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Better drawing tools needed

Jun 2, 2012 10:41 AM

Tags: #framemaker #callouts #drawing #drawing_tools #call-outs #call-out #requests #graphics_toolbar

FrameMaker drawing tools haven't changed since I started using FM 5 for UNIX (might have been FM 3--hard to remember that far back). The tools are clumsy to manipulate, they don't "remember" your last settings, and they don't tell you what the current settings are for items already in the book (for example, color or line width), and you can't save presets. These failings make it difficult to make your drawings consistent throughout a book without writing down your settings elsewhere, and you always have to take extra time to change the settings to what you need each time you open a new file. It is inefficient, cumbersome, limiting, and leaves too much room for error.

 

It's time for more sophisticated tools for drawing and editing those drawings in anchored frames. Perhaps Adobe could borrow some features from Illustrator or InDesign and add them to the Graphics Toolbar.

 

Here are some items I wish I had been able to use while writing my last book in FM9. I really just wanted Illustrator/InDesign tools, but the below items would have sufficed:

 

  • Recall last settings automatically (or at least have option to)
  • Add presets for arrows, lines, boxes; ability to add custom presets
  • More control over drawing and editing straight lines when using Shift key
  • View current settings for drawings (line width, color, arrow style, dash pattern)
  • Add more patterns

 

Thanks,

Karen

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2012 4:52 PM   in reply to farrelldoc

    Agreed! For now, I am making drawings in Microsoft Visio, and importing them as SVG vector graphics. This method is more cumbersome and impacts filesize more than using the native drawing tools, but I find the native FrameMaker drawing tools far, far too primitive for drawings of any complexity. I need spline curves, auto-routing connectors, custom shape libraries, and other advanced drawing features to get the kind of content creation throughput needed for my job.

     
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    Aug 16, 2012 3:58 AM   in reply to chrispitude

    Agreed. FrameMaker is much better than Word! But when so see the graphic features of Word you will cry about the graphic features of FrameMaker. If someone says FrameMaker is old-fashioned, the typical proof will be: look at the graphic and graphic import functions!

     
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    Apr 18, 2013 11:55 AM   in reply to farrelldoc

    Agree with all this.

     

    It would also be nice to be able to make your own cliparts, especially arrows.

     

    Frame currently has this:

     

    http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/8430/20130418194812.png

     

    But I would like to illustrate a 1/4 turn and a 3/4 turn.

     

    Like I say, it would be even better if you could design your own externally and import them in. _

     
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    Apr 18, 2013 11:57 AM   in reply to bowen192

    If you have the TCS, you could always use Illustrator...

     
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    Apr 18, 2013 12:05 PM   in reply to Arnis Gubins

    I have TCS4, but you cannot create something for Framemaker that has an opaque background.

     

    If I create the arrow in Illustrator, with the background removed, Framemaker converts the background to white.

     

    Or am I missing a trick?

     
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    Apr 18, 2013 12:28 PM   in reply to bowen192

    When FM imports graphic content, it sets the background to White, by default. Try selecting the graphic and set the FM fill to None. With FM11, you can set an object style that has the fill set to None and apply that to the imported graphics.

     
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    Apr 18, 2013 1:26 PM   in reply to Arnis Gubins

    I must be missing a trick then.

     

    I have imported using ai, png, eps and none seem to remove the white background, even after setting the fill to None.

     

    What am I doing wrong?

     
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    Apr 18, 2013 1:52 PM   in reply to bowen192

    First (the obvious), make certain that you don't have an explicit white background in the source file

     

    Note: you won't see this happen in FM, you need to output (to PDF) in order to see the effect happen. For an example, see this message:

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4818950#4818950

     
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