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What is the maximum number of characters in a FrameMaker 11 variable? in a FrameMaker 11 marker?

Jan 28, 2013 3:49 PM

Thx to anyone who can answer today's FM trivia question!!

 

-Matt

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2013 6:13 PM   in reply to mattrsullivan

    Trick question - with or without the use of the FM GUI?

     

    1. Via the FM interface to define a variable, FM will only save the first 1022 characters of your variable definition - if you dare try to enter that many via the GUI dialogue slot.

     

    2. Importing a variable via MIF, adds virtually any length - I've tested out 2510 characters. HOWEVER, FM will only display the first 1023 characters of this string.

     

    If you save the file to MIF, you can still see the original length of the variable. The other caveat is that if you touch any of these long variables via the FM GUI (Edit Variables), then FM will truncate it down to 1022 characters - regardless of how you save (binary or MIF).

     

    FWIW - Klaus Daube lists (see: http://daube.ch/docu/fmaker25.html ):

     

    Until FM 7.2: up to 255 characters including meta-notations (such as <Default ¶ Font> or \t - this counts as 16 resp. 2 characters). See also note Variables below

    From FM 8.0: up to 2023 Windows Codepage characters or up to 2022 UTF-8 characters

     

     

    I'd say that this is not quite correct. You could enter more than 255 prior to FM 7.2 as well, but again the display issue via the GUI kicked in and truncated down to 255. The newer versions only display 1022/1023 but you can enter more than 2510 characters (which in this case is futile anyway).

     
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    Nov 15, 2013 6:58 AM   in reply to Arnis Gubins

    Arnis,

     

    I'm stuck on Frame 7.2 until the Q1-04 budget is approved and I have hit the 255 character limit you mentioned with some frequently used phrases that opens an app. from a multilevel submenu.

     

    BTW, this is the kind of information I try to put into my manuals - data type (string, integer, real number, Boolean) and maximum characters allowed. Adobe should do the same.

     

    Is there an alternative method to insert a long, formatted, text string without a lot of searching, cutting and pasting?

     

    One such workaround might be to put the text on a reference page, but that would take more time that a variable. I guess I could also create two variables, with one that includes the first two menu options and another that completes the menu path.

     

    As an example of the problem, the following text is all that fits in the variable (the symbol font is a right arrow):

     

    To open RMI, select <Bold text>Applications <Symbol font>Æ<Default ¶ Font> <Bold text>Control Technologies <Symbol font>Æ<Default ¶ Font> <Bold text>Remote Machine Interfaces <Symbol font>Æ<Default ¶ Font> <Bold text>Calibration Tool<Default ¶ Font> from

     

    The following is the complete sentence:

     

    To open RMI, select <Bold text>Applications <Symbol font>Æ<Default ¶ Font> <Bold text>Control Technologies <Symbol font>Æ<Default ¶ Font> <Bold text>Remote Machine Interfaces <Symbol font>Æ<Default ¶ Font> <Bold text>Calibration Tool<Default ¶ Font> from the desktop menu.

     

    I'm looking forward to Frame 11, which I believe has a feature like Word Autotext.

     

    Yours,

     

    Michael F

    ========

     
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    Nov 15, 2013 8:17 AM   in reply to Michael314

    Try using Steve Kubis' Auto-Text tool. Well worth the price ($10).

     

    See: http://www.siliconprairiesoftware.com/Products.html

     
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    Nov 15, 2013 8:22 AM   in reply to Michael314

    I know Arnis mentoned autext from siliconprairiesoftware.com recently - I'm not sure if it was on this thread or another one. Definitely worth a look.

     

    The following suggestion probably goes against all the good work you've done on creating human-readable format names, as an aid to making it easy to format content consistently. Readable names means no guessing, hence fewer formatting  errors.

     

    That said: How about creating very short format names, to reduce character count, with the aim of working within the variables' character limit?

     

    There's no reason preventing the use of two sets of format names, long and short, with the same formatting properties, EXCEPT that it might make users crazy!

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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    Nov 15, 2013 8:36 AM   in reply to peter at knowhowpro

    Using short character tag names is one of of the "best practices" that Shomo Peretts always talks about in his webinars. He typically shows one set of duplicate chartags that are just single letters and also uses the </> alternate for the <Default ¶ Font> tag to keep the character count down.

     
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    Nov 18, 2013 4:01 AM   in reply to Arnis Gubins

    Arnis,

     

    Thanks for that tip on the </> chartag.

     

    Where can I find out about those other shorthand chartags you mentioned?  With my current character limit, it would be good to know the alternative chartags.

     

    Yours,

     

    Michael F

    ========

     
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