From Interleaf Quicksilver to Adobe FrameMaker?
FrameMaker includes filters for importing and exporting Microsoft Word and Interleaf/Quicksilver ASCII files. The strategy involves two major steps: prep the file within Interleaf/Quicksilver, and then finish the conversion within FrameMaker.
Converters should run tests, and develop a worksheet that answers common problems before rolling out conversion tasks across a group.
The basic Interleaf/Quicksilver package includes an export filter for Interleaf ASCII Format, or IAF. FrameMaker cannot import Interleaf/Quicksilver documents directly, but can import IAF files. This format will bring across text and tables, but can be problematic with graphics. An optional Interleaf/Quicksilver filter pack exports files to Maker Interchange Format (MIF), which is FrameMaker software's equivalent of IAF. This format can produce quite good conversion results.
Interleaf/Quicksilver preparation. LISP is the Interleaf/Quicksilver programming language, and LISP scripts can be used to automate data extraction. Areas where scripting may be useful:
- Renaming Interleaf/Quicksilver components to FrameMaker tags (style formats).
- Extracting text, such as warnings and cautions, from Interleaf/Quicksilver graphics frames.
- Replacing certain symbols that do not survive the export to IAF with character keys that will be changed back to the appropriate symbol in FrameMaker.
- Batch exporting of text and graphics.
- Reveal and hide text using affectivity. In FrameMaker parlance, effectively is known as conditional text. affectivity/conditional text is used to hide and reveal text.
- Autonumbers. In some cases, autonumbers come across as hard-coded text. This should be stripped out before exporting, unless tests show they come across as FrameMaker autonumbers.
Polishing the file in FrameMaker. Once the file has been prepped and exported out of Interleaf/Quicksilver, it is then brought into FrameMaker.
To reduce the tedium of converting, a scripting language is available for FrameMaker called FrameScript, which is available from Finite Matters Ltd. FrameScripts can automate repetitive tasks.
Areas where final cleanup may be needed:
- Untagged/rogue tagged text The Interleaf/Quicksilver author may have misapplied formatting information, and this will cause some text to appear without any formatting or with a format that is not part of the FrameMaker template. This text can be tagged with the appropriate FrameMaker style individually, or in batch mode with the global update options in FrameMaker.
- Graphics Imported graphics can be reimported into FrameMaker. Graphics drawn in Interleaf/Quicksilver can be more problematic.
The Filtrix conversion filters from Blueberry can be a great aid in covering graphics. Interleaf EPS graphics are passed through as EPS files to FrameMaker; Interleaf line drawings are converted to FrameMaker line drawings; and Interleaf raster image are converted to FrameMaker rasters.
Another technique is to export the graphic from Interleaf/Quicksilver as an Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) or PostScript® (PS) file. Acrobat Distiller® can turn EPS and PS files into Acrobat PDF files, which then can be edited by Adobe Illustrator® software.
Unlike bitmaps such as TIFF files, PDF files are vectors with smooth lines and text that can be more easily edited.
- Tables Ad hoc use of ruling, shading and cell straddles (merging) can fool converters, which prefer regular patterns. Table Cleaner, a FrameScript from Carmen Publishing, removes custom ruling and shading and performs other useful functions. For more
information, see www.frameexpert.com.
- Special symbols and equations Interleaf/Quicksilver has a unique font encoding scheme, which can trip up a converter when it tries to export a special symbol. These symbols should be replaced with a special character code (for example, SSS) and then the character code replaced with the symbol character in FrameMaker.
Equations are not supported by many filter applications, although FrameMaker includes an equation editor for recreating equations in documents. The time required to convert a document depends on many factors, including the complexity of the document, its length and the skill of the person performing the work.