Quicker review cycles with FM9

As a technical communicator, you’ve probably sent more PDFs out for review than any other type of file. Reviewers add their comments, which you incorporate by comparing the PDF file with the source .fm document. So far, but not anymore! FrameMaker 9 lets you import PDF comments directly into your documents.

It’s a simple three-step workflow that you can now follow for reviews:

1. Generate a tagged PDF out of the FM file and send it for shared review. To do this, check Generate PDF For Review Only in the PDF Setup dialog box.

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See Tagged PDF in the online FM documentation for details on tagged PDFs.

2. Let reviewers add their suggestions using the commenting features in Adobe Acrobat — sticky notes, text edits, text highlights, and so on.

3. Import the comments back into the source .fm file and choose which ones to keep. Before importing comments, FrameMaker lets you select if you want to import all comments or only comments of a specific kind.

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An important prerequisite here is to not modify the source FrameMaker file after sending the tagged PDF for review until comments have been imported back into it. This ensures that the comments are inserted into their exact location in the FrameMaker document. The FM import summary dialog reports the number of comments that were inserted into an approximate location, but not their exact intended place.Untitled-3.jpg

After import, PDF comments are inserted into the FrameMaker document as tracked text edits, text formatting, or markers. In particular, sticky notes from the PDF are imported as markers. Use the Markers pod to read and manage these markers.

Untitled-5.jpgYour source document will look something like the screenshot below after PDF comments have been imported into it.

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It’s a few weeks now since I began using this feature, and I’ve found it quite a time saver. Read the Adobe Help article on this feature to get hooked onto it straightaway. For a list of other cool features in FrameMaker 9, click here.

One Response

  • [...] Use the PDF Setup dialog box to optimize the size of the generated PDFs, control SWF file and 3D object embedding, and create tagged PDFs to enable importing PDF comments. See this link for more information. 3. Make Change Bars Invisible In Interim PDFs If you want to preserve change bars in the source but hide them in an interim PDF, set their color to white in the Change Bar Properties dialog box. Turn them back to black when you edit the source. In FrameMaker, select Format > Document > Change Bars. See this earlier blog post for more information. 4. Import PDF Comments Directly import comments from the PDF document that you set up for shared review. The FrameMaker content gets updated with the edits and comments. Choose the comments that you want to incorporate and discard the rest! In FrameMaker, select File > Import > PDF Comments. See this feature in action here. For the earlier blog post about this feature, see this page. [...]

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