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BertyDocs
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How do I get a clean set of variables?

Sep 17, 2013 12:51 PM

We have several books that have been getting cluttered with old, unused variables. We'd like to start fresh and import only the variables that we have defined in a new variables file. Somehow, when we think we've cleaned up the unused variables, they creep back in. It seems like the new variables are appended. We use a lot of text insets, so could the old variables be lingering there?

 

We're using FrameMaker 10.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 17, 2013 1:23 PM   in reply to BertyDocs

    One way is a trifle scary, and a little effort is required, but it could be a good adventure, also, if you've never edited a MIF file. MIF is FrameMaker's interchange file. It can recreate exactly a normal FM file, only it's editable text. Yes, it looks like code, but you won't be coding. Here's how:

     

    Save a copy of your template file to a new name. Then File > Save As > Type: MIF. This makes the file you'll work on. It's a little tricky to open it so that it doesn't become a real FM file. Do File > Open, navigate to it and select it, then hold down the Shift key while clicking OK. This opens it as text. Now, carefully use Find to search for "variable" without quotes, with whole word only turned off, and match case turned off. You'll find the variable definition section. You'll want to delete any variables you don't want, but leave the system variables alone (volume, chapter, modification date, etc.) There will be a few lines of code for each variable, so remove the whole chunk for each one. After working through the variable catalog, search the rest of the document. You may find instances of variables in running header definitions, and in body text,, too. Delete each complete chunk that you don't want. I think if you don't delete an instance, but it's got no definition, you may get an error when you open the file later as FM.

     

    Then, when done editing, do File > Save As > text - don't save as FM and don't save as MIF. You want to save as the same text that the MIF code is written in.

     

    Finally, open the file - it will be an FM file now. Save it and be sure it's got the .fm extension. This will be your skeleton template. Save a copy or two. Work on a copy for safety.

     

    You can search your computer or Google for "FrameMaker MIF manual," without quotes, to find where the manual resides on your computer, or on the Adobe site, if it's not on your machine.

     

     

    HTH

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    BertyDocs wrote:

     

    We have several books that have been getting cluttered with old, unused variables. We'd like to start fresh and import only the variables that we have defined in a new variables file. Somehow, when we think we've cleaned up the unused variables, they creep back in. It seems like the new variables are appended. We use a lot of text insets, so could the old variables be lingering there?

     

    We're using FrameMaker 10.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 17, 2013 2:00 PM   in reply to BertyDocs

    Have a look at Silicon Prairie's "Variable Tools". This will let you handle those re-appearing miscreants...

     

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

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 23, 2013 10:14 AM   in reply to BertyDocs

    Because of the ambiguous dialog, many users don't know that there is a relatively simple way to delete unused vars.

     

    Special > Variable

    Select any user variable.

    [ Edit Definition ]

    [ Delete ] all of them.

    [ Done ]

    For any in use, you'll get:

    OK to convert?

    [ Cancel ] on each that pops up.

     

    Cancel does not cancel the entire Delete operation, just the delete of the current variable. This deletes all unused variables in the current file.

     

    Same thing works for Cross-Reference definitions.

     
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