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FrameMaker to ASCII in tact

[Cross-posted to both Frame lists]


I have tried every trick in my book and I cannot get FrameMaker to produce what
I need.

The Basics:

FrameMaker 5.5.6, Win98, Novel Network

The Problem:

We produce parts books for our products. These are then distributed in paper and
in a proprietary format called LinkOne. The LinkOne format can be fed from an
ASCII file. Up to about 6 months ago, we used WordPerfect 5.1 to create our
parts books and could save the file as ASCII with all formatting in tact. As a
department we want to change over to FrameMaker. Our first parts book in Frame
prints fine, but getting an ASCII output that mirrors the printed output is
seemingly very difficult. The specific problems are (problems exist when using
either the "save as text" feature or using Frank Stearns FM2A program for MIF to
ASCII conversion):

1.  Text on master pages (running headers, system variables like file name, page
numbering) do not show up.

2. Autonumbers in paragraphs without text do not show up (used for automatically
numbering items in a column)

3. Autonumbers set using a character format of white text (so it will not be
seen but will be picked up by TOC and index generation) DO print

Unless I remove all automatic features and have the writers manually put
information like file name, index numbers, and PAGE NUMBERS (!) into the file, I
cannot use FrameMaker to create our parts books. If the writers have to do this,
then why am I using Frame to do it at all? (At least I'll be asked that many

Nothing I have tried to automatically get this information into the ASCII file
has failed. Any help would be appreciated. Deadlines, as usual, loom close.

Sean A. Smither
Supervisor, Service Publications
DataKom Publishing Corporation

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