--- Mark Lawrence <marklawrence at firstreadthis.com>
> My job involves producing 40 page reports in
> Microsoft Word.  These
> reports are  nearly identical.  I use the mailmerge
> feature in Word to
> import variables such as the date of the report, the
> name of the product
> on which the report is based, the final score that
> the product achieved
> and so on.  These are inserted at the relevant
> points in the text using
> mailmerge.  
FrameMaker has no built-in capability comparable to
mailmerge. You don't describe what the source is of
the mailmege data. If the source is some kind of
database, there are companion products (such as
UniMerge) which do work with FrameMaker, and these
combinations are far more powerful than mailmerge.
Tables and graphs from an Excel
> spreadsheet are are then
> copied and pasted into the report manually.
Do you receive the data in Excel, or do you take raw
data and convert it to a spreadsheet? Either way,
there are probably much better ways to get it into a
form that will work with FrameMaker/UniMerge. I have a
PDF (about 6 pages) which describes the capabilities
of the FrameMaker/Unimerge combination. An alternaitve
approach (although in same ways less adaptable than
UniMerge) would be to take the raw data you receive
for each report and convert it into an XML instance,
and use structured FrameMaker to process each XML
instance. This would require that the raw data for
each product be reducible to a single XML structure
which is replicated in a FrameMaker EDD that specifies
not only the structure, but also all the information
needed to format the information in FrameMaker.
What I conclude is that your present methodology using
Word is that most of your time using your present
methodology is on the Word sids. A UniMerge or XML
solution would shift most of your work to a one-time
development or a UniMerge or XML solution which
produces a ready-to-print FrameMaker output with
virtually no tweaking.
If you are interested, I have a 6-page PDF which
describes the FrameMaker/Unimerge solution.
I hope this helps your decision-making. I have no
doubt that either a UniMerge or XML solution would be
far superior to your present methodology, and would
indulge your desire for perfection.

Reply via email to