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Julia.McG
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FrameMaker vs. InDesign

Dec 5, 2012 11:54 AM

We currently use FrameMaker 10 to develop our classroom guides. We are starting to use Indesign to create job aids. If possible it would be nice to use one software - plus we are using more graphics in our guides and FrameMaker is a bit more restrictive/limited in this area. One feature that Frame offers that I haven't been able to locate in InDesign is using conditional text to turn entire pages on and off within a book. Today our instructor guide and participant guide are one document with the instructor pages conditionalized to turn off and renumber the TOCs to create the participant guide. Is there a way to do this in Indesign - conditionalize an entire page?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 12:06 PM   in reply to Julia.McG

    You’d probably have better luck asking over in the ID forum ;>)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 12:31 PM   in reply to Julia.McG

    Somebody may be able to answer you here because ID is/has added some more “FM-like” qualities (long docs control, cross-refs (maybe), etc.) lately, but I suspect you’d get better feedback over there ;>)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 12:33 PM   in reply to Julia.McG

    > One feature that Frame offers that I haven't been able to locate in InDesign is using conditional text to turn entire pages on and off within a book.

     

    Frame doesn't actually do that, does it? If you have disconnected pages in an FM document, they cannot be hidden by CC. They just end up empty of main flow text.

     

    What Frame does is allow arbitrary swaths of Flow A text, and non-graphic text in anchored frames and tables, to be hidden via CC. The remaining visible text re-flows, often reducing the needed page count (making it appear that "pages" have been turned off), and easily vanishing content that maps specific page layouts via AMP (making specific page layouts appear to turn off). So it appears that pages are conditionalized, but it is really just the text that is.

     

    I'm not an ID user, but if ID has conditional text, and supports a single text flow across page boundaries, and supports linking content to page layouts, I'd expect that it could "conditionalize pages" by implication.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 1:21 PM   in reply to Julia.McG

    One thing to look at in IDCS6 is the Liquid Layout, Alternate Layouts, and Content Linking (via the Content Conveyor), which are all basically new in this version.

     

    While not allowing conditional pages, per se, you can create multiple representations of your pages within the same document, and choose to link or not link content (text and/or graphics!) between layouts.

     

    If you (or anyone else reading this post) would like to see a 20 minute demo I recorded on the topic, feel free to forward me your email address in a private message and I'll give you access.

     

    -Matt

    @mattrsullivan

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 6:24 PM   in reply to Error7103

    Error7103 wrote:

     

    ...

     

    What Frame does is allow arbitrary swaths of Flow A text, and non-graphic text in anchored frames and tables, to be hidden via CC. The remaining visible text re-flows, often reducing the needed page count (making it appear that "pages" have been turned off), and easily vanishing content that maps specific page layouts via AMP (making specific page layouts appear to turn off). So it appears that pages are conditionalized, but it is really just the text that is.

     

    I'm not an ID user, but if ID has conditional text, and supports a single text flow across page boundaries, and supports linking content to page layouts, I'd expect that it could "conditionalize pages" by implication.

    InDesign has these abilities.

     

    You're correct that FrameMaker doesn't conditionalize and hide pages, just text in a flow.

     

    Without knowing more about how the FrameMaker documents are constructed, it's hard to comment on how InDesign might be used to replicate the behavior.

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 7, 2012 2:28 AM   in reply to Julia.McG

    You're not conditionalizing whole pages of FrameMaker documents, you're conditionalizing all the text flow content that happens to appear on one or another page. Anchored frames,  tables, and text insets, are just part of the text flow, nothing special as far as conditions.

     

    What you're missing in InDesign is the ability to thread text frames. FrameMaker and almost all word-processing tools do this by default. In InDesign, you need to do some setup to get this to happen. However, once it's in a document, you can use that document as a template to create other documents that have the setup.

     

    To emulate FrameMaker in a new InDesign CS6 document:

     

    • Open Preferences from the Edit menu (Windows) or InDesign menu (Mac.)
    • Type > Smart Text Reflow - enable (check the box) and Add Pages to: End of Story.
    • Type > Show Hidden Characters
    • View > Extras > Show Text Threads - They appear when a text frame is selected; you can select a text frame by clicking with the Select tool (black arrow) or by pressing Escape when the cursor is active in text.)
    • File > New Document - Intent Print, Facing Pages checked or unchecked, Primary Text Frame - enable (check) - The primary text frame makes the document work like FrameMaker - a text frame on a master page that creates a text frame on the first page of a new document. In earlier InDesign, you'd need to override the master page's text frame by Shift+clicking on the document page. Smart Text Reflow makes new pages when you type across a page boundary.
    • Click OK
    • Open the Pages panel so you can watch new pages appear and disappear when cleared of content.
    • Choose the Text tool and click within the page, if the cursor isn't blinking at the top left of the text area.
    • Type > Fill with Placeholder Text - the page's text frame is full
    • Press Enter/Return once or twice and watch the lower-right corner of the text frame, and/or the Pages panel - a red "+" will appear momentarily, indicating overset text, then it disappears as a new page appears.
    • Edit > Undo - removes the overflowed text, and the empty page disappears. This is Smart Text Reflow in action! You're in the game.

     

    From here, you need to search Google for terms like "InDesign flowing text," "InDesign threading text," "InDesign placing text," "InDesign conditional text," without quotes for details.

     

    If you are using structured FM with a structured application, you'll need to learn a LOT about replicating this with InDesign's XML and Tagged Text features. If not, don't even think about it.

     

    You'll need an InDesign book and/or a training course. Sandee Cohen's Visual Quickstart Guide," is one of the most-recommended books. Bob Levine often posts a link to a free week of Lynda.com training in this forum.

     

    [EDIT] Ooops, I forgot to mention the commercial FrameMaker MIF FIlter for InDesign Plug-in from dtptools.com. It converts FrameMaker MIF (maker interchange format) files to InDesign files. MIF is FrameMaker's counterpart to IDML (InDesign Markup Lanaguage.) In FM, File > Save As > MIF creates the file, which contains everything that was in the FM file it came from. (Opening the MIF file in FM recreates the file, sans any minor corruption.) The plug-in is not perfect because there are FrameMaker constructs that have no counterparts in InDesign, so they're simulated. You can try it for free - you just can't save or print a converted file until you pay for page credits (like a phone card.)[/EDIT]

     

    [EDIT] Ooops again! I forgot to mention that you can place (import) RTF files into InDesign, and you can save FrameMaker files as RTF. The MIF Filter tries to reproduce FM's layout and formatting as much as possible, while RTF retains only the formatting.[/EDIT]

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     

     

    Julia.McG wrote:

     

    You are probably right...I simplified what we are doing. We conditionalize whole pages of content...including anchored frames...which when turned off moves the other content - thus creating the illusion of pages turning on and off. Not really knowing InDesign at all...I tried this same process...but you can only select one text frame at a time...so maybe there is a different way to lay the page out so that I can select all the content. I also couldn't figure out how to turn the conditions on and off...like I said..total newbie to Indesign...so want to know if it is possible to grab whole pages of content and make them vanish.

     

    Message was edited by: peter at knowhowpro

     

    Message was edited by: peter at knowhowpro

     
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