5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2013 7:15 AM by SimonLinden

    Can Framemaker help me where InDesign can't?



      Until a few days ago I hadn't even heard of Framemaker. But I'm working on a Bible and I'm finding that there are a number of things that can't be done automatically in InDesign and that will take a lot of time to fix manually. So I've looked at alternative applications that focuses more on typesetting for long books and not so much on layout, and that's how I found Framemaker. But even though I read a bit about it I still don't know if it can solve my problems. These are a few of my issues:

      1. I have need of two footnote systems that won't affect one another, one for cross-references and another for informative footnotes. As far as I understand only one footnote system can be created in InDesign. Does the same apply for FrameMaker?

      2. I use a two column layout for the insert. But I want the footnotes to span the full width of the text block. It's not possible to do this in a simple manner in InDesign though - what about FrameMaker?

      3. I feel that I sometimes would need more "intelligent" paragraph styles than InDesign provides. Styles that may be altered by thier context. Do styles work similarly in FrameMaker or are they stronger somehow?

      4. The header of each page should contain a marker naming the current book and also the span of chapters/verses that appear on the given spread. Since FrameMaker seems to be made for techical manuals I'd have guessed that there is some functionality built in to assign these automatically - is this so or must it be done manually as in InDesign?


      If FrameMaker can't do these things for me is there some other desktop publishing application you could suggest?

        • 1. Re: Can Framemaker help me where InDesign can't?
          Tech Comm Tools Adobe Community Professional

          Hi Simon, both should be able to do what you're asking, but for your context question, it sounds like you'll want to be using structured documents.


          Structure (xml) allows you to define context and format based upon that context.

          • 2. Re: Can Framemaker help me where InDesign can't?
            SimonLinden Level 1

            Thank you for your suggestion to look into structured documents. It may help me with some of my issuses.


            But I'm not sure what you mean when you say both are able to do what I'm asking. I'm quite sure that InDesign can't span the footnotes over columns (the span columns option doesn't work for footnotes). It can be done with some scripting involving much manual work, but I'm looking for a solution as flexible as the basic footnotes option. Please let me know how I can do it in a smoother way if it's possible, (maybe there's some plug-in I haven't heard of?). The same goes for multiple footnote types.

            • 3. Re: Can Framemaker help me where InDesign can't?
              Tech Comm Tools Adobe Community Professional

              Hi Simon,


              I forwarded this to Peter Gold, who is an excellent InDesign and FM resource. Here's his response:


              Hi, Matt:

              For some inscrutable reason, I can't login to Adobe user forums, nor can I send email replies. '

              Would you mind posting this reply to Simon's query in my behalf?

              Harbs, the in-tools.com guy, is one bible-setter who might have some suggestions for Simon.


              Hi, Simon:

              If you haven't posted this query on the InDesign forum, it's a good idea, because there are at least several folks who do biblical typesetting and composition. It's more than likely that they've tackled these problems and will have some suggestions. Also, you might want to use a more-specific subject line that statesthe core issue, biblical typesetting, to attract their attention.

              Briefly, IMO, FrameMaker's still not as powerful a typesetter as InDesign. In the past, hard-bitten FrameMaker users used to refer to folks who labored in minutiae of typesetting control (tracking, kerning, baseline shift, optical margin alignment that puts wide characters that begin a line just a tad outside the left margin so they look "better") as "font fondlers." It sometimes got ugly, not just the type, but the collegial rhetoric.<G>

              If I understand your questions correctly, briefly, perhaps this will be helpful:

              *  FM, like ID, offers only one footnote stream per document. However, IIRC, FM cross-references can capture footnote numbers, but ID cannot, so this might be a way to accomplish what you want.

              * FM running header building blocks can capture "parent" variables like chaptername, chapternumber, volumename, etc. ID is more limited.

              * FM text variables can wrap across line endings, but ID's cannot.




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              • 4. Re: Can Framemaker help me where InDesign can't?
                SimonLinden Level 1

                Thank you! I will follow this advice and turn to the InDesign forum to see how InDesign can be used to do these things.

                • 5. Re: Can Framemaker help me where InDesign can't?
                  SimonLinden Level 1

                  I have opened a thread on the InDesign forum. I uploaded a screenshot there which explains what I need so it may be easier to follow that post.