I also thoroughly endorse BookVars - it is definitely the most highly used 
add-on to FrameMaker for me!


From: framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com 
[mailto:framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf Of Mike Wickham
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 1:57 PM
To: framers@lists.frameusers.com
Subject: Re: Text Inset vs. Variable Question (UNCLASSIFIED)

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:


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 

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 
3rd 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 

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.)


Maeli Zacchetti

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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