com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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