It sounds like you are on the right track, using a single file to create variables and then importing them. Too bad you can't install third party software, because I think the only way to make this easier would be to use the inexpensive BookVars plugin:

http://leximation.com/tools/info/bookvars.php

Mike Wickham

On 12/10/2014 1:58 PM, Zacchetti, Maeli E CIV USARMY ECBC (US) wrote:
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

I'm getting back to unstructured FrameMaker 10 (after two years of having to use MS Word). So apologies if I don't use some of the correct terms or if I'm misunderstanding some of FrameMaker's capabilities!

I'm doing the planning work for converting a technical manual from MS Word into FrameMaker 10. The system has over 100 parts, currently each part has two to five different variations on the name scattered throughout the manual, so a huge component of this conversion is getting the nomenclature down to a single version of each part name. Since most of the names will change at some point in the next year my goal is a single point of edit for each part name, to save some headaches down the road.

On previous projects I've used ~20 part name variables (created in a master file, then applied to each *.fm file through a book update) and then inserted that part's variable any time I need to use the part name. For this project with 100+ parts it seems like that could start getting painful, just in terms of scrolling through a massive variable list.

I was thinking that I could use text insets as another option, if it were possible to import from a single cell in a table (e.g. excel file). That would let me use the spreadsheet that I'd have to create anyway for planning out the variables (and internal tracking of what name I'm assigning to a given part number).

In the past I've used text insets to reference repeated short paragraphs, using a series of individual text documents to hold each paragraph. So I guess I could do the same thing again, but then I'd end up with 100+ text files, which seems like a different kind of inconvenient compared to the 100+ variables.

One major limitation: with my organization's network policies I cannot install 3^rd party software, and the review and approval process to purchase extensions or supplements to Adobe's software would be so arduous that it may as well be impossible. So I'm limited to what I can do without having to install anything else.

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated! (Or even advice on where I could go to read up on the various ways to effectively manage nomenclature updates in unstructured FrameMaker.)

Thanks,

Maeli Zacchetti

maeli.e.zacchetti....@mail.mil

Technical Writer

U.S. Army

In modern times, if the sole measure

of what's out there flows from your five senses

then a precarious life awaits you.

- Neil DeGrasse Tyson


Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO



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