We have a similar setup with our hardware manuals: 2 manuals for each of 4
products, plus a system description, all of which share files. We have
achieved single sourcing with a combination of conditional text and

We use variables in the headers and footers for the book title and in other
book-specific information in the text in the shared files. For the files
that can be either appendices or chapters, we product-specific condition
tags and other condition tags for the specific type of manual. We tag the H1
Appendix paragraph appropriately for output with the products/types of
manuals that use it as an appendix

We set the page numbering to read the <$chapnum>, and we set the files to
continue chapter numbering from previuos chapter for all but the one
appendix which could be A but not a numbered chapter. 

We have the following directory structure:


For each book, we create a dummy file that has just the book-specific user
variables and conditional text settings. We invested in Rick Quatro's
ImportFormatsSpecial plugin, and use it regularly in this process.

When it's time to create the output for a book, the writer opens the dummy
file for the book and imports just the user variables and conditional text
settings across all the files in the book, including the common/shared
files. Then, the writer generates the book and creates the output.

As long as you have access to the networked folders where the common files
are kept whenever you generate the FM book or apply any book-level
operations, it doesn't really matter to FM what the directory structure is.
Just do whatever makes sense for you and your team. We have found it is more
efficient for whoever is generating a book to keep open the shared files
that they're using until they have finished the generation/output process.
We do that as a gatekeeping issue, so that the .lck file keeps someone else
from inadvertently change the shared files before someone finishes their
output process. On the deadline days, it takes a little teamwork and
coordination between 2 or 3 writers, but that's a small price to pay to be
able to leverage single sourcing! We've been doing this for 2 years now, and
the writers really love the time (and, therefore, the stress) that it saves

Good Luck!!
Rene Stephenson
eNovative Solutions, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
[ at] On Behalf Of
Caroline Tabach
Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 6:29 AM
To: Framers List; 1SrcFM at
Subject: More on Generic Chapters

I have another question.
I asked about sharing chapter between a number of books
2 of these common chapters are Appendix chapters in 2 books, and regular
chapters in another.

In order for the ToC to work the way we want (the words Appendix B will
appear before the chapter name, instead of chapter 5), they have a heading
tag, called AppendixHeading, when they appear as a chapter, they have a
different heading style, and the words chapter appear before the chapter
name in the ToC

How can I make it all work?

Caroline Tabach
Technical/Marcom Writer

Fax:         +972 3 6474681
Email:   caroline at


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