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nancygraz
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Using Anchored Frame Object Attributes to "Store" Art Numbers

May 1, 2013 6:02 AM

Tags: #graphics #anchored_frame_object_attributes

Good Morning, Everyone,

 

I have been using FrameMaker for over 15 years now, and as a tech writer who has inherited LOTS of graphics-intensive documents from previous writers, I have often struggled with identifying source files for embedded graphics. (I prefer to embed graphics in my documents, but that is a topic for another discussion ;-) ) More often than not, graphics have been named something that made sense to the original author at the time, but is nothing more than cryptic code to me now.

 

As a result, over the years, I have developed a personal "system" for naming my graphics files that identifies/names each file as the document number in which it resides followed by a sequential number. For example, if a document number is UM345-123, then my graphic files are named UM345-123_0001, UM345-123_0002, etc.  I then include a small (hopefully unobtrusive) 8-point text frame in the lower right-hand corner of the graphics frame that indicates the file name for the base graphic. I create an Art# tag that includes an autonumber for the Document Number (e.g., UM345-123,) which is then inserted into the text frame, and I assign the next sequential number to the graphic/file. The advantage to this is that in the future, files are easily identified if someone wants to use my graphic and all they have is a pdf copy of my document - anyone can easily locate the source file and either update it or forward it on.

 

One disadvantage is that in some situations, fitting the text frame/graphic number into the graphic frame is tough - to the point where it detracts from the graphic itself.  I am now wondering if it is possible to somehow utilize Anchored Frame Attributes to store the graphic number in these situations. Perhaps create a new attribute specifically for the Art Number? Has anyone else done something similar?

 

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Nancy

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 6:40 AM   in reply to nancygraz

    > ... include a small (hopefully unobtrusive) 8-point text frame in the lower right-hand corner of the graphics frame ...

     

    We do this as well, either as a text frame, or in the caption table below, with the reference ID set to a non-obnoxious gray. The main issue with doing this is that the ID is hand-typed, and can easily be incorrect, but usually only when it matters .

     

    We also have other metadata, that the end users don't see, such as file type, scale and rotation, and this is text with a color set, at rendering, to Invisible by Color Views.

     

    What you really want, however, is metadata that can't be incorrect, and shows the complete provenance of the object. For this, use text in the original art that is several mm above the art/table/chart extents. Clip it after import with the top edge of the anchoring frame or graphic frame within. End users never see it, but future document stewards can either slide the image down, or pull the frame edge up, to reveal the trail of crumbs leading back to the object's place of birth.

     

    Caution: that out-of-frame metadata may survive into the PDF, depending on Distiller vintage and settings. You can remove it via Examine Document in Acrobat Pro.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 7:15 AM   in reply to nancygraz

    > ... somehow utilize Anchored Frame Attributes to store the graphic number in these situations.

     

    The issues I see with this are:

    • this metadata is getting attached to the frame, and not the imported objects within
    • having multiple objects imported complicates matters
    • the meta is all hand-typed (might be copy&paste) but is at risk of being or becoming incorrect
    • will future document stewards even think to look there (esp. when altering the imported contents)
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 7:29 AM   in reply to nancygraz

    Search Google for terms like "alt text FrameMaker" without quotes for some possible solutions.

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 9:29 AM   in reply to nancygraz

    Will this work for you? I use a one-cell table with title to hold graphic and caption. An extra anchored frame gives me a place for photographer credit. Perhaps you could use that frame for your file info instead, and set the text color to match the background color to make it invisible.

    One-cell-graphic-sample.gif

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 11:49 AM   in reply to nancygraz

    > ... just trying to inconspicuously store my graphics' filenames when they are inserted in crowded situations.

     

    You can put the meta in a text frame that's as large as the image, but behind it. Be careful with vector EPS and PDF (and perhaps SVG) imports, however, as the preview is opaque, but the final rendered image usually is not, which would expose your meta.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 11:07 AM   in reply to nancygraz

    Nancy,

     

    You could consider using Shlomo Perets TimeSavers+Form-Assistant (demo file link) to create pop-ups for your graphics that display the file name.

     

    The Anchored Frame Attributes would only be added for files exported to XML, so that wouldn't help for PDF creation. Peter's suggestion could work, but that requires you to make tagged PDFs for Accessibility. This also usurps the purpose of the alt text field, so in the long run from a maintenance point of view, I proabably wouldn't recommend this option.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 12:24 PM   in reply to nancygraz

    Hi, Nancy:

     

    Ummm, I was thinking that you can store the info in the alt text, where it won't intrude on the images, and where it will be able to pop-up in PDFs.

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

     

    nancygraz wrote:

     

    Thanks everyone for the insight/suggestions so far.

     

    ...

     

    Peter - As for doing a Google search for alt text FrameMaker, I really didn't find anything that would help me since I am not really looking for how to add alt text to my graphics, just trying to inconspicuously store my graphics' filenames when they are inserted in crowded situations.

     

    Thanks!

    Nancy

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 12:56 PM   in reply to nancygraz

    Nancy,

     

    Keep in mind what I mentioned about alt text. You'll need to create Tagged PDFs from FM and this may be a maintenance issue down the road if you ever need to create section 508 accessibility conformable files.

     
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