Re: Single Sourcing in Framemaker

Subject: Re: Single Sourcing in Framemaker
From: "Julie Stickler" <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 16:51:05 -0400

> On 9/5/2008 6:39 AM, Ronquillo, Michael wrote:
>> The previous Tech Writers at my company single sourced a book for three
>> brands. I'm finding it a huge chore with conditional text, mainly with
>> respects to spacing and hard returns.
>> Having said that, has anyone ever successfully single sourced books in
>> Framemaker?

Sean was abolutly right that you have to use styles and spacing
consistantly. His answer wasn't as flip as you might think it was.

At my last job I had a project where I had to write two upgrade paths
that shared probably 80% of their content. Rather than update two
separate books, I just used the FrameMaker conditional text feature on
the bits that were specific to one of the upgrade paths. Once I
figured out all the little tricks of how to correctly apply
conditions, it worked like a charm. But the key is proper use of
styles and consistancy.

I'm not using FrameMaker at my current job, so this is from memory...
I seem to recall that when I was conditionalizing a word or phrase
that I had to be consistent in also applying the condition to the
space either before or after the word (that way your spacing comes out
correctly when you show or hide the word). Pick one (space before or
space after) and ALWAYS apply the condition that way.

When you're applying conditions to bulleted or numbered lists you have
to also capture the paragraph marker at the end of the line, or else
you'll still see the bullet or number when you hide the text. So you
pretty much have to work with the markers turned on when you're
applying conditions.

I know there were a couple other issues. If you don't already own it,
I highly recommend FrameMaker the Complete Reference.
( as I know that was
where I turned to figure out why I was troubleshooting my conditional

Hope that helps!

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Single Sourcing in Framemaker: From: Ronquillo, Michael
Re: Single Sourcing in Framemaker: From: Guy K. Haas

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