ETD Guide/Students/FrameMaker

Why should one use FrameMaker instead of MS Word?Edit

Framemaker provides in comparison to Microsoft Word a much more sophisticated tool for electronic publishing and for a cross-media publishing.

It allows:

  • Production of real and large structured text (not just address cards) (and is stable handling those).
  • Production of semantically structured text (not just text that uses style sheets).
  • Provision of a WYSIWYG user interface to edit XML documents, instead of an XML tree editor à la Spy or Xeena.
  • Capabilities of producing a good-looking paper version of a document with all layout features that are professionally used at printing companies.

Framemaker+SGML especially combines the power of an excellent word processor (better than MS Word) with a good structure editor.

In order to produce structured documents and some sort of style sheets, one has to learn FrameMaker's EDD language.

As FrameMaker belong to the product family of Adobe, it provides an add-on to produce a high quality PDF, as digital preprint copy of a written document.

Using FrameMaker+SGML6.0 for a conversion of MS Word documents into SGML instances.Edit

Editing or converting using FrameMaker is much more complex than the previously described methods. FrameMaker is able to import formatted Word documents keeping the stylesheet information and exporting the document via an internal FrameMaker format as SGML or XML documents.

In order to proceed with a conversion using FrameMaker, you will need the following configuration files: a conversion table that contains the list of the Word styles and the corresponding elements within the FrameMaker internal format. This table is saved within the FrameMaker internal format (*.frm).

A document type definition will be saved within FrameMaker internally as EDD (Element Definition). It is saved within the FrameMaker internal document format (*.edd).

FrameMaker uses layout rules for the internal layouting of documents. Within this layout definition, the layout of documents is described just like it is within MS Word documents: single formats and their appearances like text height, etc., are defined. This file is also stored as (*.frm file).

The Read-Write Rules contain rules that define which FrameMaker format will be exported in which SGML / XML element.

The SGML- or XML DTD has to be used as well, including Catalog- or Entity files, as well as Sub DTDs, like CALS for tables.

To process a conversion, a new SGML application has to be defined within FrameMaker+SGML. This application links all files that are needed for a conversion as described above. It enables FrameMaker to parse the output file when exporting a document to SGML or XML.

A workflow and a technology for conversion to ETD using FrameMaker+SGML6.0 was first developed at the Technical University Helsinki, within the HUTPubl project (1997–2000), see

You can find more information about using FrameMaker+SGML for an XML Authoring at (See also Danny R. Vint “SGML at Work”, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1999.)

Next Section: Writing directly in SGML/XML