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RE: A Job for Conditional Text?

Joyce -

A little story about FM's conditional text feature:

Two weeks ago I was told that the production schedule for our 2nd
product line was being moved up by several months and that I needed to
have the user docs at our manufacturer's facility in another state by
Feb. 1. After I picked myself up off the floor, I realized that the docs
for our two product lines would be about 90% the same. I've used FM for
most of the last 5 years, but had never used the conditional text
feature. Since the docs for our first product line were in final
developmental stages, I knew it would be a nightmare trying to get two
sets of docs finalized in time to meet our production schedule
(especially since I'm a lone writer).

This seemed like a good opportunity to give conditional text a shot, so
I sat down and learned real fast how to use it. To my great relief, it
worked quite well. I was able to set illustrations, tables, text, etc.
as needed for each product line and managed to turn out custom docs for
the 2nd product line in 3-1/2 days. It's somewhat tedious to work with,
and you have to play around with it some, but it does work. Just be sure
to proof the docs really closely to ensure that each contains the
correct elements.



Chris Welch-Hutchings
Technical Publications
Home Wireless Networks, Inc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Joyce Richter [SMTP:joycer@gwsi.com]
> Sent:	Thursday, January 28, 1999 11:43 AM
> To:	Framers@FrameUsers.com; Framers@omsys.com
> Subject:	A Job for Conditional Text?
> I have 1450+ pages of software documentation that is PDF'd and
> delivered
> to the clients via CD. There are 14 sections with multiple chapters,
> plus manager's guide (6 chapters) and 4 appendices.
> We now have a new client who will be getting 'enhancements' that are
> not
> included in the normal package. I am wondering if this is an
> application
> that can best be handled using conditional text. It will involve
> blocks
> of two or three pages, including screen shots and tables, that will
> have
> to be 'made conditional.'
> Or, would it be better to maintain two separate files where the
> content
> differs, and use separate book files to control the versions?
> I have not worked with conditional text before, and the FrameMaker doc
> is not helping me in this decision. I am hoping someone out there in
> Framers' Land has experience with a similar project and can give me
> some
> advice.
> I am on Frame 5.5.2, and an NT system.
> Thanks....
> Joyce Richter
> Sr. Technical Writer
> GWiz Systems
> Lakewood, CO
> (Go Broncos!)
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