Re: Frame 5.0/Word 6.0 import

Subject: Re: Frame 5.0/Word 6.0 import
From: "Mutton, Sara" <s -dot- mutton -at- TECHSMITH -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 1995 18:08:02 -0600

>The messages on this list convinced us that we should switch to
>FrameMaker for Windows 5.0 from our Word for Windows 6.0c. We need to
>use the master document feature for some of our longer, more complex
>documents and Word was beginning to burp on us.

We have had the same problem with Word 6.0.

>So, yesterday we got our new FrameMaker for Windows 5.0, installed
>it with the Word filter, and guess doesn't work! What gives?

We have had that problem too. Word no like Frame.

>So, for tech writers who use Frame, what do you do? How do you import
>Word 6.0 documents? I know I could probably save the Word docs as
>RTF, but that will undoubtedly require a lot of clean up. Can anyone

Actually, that's not quite the problem -- and please don't read this
as a pitch for Frame. Frame is just a very different kind of technology.
I'm still learning about Frame 5 myself, but here are my homegrown
explanations for these difficulties.

First, if you have long, complex docs which Word chokes on, it is likely
that you have done writer-organization stuff like partitioning the document
with sections. That's a problem when you import into Frame, since it
does not recognize the concept of sections in the same way which Word does.

There's good reason for that: Frame wants to use a more comprehensive
definition of a unit, the master, which defines not only a partition but a
relationship to other files. The Word section is a light kind of
partitioning which Frame just doesn't know what to do with, so it either
coughs on your file or mashes all your sections together. Clean up
is inevitable.

Second, Frame wants to do everything by style definition, as you know.
When it doesn't find or understand how text is supposed to formatted,
it coughs on that too. Frame sees parts of a document as "buckets"
to pour text into (my favorite collegues' description), so when it runs
into line by line formatting which doesn't corresponds to a bucket --
a style -- it goes "ACK!". And no capeche.

You might want to try the Word 2.0 filters, which will deliver a "simpler
format" to convert. (Don't try RTF: it's scary.) In any event, you will
end up doing
alot of reformatting (as I'm sure you well know). The good news is that
once you have accomplished the conversion tasks, you'll find that your
documents are alot easier to work with. However, there is no way to get
away from an extensive clean up process (that I know of).

If anyone out there knows the magic buttons, I'd like to know too.

If you need more info

Sara Jane Mutton
Technical Writer
Techsmith Corporation
3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 400
East Lansing, MI 48823 USA
s -dot- mutton -at- techsmith -dot- com
Voicemail: (517) 333-2100x168
FAX : (517) 333-1888

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