FrameMaker XML Author: Plan, Write and Publish

In this third session of a 5-part series with FrameMaker authority, Bernard Aschwanden, we take a comprehensive look at the less expensive version of FrameMaker; FrameMaker XML Author 12. This product was introduced in 2014 as a low-cost, dedicated XML Authoring solution that is also appropriate for Subject Matter Experts or casual users who need to achieve XML publications without complexity.

You may view the entire RECORDING by clicking on the TITLE below:

Bernard Sess 3: Plan, Write, Publish. Using FrameMaker XML Author


Minute Markers to Key Points in Recording:

03:00 OVERALL OBJECTIVES: plan your DITA content — create and edit topics — publish to output either SAVE AS PDF or DITA Open Toolkit, or by sharing with team member who has FULL FrameMaker license to output to 5 online formats as well as PDF/PRINT
05:00 Discuss how a typical DITA workflow on project starts; make comprehensive list of topics that need to be covered; have review by SMEs; then further reviews and final edits
07:30 DEMO: starting with DITA map in FrameMaker XML Author — can loosely compare a map to a FrameMaker book.
09:00 DEMO: creating a simple publication with generic content that resembles a tech manual. Focus on the structure and elements, not the placeholder text that Bernard uses.
11:00 explanation of attributes
12:00 how to configure and save workspaces to make XML authoring friendlier
13:00 how dynamic ELEMENT CATALOG will display only those elements that are legal at your insertion point
14:00 2 differnt ways to add topoics to DITA map
15:30 when choosing to make a new topic in DITA map, you are prompted to enable it to be referenced rather that physically embedded. This technique is topic-based authoring with separate files.
16:00 Note Bernard’s modified template displays the full path/file name in header of each TOPIC to temporarily monitor FILE MANAGEMENT during authoring
18:00 Note the gray background BANNER TEXT that prompts where you should enter key portions of content in the TOPIC or CONCEPT
18:30 importance of clicking TO THE RIGHT OF THE ELEMENT in structure view when you wish to resume editing content w/in an element [understanding the structure view]
19:00 purpose of [shortdesc] … as that portion of text sets reader’s expectations for the information that follows
21:00 [author] is filled in
21:30 choices for other ELEMENTS begins once you are in the [body]
22:00 revisiting DITA map, we discover how the topicref displays … using the RESOURCE MANAGER icon to switch back to view of DITA map that resembles a book view
24:00 adding another TASK as [topicref] to map … — adding a [shortdesc]
25:00 ERROR MESSAGE when [title] has been removed, and FrameMaker validates upon SAVE and indicates that you have missing structure. This will also happen if you drag n’ drop an element to the wrong location in the structure view
26:00 closing one topic as separate file — preference is to always have TITLE and SHORTDESC as minimum in the topicMi
29:30 you may configure your TOPIC or CONCEPT template so that it has the DEFAULT ELEMENT/STRUCTURE that you need to work with. Bernard is demo’ing using “out-of-box” structure
31:30 Creating FILE->NEW->XML … then from ‘recently created’ you may conveniently choose TASK
32:30 Turning on display of TAGS in edit area. You may modify templates to open with or without inline element tags showing — TAG DISPLAY can aid you in swiftly finding an insertion point
34:00 finding a “short cut” way to insert elements … use cursor arrow keyes to move past an “in doc” tag, and the STRUCTURE VIEW and ELEMENT CATALOG will update appropriately.
35:30 pressing ENTER at end of key locations, which will cause “intelligent element catalog” to pop up at cursor location …
36:30 Noting the huge number of ELEMENTS available in CATALOG when at the text level … using INSERT ELEMENT shortcut, and type in “menu” to reduce available elements to those which contain “menu” as a descriptor
39:30 When you reopen an XML file … it will display based on state in template (e.g. tags show or not.) XML eliminates the need to re-import a template into all docs. If you change the template governing your XML files, they will update automatically when you reopen files. This enables you to change topic once, and have 1000s of files update WITHOUT A TEMPLATE IMPORT
43:30 Preparing to publish using DITA Open Toolkit … choosing HTMLHelp …
44:15 HTML Help … we see a FileManagement *.chm file — we see the TITLE / SHORTDESC on opening panel of the *.chm file.
45:15 The [shortdesc] will appear as tooltip when you hover over hyperlinks … makes it look like you did more work than you actually did!
46:00 Use DITA OpenTookit to publish to PDF … understanding why a one item list doesn’t have a number …
54:00 Explaining out TEMPLATE is updated; you need the FULL FRAMEMAKER license to modify template files. A team member with that product can help update your formatting …
54:30 Adding more content to have a longer project as an example …
55:30 Using cursor keys to move up above elements, and press CTRL-1 to enter new elements … these are examples of how to find your comfort zone in authoring
56:30 Discussion of how you can actually building up your comfort zone of mastery faster with FM XML Author vs. a large, complex template in unstructured FrameMaker
57:00 It takes about a month to attain “full mastery” of all the tools and to have your comfort zone cover entire product [note: this is a short span of time in the XML world]
58:00 The video up to this point shows ALL steps for authoring in FRAMEMAKER XML AUTHOR
59:15 MOVING to FULL FrameMaker version … which allows you to change a template …
01:00:00 With Full FM, as with FM XML Author, you have 2 other views … the AUTHOR view and also the XML CODE VIEW … note that all choices from FM XML AUTHOR are present in FULL FRAMEMAKER.
01:01:00 FULL FrameMaker is useful when you need to modify the template, or for those occasions when you need to create unstructured content …
01:03:00 Doing SAVE AS in FULL FRAMEmKER … one option for publishing DITA map as what appears as single doc
01:05:00 Using FULL FrameMaker to publish a DITAmap as HTML5 responsive layout. Quick look at the Publish Settings; changing background color and associating topic splits with specific ELEMENTS
01:06:00 When ready to generate … you are prompted to SAVE. You can generate multiple outputs in one click … Bernard is using out-of-box settings …
01:08:00 View HTML5 output, note the YELLOW HIGHLIGHT that Bernard added to an inline element … notice how when browser preview window is resized, navigation tools will relocate, and also text flow will adjust for TABLET or SMART PHONE vs. LAPTOP screen size
01:10:0 View the HTML that is generated with DITA OpenToolkit … note that the DEFAULT FORMATS from FrameMaker are richer and more attractive than basic defaults of DITA OpenToolkit … review over the publishing settings customization
01:11:00 using FULL FrameMaker license to MODIFY THE XML TEMPLATE … “” … NOTE the path to this document …
01:13:00 Using paragraph designer to modify styles used in “” …
01:15:0 NOTE: you must run full FrameMaker as an Administrator in order to have permission to save and modiy the TEMPLATES … right mouse click on the FM icon and choose, run as an Administrator
01:18:00 making COPY of template, before SAVING to correct location …
01:19:0 Note that Bernard changed template for TASK, not TOPIC, so the first file in the DITAmap … so the 1st file in DITAmap (topic) looks same, but all of the TASKs are now completely different …
01:21:00 quick change to SETTINGS of PUBLISH for HTML5 responsive output … and notice that Bernard has published WHITE TEXT on BLACK BACKGROUND …
01:21:30 review of overall objectives …
01:24:00 SUMMARY of upcoming events and useful resources.

Maxwell Hoffmann

I am the Adobe Global Product Evangelist for Tech Comm Suite. I am passionate about powerful, single-source publishing that can deliver content anytime, anywhere, any way.

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