RE: Can Frame do conditional texts for multiple print docs?

Subject: RE: Can Frame do conditional texts for multiple print docs?
From: "Glenn Maxey" <glenn -dot- maxey -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 18:25:44 -0600

I would venture to say that the conditional text feature works BEST when
applying it to just your sort of application, where one source manual is
being delivered to multiple audiences in the same format.

For example, it's perfect for creating the teacher's and student's version
of a textbook, or for creating the beginner, intermediate, and power-user's
version of a manual. Or for products that are similar but not exact.

The reason I think that it serves these roles better is because the amount
of text being conditioned in or out is larger. It's easier to see.

To conditionalize every little instance of cross-references to make the
wording better for print/online help is tedious and error-prone. There are
also other ways to accomplish the same thing, like importing from two
different master files containing the appropriate cross-reference tag

In any event, before you embark on a full-scale conditional text usage,
you'll want to experiment small and come up with a plan for the entire
project. It is easy to over-conditionalize or to have differing conditional
keys between files.

As part of your plan, note that results are better if you are smart about
the size of the conditionalized element. I've heard it said that it is
better to conditionalize no lower than the paragraph level. Yes, text might
be repeated between the two, but they appear side-by-side when both
conditions are turned on; an easy copy-and-paste job to keep them in synch.
It also solves graphic image problems which should only be conditioned on
the paragraph level where the anchor is.

Going below the paragraph level to the sentence or word level can introduce
problems, such as too many spaces or not enough spaces leading or following
a sentence/word, text slipping into a conditional that shouldn't or not
making it in, incomplete sentences, run-on sentences, missing punctuation,
too much punctuation, ...

Be smart. Remember that the developer of the conditional scheme isn't always
going to be the maintainer. KISS. Conditionalize to the paragraph level even
if only sentences are added/removed. Product names are excepted, but only
with extreme caution.


Glenn Maxey
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
Tel. +1 303.223.5164
Fax. +1 303.223.5275
glenn -dot- maxey -at- voyanttech -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bounce-techwr-l-58477 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
> [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-58477 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of
> crawfoa -at- allegiance -dot- net
> Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 3:57 PM
> Subject: Can Frame do conditional texts for multiple print docs?
> I am considering lobbying my manager to invest in Frame. I know
> it can set
> conditional text for print versus online Help output, but can it also
> create conditions for multiple versions of the same medium?
> We provide different audiences with customized wireless tools and
> I need to
> produce as many as five versions of the same printed document and
> keep them
> all current yet distinct.


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