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Re: MIF Files

On Thu, 02 Nov 2000 15:42:37 +0000, Marc Schlaile <marc@babylonwaves.com> 

>i try to find an elegant way to ease the process. basically i need to find
>a way to let the editor rewrite some things without me creating the whole
>manual again, when he's finished.
>as there are very few pictures, maybe RTF is the better solution. is it safe
>to edit an RTF file with, say MS word and import it back into framemaker?

No way.  AFAIK, we've the best Frame-to-Word conversion available, in
Mif2Go, and we do *not* recommend such a "solution".  In a nutshell,
Word is not Frame; if you could do everything in Word that you can in
Frame, who would bother buying Frame?  <g>

When you filter to Word, you lose a lot of Frame features, such as
live cross-refs and autonumbers, which become plain text.  That is
because the ways xrefs and anums are implemented in Word are so
different from Frame's methods that it's not possible to convert 
accurately.  Likewise, Word doesn't support sideheads, so we go to
considerable trouble to emulate them with text boxes; if an editor
tried to add another one by hand, he'd have a difficult time ahead.
And many common Frame page layouts, like headers that extend down
next to the body text, simply won't work in Word.  Table cells can
span columns but not rows.  And on and on.

The re-import is even worse.  You get a dog's dinner that you will
spend so long cleaning up that retyping will start to look good.

For your situation, the *best* solution is to have the job done
in Frame, by an editor who knows how to use Frame.  There are
plenty of editors who do; it's practically a universal job
requirement for anyone in technical publications.  Then you
can use Frame's document comparison facility to review the
edits, and fine-tune them as you want.  This is by far the
most effective and inexpensive solution, even if you have to
buy another copy of Frame to do it.

If this isn't possible, because the editor insists on using
Word and is also the boss's son, the next best workflow is
to use Mif2Go to make a Word doc.  Turn on Word's revision
tracking.  When you get the edited file back, open it in
Word and look at the changed areas.  Copy and paste as Plain
Text only to bring new material into your Frame document;
handle *all* formatting in Frame.  Import any new graphics
by reference from their original graphic files, not from
the images in Word.  This is a whole lot faster and easier
than reconstructing your Frame doc after a re-import.

Although Frame itself has RTF on its Save As menu, we can't
suggest using it unless your doc has *no* graphics and is
very simple in its layout.  If you do try it, be sure to
wait long enough for it to finish; you may well think it
has crashed.  Sometimes conversion takes overnight.  And
you will probably have some cleanup to do in Word before
you can pass the result on to your editor, something that
using Mif2Go avoids entirely.

We hope this short summary of issues is helpful.  For more
info on Mif2Go ($295 single-seat license), please see our 
Web site at:

The best of luck to you!

-- Jeremy H. Griffith, at Omni Systems Inc.
  (jeremy@omsys.com)  http://www.omsys.com/

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