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on October 1, 2003
I appreciate all the effort and information that went into this
book, at 847 pages it must have been a huge effort to produce this book.
The problem is that I'm not finding it more useful than the User's Guide that ships with the product. Adobe's User's Guide is quite good, so doing something much better would be difficult.
Framemaker is very difficult to get started on, unless you use it continuously in an environment with good templates and friendly experts, it is easy to snag on some obscure setting that is
buried in window riddled with options. Further, you can do major damage to your document by not understanding the full implications of what happens when you import formats, for example. Gee, nagging little clues like the like * in front of paragraph tags turn out to mean important things, but you end up learning about important things the hard way. I would have like to see less ink spent on obvious items such as explaining in text all of the meanings of icons on the Toolbar, and more text explaining variables, and debug for common problems.
Framemaker is the big powerful tractor of book writing, when you
have a huge field neatly plowed behind you, you love it, when the damn thing won't start or you crushed something valuable, you hate. I actually don't have a tractor, and in summary this
book hasn't been very useful yet.
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on September 16, 2002
I bought this book with some amount of trepidation. I needn't have worried -- FrameMaker 7, The Complete Reference is one of the best instances of the Complete Reference series.
Too often the Complete Reference series of books consist merely of an item-by-item listing of menu options with no additional insight or explanation offered. Think of trying to learn the English language by reading a dictionary and you'll get the idea.
Happily, the FrameMaker 7 Complete reference is a different story. It provides a comprehensive list of the Windows, Apple, and UNIX variations of FrameMaker's menus and commands, but also adds a lot of value in terms of explanations and examples.
In addition to information helpful to a new user of FrameMaker, there are some truly esoteric features and tips that even I -- a daily user of FrameMaker for nearly five years -- found informative and helpful. The book also contains the best single source of information about FrameMaker 7's new Structured Document commands that I've found so far.
If you're a serious user of FrameMaker, and are looking for a third-party book to augment Adobe's documentation, this is a book you'll use and enjoy. Seriously.
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on November 12, 2002
If you need information about the new structured interface of FrameMaker 7 (which was known as FrameBuilder and FrameMaker + SGML in previous versions), this book is for you. I haven't seen another book that explains using structure as clearly as the Complete Ref. does. With Adobe combining the Frame + SGML (structured) and the Frame (unstructured) interfaces into version 7, people's interest in structure has increased, and this book can be a big help for people making the transition from the unstructured to the structured side. A previous reviewer says the Adobe documentation explains Frame better; I have to disagree. Adobe's Classroom in Book, for example, devotes very few pages to creating structured environments.
Even if you don't plan to switch to structure, this book has great tips for building really great features into templates. I've been using Frame since 1994, and I learned a few things.
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on May 20, 2004
I've spent as much time reading this as the one sent from Adobe when I ordered FrameMaker 7.0. Meaning, it's just as useful (or worthless) as the one from Adobe. Too many features are just as cryptic and vague. I've spent hours experimenting just to find exactly how to format this, or how to customize that with their general descriptions--until it actually worked. My most recent unresolved problem had been having to customize the index and table of contents. Their explanations have been too vague for me. Why I must have to spend so much time to decipher this work is beyond me. Although I've worked with computers for over 15 years, I'm not a programmer. I bought this as a reference because I don't know (get it?). I shouldn't have to sit here and decode their work (O'Keefe and Loring's). It's fallen waaay short of my expectations. I'd get my money back if I could.
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on May 15, 2004
This work is perfect for anyone seeking to become conversant with the latest software productivity tools. The authors describe products, content creation and sample templates in simple English. They teach how to work with structured documents, manipulate text, formatting and tag methodologies.
The mechanics of tabular design , text and the set-up for book files are described in considerable detail with pertinent illustrations. The command "Select" is explained.
The authors illustrate how to save a pdf file:
At the "File"- SELECT "SAVE AS" TYPE "File name.pdf" SAVE
Important template insignias are illustrated utilizing large
diagrams and pointers to key locations on the screen. This book is a solid value if you know little about template organization and design and you need to learn fast.
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on February 25, 2004
FrameMaker 7: The Complete Reference is, as described in virtually all of its reviews here at, a good reference book and a good choice for learning FrameMaker. Its information is good; however, the book's paper, print quality, and binding are all very poor. The spine on my copy broke after just a few days of handling. My copy is destined to shortly fall into several pieces. If you compare this book's physical quality to the quality of Adobe's FrameMaker 7.0 Classroom in Book, you will see a world of difference. Again, the information the book contains is good. The book is mostly complete, excepting its structured application development deficiencies. With respect to structured application development, I must say it is almost, but not quite completely, deficient.
Steve Whitlatch
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on March 13, 2003
I bought this book when FrameMaker 7 first came out, and it has been an invaluable reference ever since. Absolutely every question I've ever had about FrameMaker is answered in this book.
It's also very well organized and easy to find information. I often refer to it when I've forgotten some tidbit that I don't use regularly (like special index entry formats), and I can always go right to the information.
I highly recommend it as a general reference to FrameMaker if you are already using FrameMaker and familiar with it. If you are new to FrameMaker and want to just get started with it, check out the Adobe classrooms in a book series--they are great introductions.
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on February 13, 2004
I used it a lot when I was new to Frame, and it saved me untold grief and anguish! Now that I'm a bit more sophisticated, I've moved on to the Advanced Features. Again, this book is invaluable. I hope the author comes out with another book totally devoted to structured Framemaker and XML. That's still a bit of a mystery to me!
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on August 7, 2002
This book provides very good explanations of features in Framemaker 7. The explanation of structured Frame was especially helpful for me, not knowing anything about it. I really liked the suggested uses for the some of the features in Framemaker7. This book has been and invaluable reference for me.
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on November 8, 2002
This book is not a good reference. You can get much better information out of the Adobe documentation.
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