You wrote:

 > I've been monitoring various threads during FM 9.0's maturation process.
 > Before upgrading, would appreciate advice or comments from the list.
 > In addition to (1) general curiosity as to any compelling reasons to
 > upgrade to 9.0, I am specifically interested in (2) improvements to
 > filters.   In 7.2, I wasn't particularly impressed either with saving a
 > .FM file as a Word .doc or with opening a Word .doc in FM.   Does 9.0
 > have improved filters?

I'm not sure whether the FM9 Word filter is different than the FM9 filter.
In any case, in my recent Word->FM conversions projects I analyzed
the results of both FM8 and FM9 filters, and found out that using the
FM7.2 filter produced better results. So even though the client required
FM8 files, I imported through FM7.2 and then opened the FM files in FM8.

If you like to use keyboard shortcuts for tag assignment: unfortunately,
these do not work consistently in FM9 (even with all patches applied).
[eg F9 or Ctrl-9 for paragraph tags;  F8 or Ctrl-8 for character tags;
Ctrl-0 for variables; Ctrl-4/5/6 for conditions]
While I still try and use these shortcuts out of habit, I *often* have to
resort to opening the catalogs or pods to apply tags or insert variables.

Also, the new CMYK support can be better ignored for the time being.
When Saving as PDF, "Convert CMYK Colors to RGB" should be
turned ON (which restores the state available with previous FM
versions), or else various problems may be encountered (including
font changes in the PDF, e.g. Arial Narrow showing as Times New Roman).

If you identify some "compelling reasons to upgrade to 9.0" that apply
to you needs, probably the best next step is to install FM9 for a trial of
one month and evaluate its new interface and features while working
on a typical project.

Shlomo Perets

FrameMaker/TCS training & consulting * FM-to-Acrobat TimeSavers/Assistants
"Improve Your FrameMaker Skills" web-based training sessions
"Graphics & Video in PDFs" 1-hour webinar (free)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009, starting 10am PST | 1pm EST | 6pm UTC | 8pm Israel

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