Re: This old chestnut again

Subject: Re: This old chestnut again
From: Gary Schnabl <gSchnabl -at- LivernoisYards -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2007 20:33:48 -0500

Jean Hollis Weber wrote:
> RE: This old chestnut again
> WilliamFLawrence wrote,
> > By the way, I'll echo what everyone else has said about master
> > documents: they don't work. What does work (not that your management
> > will allow it) is to use the master document feature in Open Office
> > Writer to create the books from your Word files.
> As much as I am an enthusiast, I must say that trying to use
> its master document feature to create books from *Word* files is very
> likely to have its own -- sometimes severe -- problems. Some Word features
> commonly used in techwriting just don't translate well into
> Alas.
> --Jean

The kludge with OOo to allow cross referencing among subdocuments using
an OOo master document is a bit of a hassle. But, using FrameMaker
instead with its master document (book) function allows easy cross
references across subdocuments.

I often use OOo was a primary word processor for the individual
(sub)documents and afterwards convert them to DOC and then into
FrameMaker for building the book, either using convention (unstructured)
FrameMaker or into some XML version. Right now, I adapted the
non-normative DocBook 5 DTD (pretty much as is, but with a few necessary
modifications with a read/write rules file) with FrameMaker 7.0 for what
Adobe calls Structured FrameMaker--based, in my case, in XML.

Some caveats: OOo anchored frames may seem to convert OK from native ODF
to DOC, as viewed with MSO or OOo. But be advised that sometimes having
even one anchored frame in a FrameMaker-converted DOC file generated by
OOo may refuse to open in FrameMaker and actually hang up FrameMaker so
that it needs to be aborted and restarted. FrameMaker claims that FM 7.x
doesn't work with Windows Vista (mine is Ultimate). But FM 7.0 does work
OK except for a few OOo-generated functions and an occasional GUI
gremlin, associated with FrameMaker itself.

When I would extract the graphics out of the OOo-generated anchored DOC
frames, those graphics would work fine in anchored frames in FrameMaker.
Perhaps FM 8 used with Vista may not have these problems. But I can work
around them quite easily by just removing the anchored frames in OOo
before converting them to DOC and then using FrameMaker on them and
building either a conventional or a structured FM book.



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RE: This old chestnut again: From: Jean Hollis Weber

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