Handling PDF Review Comments in FrameMaker

Handling PDF Review Comments in FrameMaker

Technical authoring process requires regular feedbacks in the form of review comments from the stakeholders of the authored documentations. FrameMaker, as a part of it’s round tripping functionality, provides support for generating high quality “Ubiquitous PDF”s, as output which can be used to facilitate the exchange of feedback between the source document and the reviewers. It becomes very convenient for a technical writer to do the authoring work in FrameMaker and generate a reviewer’s copy in a widely used PDF format for the reviewers, who may not be using Adobe Framemaker. This makes the review process more efficient as using PDF document enables the reviewer to do reviews on a PC or a Tablet, whatever one may be using. The writer, at the same time can continue working in the FrameMaker, import the review comments to the document and accordingly make the required changes.

Technical Authoring Process

Technical Authoring Process

The PDF review workflow in FrameMaker involves generation of a ubiquitous PDF directly from Framemaker or generating a simple PDF and then enabling commenting on it. If the user has a Technical Communication Suite licence, “Save as review PDF” option can be used. Else, a simple PDF can be saved and later converted to ubiquitous PDF using Acrobat Professional.

Generating Ubiquitous PDF from Framemaker

Enabling commenting on PDF using Acrobat

Generating a PDF for review

Framemaker documents can be saved as PDFs which will have the same formatting as is seen in the Framemaker document. So, the objects like Text Insets, variables etc will be treated as simple text only in the PDF. The Figures shown below are of a document containing a paragraph and a text inset in it.

Framemaker document containing a text inset (the second paragraph)

The document can be saved as a review PDF by File > Save as review PDF > Enable commenting in Reader.

Generating Ubiquitous PDF in Framemaker

Adding comments to the review PDF

In case of a Ubiquitous PDF, comments can be added by the user using Adobe Reader. Each comment will be identified by it’s author’s name in the PDF.

Comments added using Adobe Reader

Importing review comments to the source document

The comments given in the PDF can be imported to the source Framemaker document and the document can be modified accordingly.

Note: The source document should not be changed between generating PDF and importing comments

Importing PDF comments to the FrameMaker document

Specify the PDF file name having the comments

Summary of all imported comments shown after import

The comments are then shown in the Framemaker document which are visually similar to comments when seen in a PDF. For instance, for a Delete comment, (shown as a strikethrough on the selected text with a red line), is shown as Conditional Text with style “Underline” and Color “Red” in FrameMaker document. Similarly, Highlights shown as background color “Yellow” in PDF are shown as Conditional Text applied with “Background” set as “Yellow”. A sticky note inserted in PDF gets displayed as a marker with Marker Type “Comment” and it contains information like Reviewer name, date and time of review as marker text.

This is how different types of commenting is shown when imported in FrameMaker

Inserted New Text
Tracked added text
Delete some text
Tracked removed text
Deleted text followed by added text in Tracked text edit formatting
Sticky Note
Marker with given comment as Marker text
Conditional tag with “Style” as “Underline” applied on the selected text
Conditional tag with “Background” as “Yellow” applied on the text
Comment given on locked ranges (Text Insets, Variables etc)
Marker inserted in the document with the comments information. No formatting changes are applied to the text within the locked range.

Formatting changes done on text for which comments were received

Imported comments in case of locked ranges

Locked ranges are treated as text in the PDF output and in case comments given in PDF map to some locked ranges in the FrameMaker document, say on a text inset, then instead of showing the comments on the text inset, a marker with marker tag “Comment” is inserted at a suitable location (next to the text inset in document flow) and the comment information is shown as the marker’s properties.

All comments given on a text inset are shown as Marker text and not on the locked range itself

Similarly, all the comments given by the reviewer can be seen on the source document by the author and then changes can be made as required.

Accepting/Rejecting the review comments

Once imported, the comments can be handled with ease. The text addition/deletion/replacement can be handled from Track Text Edits menu.

Tracked text edits options can be used on the imported comments

Using the Track Text Edits, the user can traverse through the comments, preview the document with comments or accept/reject changes.

Happy authoring.