I've been using FM now for a couple of years to typeset two journals. I know
it's a strange use, but it has been working well for a number of reasons:
1) The magazines include a fair number of equations
2) The journals are for programmers, and include a lot of code listings
3) They include a mix of high-resolution photographs and low-res screen
4) One of the journals is also published on a website electronically,
and I've been using WebWorks to generate the XML that I then send off to
someone else for subsequent processing
5) I already owned (and am an experienced user of) FrameMaker. at the
time, we were moving from an old version of Quark and anything that meant I
didn't have to space text using tabs then draw in the lines every time I
wanted a table had to be an improvement.
If I insert images, boxed code listing, etc. in anchored frames, the
contents (I believe, but I've not tested exhaustively) are exported to XML
in the correct positions (can anyone confirm that this is absolutely the
case?). However, my ability to position these items is then limited - I have
much more flexibility if I put them in a non-anchored frame of some sort. I
realise I could move the anchor to help with the position. but that defeats
the object of keeping things in the right order.
Unfortunately, during a redesign a while ago now, nearly all of the listings
and most of the images were lifted out of the main flow. This has greatly
improved the appearance for print - and the ease of reading, where listings
used to start and stop in strange places - but made the job of the guy
working with the XML much harder. he's just let me know he's struggling!!
Most of the listings get dumped at the end of the XML but not necessarily in
the correct order and quite a few of the listings split across more than one
I'm currently using FrameMaker 7.2 and the bundled WebWorks that came with
What I want to know is:
1) Am I missing a trick with FM? Is there a way to indicate where
something should be positioned if outside the constraints of paper but keep
the flexibility of positions (sometimes even on a facing page!) required
when working for print
2) Can anyone recommend an alternative package that can do this? Work
well for print (at least as good as FM) but also exports to XML with things
in a logical order? (When we used Quark, the listings were just sequential -
sometimes you got just one or two lines at the bottom of a page and the rest
overleaf. nobody was happy with it, except for the guy converting to XML ;-)
Unfortunately, for reasons of layout, many of FM's automated features are
not being used (ToC is generated manually, because it contains short
descriptions of the articles; in-text references are in a very non-standard
format and I need to be able to choose where exactly to place footnotes).
I appreciate that anything is going to require some manual tweaking to the
XML. merging a "cont'd" listing into the one before, for example. but
minimising this would be great.
If anyone needs to see a PDF of the journal to see what I'm trying to
achieve, I'm happy to send one out - please contact me off-list.
Thanks in advance,