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Frame to MIF to Frame to MIF to Frame

Apr 17, 2013 12:41 PM

Tags: #framemaker_conversion #framemaker_11

What happens when you have cross references from one chapter to another and save those fm 11 chapters as mifs, which get converted to fm and edited in an earlier version fm 7, then saved as mifs, and then are opened again in fm 11 with  the rest of the chapters in the book?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2013 12:51 PM   in reply to mellon89

    Be sure to let us know when you find out. ;- )


    My best guess would be that if no one mucks with the CRs in 7, they'll be

    intact. FM is supposed to ignore contents in the MIF that it doesn't

    understand. So the 11 CRs should pass through 7 and back into 11 intact. In

    theory. And assuming the files all end up in the same book and they're all

    in the same relative path as when they started.


    If I were you, I'd try to eliminate the problem by getting the 7 site or

    writer upgraded, even temporarily, with an 11 eval.


    Art Campbell


      "... In my opinion, there's nothing in this world beats a '52 Vincent and

    a redheaded girl." -- Richard Thompson

                                                          No disclaimers apply.

                                                                   DoD 358


    I support, hyperlocal news for Groton MA.

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    Apr 17, 2013 12:54 PM   in reply to mellon89

    Other than a convoluted workflow, nothing much should happen unless you move the files around between folders. In that case, you would break the cross-refs.


    What also might occur is that if some special symbols or characters are used, they may show up incorrectly, as ?? or some other symbols at the end of the round-tripping. FM11 uses unicode encoding while FM7 uses the old FrameRoman encoding.

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    Apr 18, 2013 10:11 AM   in reply to mellon89

    Some cross-ref issues may result from the location of the files (i.e. the folder structures) used on the various machines. If there are links between files in different folders, you have to be careful that the link doesn't cross the root of the drive, e.g. D:\Project1\ linked to D:\Project2\ would cross the "root", whereas D:\Projects\First\ linked to D:\Projects\Second\ does not.


    When the link crosses the root, FM makes the link absolute, i.e. the entire filepath is embedded. Otherwise, when linking between folders at a lower level, FM just uses the relative path. You also have to be careful that the folder names along the relative paths remain the same on the various machines.

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    Apr 18, 2013 11:07 AM   in reply to mellon89



    It doesn't matter what format is edited or saved. MIF is the human readable ASCII version of the internal FM database. When FM has opened a file, it is all in the internal binary format that FM is working with. The only difference is when saving the file. Saving as MIF goes through a very specific process, so accidental inclusion of cruft (such as may come in from a Word copy & paste) in the binary gets stripped out when saved as MIF.


    If, as you say, all of the files are in the same folder, then there shouldn't be any issues with cross-references (other than the use of unicode characters) between FM versions.


    Nothing has changed in the FM cross-ref mechanism in a very long time, so I really don't understand the concern about cross-reference preservation. Are you encountering specific cross-ref errors in this FM11 > FM7 > FM11 workflow roundtripping? If so, what specifically are the issues?


    FM11 should be able to open the binary versions (.fm) files, so it shuldn't matter if the files are returned as .fm or .mif.

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    Apr 18, 2013 12:06 PM   in reply to mellon89

    > ... saving as MIFs ...


    Does FM11 offer a choice of MIF versions, and if so, which are you choosing?


    FM9, for example, allows MIF save as MIF9 or MIF7.


    Saved as MIF7: If the name, definition or target of an Xref contains Unicode, those characters get converted to "?", but the Xref still works in FM7.1. FM9, however, is making no effort to down-convert Unicode to anything FM7 would support (nor could it, for the vast majority of Unicode glyphs).


    Saved as MIF9: The characters may appear in FM7.1, but are \x## \x## escaped byte pairs in the Xref definition, and arbitrary 8th-bit-on roman extension characters in the text. They aren't even escaped to UTF8 triplets. Again, however, no Unresolved Cross-Ref error is thrown on open in FM7.1.

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    Apr 18, 2013 12:25 PM   in reply to Error7103

    FYI, all versions since FM8 have a save to MIF 7.0 option just for the unicode compatibility issues.

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    Apr 18, 2013 1:29 PM   in reply to mellon89

    > ... simply done as a name change in the folder ...


    Book component files must be renamed only by using the Book Menu feature for that:


    Rename File


    Doing otherwise will cause file-to-file references to fail, and may cause generated files to not work either, if indeed the file doesn't just fall out of the book altogether..

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2013 2:00 PM   in reply to mellon89




    The file names of the files edited in FM7, where the xref updates were made, were changed when I received them.


    If this was simply done as a name change in the folder before sending to me, and I changed the file name back before I dropped them in the folder where the book is at, overwriting the files currently there, then there should be no problem.



    No, you can't rename files at the system level! The links are made to the actual filename at the time that the link was made. As Error says, you must use the Book file to rename the files (it takes care of changing the links). However, this means that the files would need to be renamed at every hand-off (FM11 > FM7 > FM11).


    The question begs to be asked: why are the names being changed in the first place? Leave them alone and you won't have these sorts of issues.


    It also would greatly help you if everyone were at the same level of FM. If this is a contractor doing the work with FM7, then it should be their responsibility to provide you with the appropriate file versions.

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