On Tuesday, March 13, 2007, Rick Spiegel wrote:

| My company is considering switching to Structured Frame to solve
| our current problems with content reuse, and I have a question, 
| the answer to which, to me, holds the key as to whether or not
| Structured Frame is the answer we're looking for. I would
| appreciate it if anyone with experience in using Structured
| Frame could respond to this question. 
| The question is this: if our documents were authored in 
| Structured Frame, could we use the same topic at a heading 1
| level in one document and at a heading 2 level in another
| document? If so, in a very general way (no need to write a
| small book!) how does this work?
| Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
| Rick Spiegel

As others have already noted, the simple answer is yes but there are
definite "gotchas" involved.  DITA is just one approach to structured
documentation, DocBook is another, and many more exist.  You have to do
quite a bit of research to decide what is the best solution for your

If your documents have the same organization and permitted content for
the sections and subsections (e.g., the heading 1 level and heading 2
level), then it is remarkably simple to copy a H1 segment from file A
and paste it as a H2 segment in another document.  The formatting rules
in the structured EDD will handle issues of numbering, indentation, font
size and style, etc.  

If they differ however, it makes sharing/reusing content in the manner
you describe much more difficult and if they are significantly different
then it may be nearly impossible.

EDD's can be set up to use standard paragraph, character, table, etc.,
tags for formatting (such as "Heading 1" or "Heading 2") or they can use
specific format properties (e.g. set the font for this element to 12 pt
Times New Roman, ...) based on the context of the element.  There are
arguments to be made of which is a better approach, but my take is that
if you have a well designed template already in unstructured Frame, the
format tag approach will help enable a faster transition to structured
documentation as you can more quickly build the EDD.

Good luck, and feel free to keep asking questions.

- Lester 
Lester C. Smalley              Email: lsmalley AT infocon DOT com       
Information Consultants, Inc.  Phone: 302-239-2942 FAX: 302-239-1712    
Yorklyn, DE  19736               Web: www.infocon.com   

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