I agree with Richard. Do you have a business requirement (DITA content, a
contract to deliver XML, or working with an XML content management
system?)to be in structured Frame? If not, you're taking on a bit much all
at the same time.

-----Original Message-----
From: framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com
[mailto:framers-bounces at lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf Of Combs, Richard
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 9:11 AM
To: Adriana Harper; framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: RE: TOC in FM8 - different levels ; and a few other questions

Adriana Harper wrote:

> 1.    I am working with Structured FM since I will be doing both print
> and web based help (using RoboHelp).  

Let me stop you right there. The need to produce both print and help in
_no_way_ implies the need for structured documents. You're introducing
gobs of additional complexity and difficulty that you don't need,
especially if you're going to use RH for the help output. 

Considering your FM-novice status and some of the questions you've
asked, I _strongly_ suggest that you switch to the unstructured
FrameMaker interface (File > Preferences > General > Product Interface),
focus on learning about how the default master pages work, paragraph and
character formats, etc., and develop a nice, simple unstructured

The Classroom in a Book will be quite helpful. But you might also want
to look at some training or tutorials. There's a pretty good tutorial


And MicroType (a site you should bookmark and explore) has links to
others here: 


For learning the basic concepts and skills, don't worry about which FM
version a tutorial or book applies to. Details may have changed (and the
switch to Unicode in FM8 was a big deal for people dealing with multiple
languages), but all the fundamentals -- document structure and
organization, templates, pgf and char formats, page layouts,
cross-references, variables, autonumbering, generated lists, etc. -- are
basically the same in FM 6, 7, and 8 (earlier versions, too, mostly).  

If you have standalone versions of FM8 and RH, at some point you might
want to look into upgrading to the Adobe Technical Publishing Suite. The
versions in the suite are tightly integrated; you don't _import_ FM docs
into RH, but _link_ them instead. This enables a true single-sourcing
workflow -- changes you make in either program are made to the same FM
source files. 

For a relatively simple help system (and a novice user), it's probably
not a big deal to re-export your FM files to RH when they change, so
there's no rush on this. But keep it in mind for the future, like when
the next versions of FM, RH, and the TPS come out. :-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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