[Guest Post] “A Quick Guide to Mobile Publishing with FrameMaker 12”, by Matt Sullivan

Do you need to get FrameMaker content to your users via phones and tablets? Are you well past the due date? Here are the steps you need to get the job done, including an introduction to custom skins and branding. For more content, view the one hour recorded Adobe webinar I gave in October, 2014.

Prepping your content

FrameMaker loves consistent use of style sheets and catalogs. If you or your users like to insert inline formatting and formatting overrides (especially paragraph and character format overrides), you should expect one of two things:

  1. You will spend some time regaining control of your documents by removing overrides and/or creating new styles to address formatting needs.
  2. Your online output will be formatted based on the formatting provided in FrameMaker. This is may or may not meet your organizational standards.

Once you’re happy with the formatting in your FrameMaker books and documents, you’re ready to get started.

Analyze baseline output

Access the Publish panel

FrameMaker 12 has a spiffy new Publish panel. Access it via File > Publish. There are 5 formats available, and this post will focus on the Responsive HTML5 layout.

RHSC003

Confirm selection of your FrameMaker content

If you want to convert a single FrameMaker (.fm) file, click on that file or tab to make it the active document. If you want to convert one or more files within a book, make the appropriate selection within the book file (.book).

Generate and view baseline output

Confirm that the Responsive HTML5 layout is selected, and click the Publish icon RHSC007 to generate an initial version of the output. You’ll use this initial output for three things:

  1. to confirm that the publishing process is working
  2. to analyze for content mapping and processing
  3. to analyze for changes to the skin, or look, of the output

Once processing is complete, view the output and create two lists, one for content formatting (style mapping), and one for layout/branding changes (skin editing).

Style Mapping

Select the Settings button Capture11 and look at the Style Mapping tab. Your initial output likely used an Output Style of [Source], or FrameMaker’s source formatting to display all your online content.

Instead, you can map to specific CSS formats by changing the Output Style to something else.

Style Mapping in FrameMaker 12

Body Content

In the screen capture here, the Output Style is BodyLevel1. The default CSS for conversion provides three different indent levels for you to use as needed.

Heading Content

The first piece of content in each of your topics should be <h1>, or Heading 1 content. Map your highest level title to Heading 1.

For subsequent headings, consider whether the section is large enough to merit its own topic. If so, map the topic heading style to Heading 1 as well, and select the Pagination (Split into topics based on this style) option.

NOTE: Make sure your topics are separated by at least one or more non heading content paragraphs. Using this setting, if your Heading1 is immediately followed by a Heading2, for example, you will see the Heading1 result in a topic with title, but no content!

List Content

Set up your first level (both bulleted and numbered) lists as shown below.I prefer to set up my lists using the Convert to HTML List option. I find this results in more stable code across different browsers and versions. Set the Output Style to BodyLevel1, and select the Convert to HTML List radio button. For nested lists, use the same setup, but choose the appropriate Output Style (BodyLevelX) to control indenting.

List Conversion in FrameMaker 12

Advanced: Customizing the CSS

If you are comfortable modifying CSS formatting, and would like to customize your formatting a bit, check out the files in

C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\AdobeFrameMaker12\fminit\RH_DEFAULT_PROJECT

There you will find the RHStyleMapping.css, among other things.

Customizing the HTML5 skin

Both FrameMaker 12 and RoboHelp 11 have a fantastic editor for customizing responsive HTML5 skins. After selecting the Settings button RHSC007, select the Output tab, and navigate to the Edit button Capture17 in the Layout section.

Capture16

In the Edit window, you can customize just about every part of your HTML5 skin. Navigate through the Layout Components in the upper left corner to see 13 different sets of properties related to skin design. Each set includes a legend at the bottom of the screen, where you can select the property you want to customize, and automatically highlight it in the property panel.

RHSC015

Matt Sullivan

Matt Sullivan is an Adobe Certified Instructor and Adobe Certified Expert in ten different Adobe publishing and e-learning applications, including everything in the Technical Communication Suite 4. He teaches online and in-person classes as well as helping companies improve their publishing workflow. Matt spent years setting up electronic prepress departments for commercial printers prior to the start of his training career. After that, Matt ran his own Adobe Authorized Training Centers (GRAFIX Training, in southern California), managed the training arm of roundpeg, Inc., and co-wrote the definitive FrameMaker 11 reference book, "Publishing Fundamentals: Unstructured FrameMaker 11". He has represented Adobe in countless conferences, trained FrameMaker support personnel, presented webinars, and assisted in Adobe pre- and post-sale engagements. You can also follow Matt on Twitter: mattrsullivan

2 thoughts to “[Guest Post] “A Quick Guide to Mobile Publishing with FrameMaker 12”, by Matt Sullivan”

  1. I have Technical Communications Suite 2015. I am converting my first eBook from a book I previously made in FrameMaker.
    When I convert to Responsive HTML5, each file in the book shows up in the left side index. However, you have to click on it, get a drop down by the same file name and click on the drop down to read the text. This is two clicks. How do I eliminate the subcategory? Thanks so much. The book is made up of 3 sections and has about 50 FrameMaker files total in it.

    1. Hi Ionia,

      This is the default behavior. Do you have a Table of Contents (TOC) in the book?
      Please do the following:

      1. Check, that every chapter in the book has a chapter title. That is a paragraph that is formatting with a dedicated paragraph style like “Chapter Title” (you can choose any name you want, of course).
      2. Add a table of contents to the book (see here for more details on TOCs).
      3. Format the Table of Contents: If you have multiple headings in your chapters (like “Chapter Title”, “Heading 1”, “Heading 2”, etc.), make sure that each paragraph style in the Table of Contents has a nice formatting with a left indent. E.g. “Chapter Title” without any indent, then “Heading 1” with e.g. 0.5 mm left indent, “Heading 2” with e.g. 1.00 cm left indent. This way FrameMaker will automatically analyze and identify the “logical structure” of the headings and create the bookmarks (navigation) in the e-Book automatically.

      You might also want to check the webinar that we had with Toni Ressaire in June 2016: FrameMaker 2015 – Creating ePUB and Kindle books.

      By the way, do you already know our Adobe Community FrameMaker Forum? There are a lot of very active experts there who help each other.

      Let us know if this helped!

      Kind regards,
      Stefan Gentz

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