RE: Switch from Microsoft Word to FrameMaker

Subject: RE: Switch from Microsoft Word to FrameMaker
From: "Glenn Maxey" <glenn -dot- maxey -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 15:08:21 -0600

You can do everything you desire relating to context-sensitive help using
FrameMaker and WWP (or mif2go). You'll be able to get RTF or HTML based

Regarding translation into other languages, you're probably already using a
translation memory system, such as Trados. Trados has a program called
S-Tagger which essentially takes MIF files (from FrameMaker) and converts
them into RTF for the translation. When the translation is done, you use the
tagger to get the MIF files again, but with all of the formatting required
for FM. The translator probably already has these tools. If not, you can do
this step for them and deliver the RTF files to them, business as usual.

The beauty of the translation memory system is that if you only do a
straight conversion in pass one and if you have the translation memory from
the Word version, the translation can be done at a fraction of the cost of a
full translation (20% or so). Most of the translator's job is automated.
They just have to fix things like cross-reference tags. They won't need to
put their best bi-lingual language whiz on this task; someone with basic
language knowledge will be able to accomplish the work. (Hint, you'll save
even more money if someone in-house with those basic language skills does

To avoid confusing the translator about what needs to be done, I'd recommend
making it two passes: one pass to convert what existed last release and one
pass to pick up all new things the writers have been working on in the

Bottom-line about translation: if all of your translators are not using some
form of translation memory, REQUIRE THEM TO. Yes, you will be sending them
all files again when you do this conversion. Even with translation memory,
unless you can limit and localize writer changes, you'll be sending out all
files each release anyway just to be safe that nothing was missed.

The one thing you may have to change in your process is the use of RoboHelp.
FrameMaker gets you your printed manuals. WWP or mif2go will get you a good
90%+ of the way to the desired online help. If anybody in your group is
knowledgeable about the underpinnings of RoboHelp (in particular, HPJ files,
HCW.EXE, MAP files, etc.), you won't need RoboHelp for much except the cool
Roboex32.dll and BugHunter for testing.

I'm using mif2go to get an HTML system from my FrameMaker. The current
employer/project has no requirements for Windows based context-sensitive
help. However, I feel extremely confident that I could create from
FrameMaker with this tool.

Grasshopper, consider this e-mail a warm, fuzzy confirmation that your group
is on the right path to (user) enlightment.

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 Portia
> Westfall
> Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 12:24 PM
> Subject: Switch from Microsoft Word to FrameMaker
<lots of snippage>

> One large requirement for our documentation is that everything in the
> printed manuals must also be available as context-sensitive help
> from within
> our company's software. We'd ideally like to single-source the printed
> documentation and the context-sensitive online help.

> Is anyone successfully
> using FrameMaker to produce online context-sensitive help? Our current
> online help is created in RoboHelp, and is a WinHelp output.

> Some of our manuals have been translated into foreign languages such as
> Hebrew, French, and Spanish. There are plans to continue doing this. Will
> the translated text import correctly into FrameMaker?
> Along those same lines, we will need a way for the translators to
> see where
> changes have been made and be able to translate just those changes instead
> of translating everything over again. Has anyone used FrameMaker
> with such a
> translation memory package? If so, has it worked out well for you?


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Switch from Microsoft Word to FrameMaker: From: Portia Westfall

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