TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Word to Frame conversion From:Laurence Burrows <burrows -at- IBM -dot- NET> Date:Thu, 3 Dec 1998 10:37:11 +1100
Kathy Stanzler wrote:
Does anyone have information on how much time and effort it takes to convert
a document set that is written in Word to Frame?
Depends on the document, and how much Word formatting was used for tables,
graphics and special effects.
Overall, and referring to converting software manuals from Word to Frame, I
have found the quickest route is:
1. Open the document in Word -- print it as a formatting guide.
2. Save As 'Word 2.x for Windows (*.doc)' *with a new name*. Leave Word open.
3. In FrameMaker, Open the document (it should identify itself as type
'Microsoft Word for Windows 2.0'. Select all the text (Ctrl-A) and then
select Body from the Paragragh catalog. All the text will change to the
default Body style (12 pt Times). Save. If your house Body style is
different, now is the time to make the changes and re-apply the Body style.
This especially applies to space before and after paragraphs, indents,
tabs, hyphenation, justification, kerning and fixed line spacing. Save.
4. With the Paragraph style dialog box still open, select 'Body' in the
Paragraph Tag box and type in 'Body-Text'. Click on Update All. Answer OK
to 'Rename all Body tags to Body-Text?' Using hyphenated tag names allows
you to differentiate your tags from the defaults in Frame (or Word). Save.
5. If you already have a template document with all your other house styles
for Page, Paragraph, Character & Table styles, import these from the
template using File > Import > Formats... If you haven't got a template
file, now would be a good time to create one, using the Body-Text style
from your new document plus the usual suspects -- Body-Single,
Body-Bulleted, Numbered+, Heading-1, Heading-2, Notes, Header, Footer,
Doc-Title, etc. Save. Delete any un-hyphenated styles from the Paragraph
catalog (they are Frame defaults or left over from the conversion). Save.
Ditto for Character styles.
6. Turn on View > Text Symbols. You will probably find that the Word
document has HardReturns everywhere to give paragraph spacing. Get rid of
them using the Find/Change dialog box. Save. You will also find
extraneous spaces & un-needed tabs -- eliminate! Save.
7. Numbered paragraphs will probably have the numbers converted to text, as
in '1.8 Activate'. Kill the numbers and the tabs after them, because these
are provided by your Numbered+ and Heading-x Para styles. Save.
8. Starting from the top, select paragraphs that are *not* Body-Text and
apply the appropriate tags, using the printed version of the Word document
as a guide. Save frequently. If there are paragraphs with computer
commands, give the Para style a Language of 'None' so you won't drive
Frame's Spelling Checker demented.
9. Many/all of the illustrations won't convert. Go back to the original
document in Word. Select each illustration and if they are .bmp or .wmf
graphics, paste them into PaintShopPro or Photoshop and save to the format
of your choice (.bmp, .tif, .gif, etc.). Save them into a separate
directory called Graphics.
10. In the Frame document, insert your cursor where you want the
illustrations and select File > Import > File to locate your
descriptively-named graphics (you were descriptive, weren't you?) and
choose import by reference. Save after each one.
11. Mostly done. You get to clean up. Any more and this would be a How-To
This has proven the quickest, least complex conversion method. Note that
at no time do you rely on the original Word document for style, only for
content. Trying to map Word styles to Frame styles, and to work with
converted styles, only increases your workload. With practice, you should
be able to convert 50-70 pages a day.