RE: Using conditions in multi-destination docs

Subject: RE: Using conditions in multi-destination docs
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2009 14:17:34 -0700

McLauchlan, Kevin wrote:

> For a doc set that can be used with either Prod1 or
> Prod2, can I get away with just two condition tags:
> - notProductOne
> - notProductTwo
> Example text would be something like:
> "Your [Prod1][Prod2] arrives from the factory with default
> network settings. Before using the appliance configure
> for your network as follows: "
> Each time a product name appeared it would be a pair with
> both elements condition tagged. [Prod1] would have condition
> notProductTwo, and [Prod2] would be tagged notProductOne.
> I would do the same with paragraphs and whole topics/pages
> that applied to just one or the other.

All together now: It depends. :-)

Do you (or will you potentially) have multiple deliverables to derive
from the single source, like print/PDF plus online help? What
application and version are you using?

In FrameMaker 7.x or earlier, conditions could only be ORed, so to AND
conditions, you had to define combination conditions, e.g., Prod1+Print,
Prod1+Help, Prod2+Print, Prod2+Help. If you add more products and/or
outputs, the number of combination conditions you need quickly becomes
large. FM 8 and 9 support logical expressions for what to show, so you
can show and hide any combination of conditions.

There's no reason to name the condition for the Prod1 text "notProd2"
unless it's easier for you to think of it that way and no one else will
ever need to understand it. Me, I'd want to tag the text for Prod1 as

I second Tammy's warning about conditionalizing mid-sentence snippets --
it's much less error-prone and messy (and better for translation) to
conditionalize only complete sentences or paragraphs.

If you're using FM, you shouldn't use conditions for "Your
[Prod1][Prod2]..." anyway. Use variables for the product names, model
numbers, doc titles, etc. Then import one set of variable definitions to
output Prod1 deliverables and another set to output Prod2 deliverables.

If you're using Word, my sympathies. ;-)

Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Using conditions in multi-destination docs: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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