Converting FrameMaker tables to Excel - Adobe Framemaker

This is a discussion on Converting FrameMaker tables to Excel - Adobe Framemaker ; I prepare a 400+ page catalog for an industrial distributor. I work in FrameMaker 7.0p579 on Windows ME and Windows XP. My customer has asked me to convert all the tables in the catalog to Excel spreadsheets, to streamline the ...

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Converting FrameMaker tables to Excel

  1. Default Converting FrameMaker tables to Excel

    I prepare a 400+ page catalog for an industrial distributor. I work in FrameMaker 7.0p579 on Windows ME and Windows XP. My customer has asked me to convert all the tables in the catalog to Excel spreadsheets, to streamline the annual update process. I hope someone here can suggest a method for doing this or direct me to an application that will help.

    I have already done this with the first 44 pages of the catalog and it was not a pleasant experience. This is what I did:

    With both FrameMaker and MS Word open, I selected an entire FM table and copied. I switched to Word and chose Edit > Paste Special > Unformatted Text. At this point, the first problem became obvious. Any 2-line column heads in my table acquired a hard return at the ends of the first lines. When I open this text file in Excel, the column heads will not be in the correct columns unless I replace all these hard returns with spacebands. Because of vast differences from one table to the next, I cannot leave the col. heads out.

    After addressing this problem in the Word document by manually editing every column head with a hard return, I saved the document as a .txt file and close it.

    In Excel, I opened the .txt file. In Excel's Text Import Wizard dialog Step 1, I chose "Delimited", Start import at row 1, File origin: Windows (ANSI).
    Next >
    I chose the Delimiter--tab; made sure the "Treat consecutive delimiters as one" box is unchecked; Text qualifier: none, as some tables contain " to indicate inch dimensions.
    Next >
    I scrolled through the contents of the import, selecting each column and designating it as "Text" rather than "General" or "Date". Some dimensions in my tables display fractional values as 7-5/8, for example. Excel sees these as dates, with disastrous, time-consuming results!

    The Excel worksheet that results after I finish using the Text Import Wizard requires still more reformatting for maximum usability on the part of my customer, mostly merging titles and column heads in order to duplicate straddled table cells.

    I hope I have made these problems clear and fervently hope that someone out there can suggest a solution for me. I find the reverse conversion fairly easy: selecting, copying and importing Excel tables into FrameMaker--through Word. I can ignore the column heads and replace the bodies of my old tables with updated information.

  2. Default Re: Converting FrameMaker tables to Excel

    I don't have time to test these suggestions, but in the past I've used a couple techniques, so these would be worth trying:

    For lots of tables... use Mif2Go (omsys.com) to automatically convert the FM source to clean, formatted .rtf. Open the .rtf in Word, define the table, copy, and paste into Excel.

    (I don't know what would happen if you opened the .rtf directly in Excel... I don't know how it would deal with regular text.)

    For just a few tables, I think you could live without Mif2Go and use FM's save as .rtf function, although it doesn't generate as clean a file.

    You're probably still going to have to do some hand formatting in Excel, I suspect.

    Art

  3. Default Re: Converting FrameMaker tables to Excel

    Dear Art,

    I was more than happy to test your suggestions, and the work has borne fruit.

    I saved one of my shorter FrameMaker files as RTF1.6, opened it in Word and deleted everything I didn't need (graphics and descriptive text). I saved, then selected all and copied.

    In Excel, Edit > Paste yielded a much more customer-usable result than my previous efforts. The problem with the column heads is solved, and this process retains all table cell straddles. I will still have to deal with the "false" dates and merge my headline cells, but my time input will be radically reduced.

    Thank you so much for your timely reply. I also downloaded the demo version of Mif2Go and I will play with it as time permits.

    I tried opening the RTF I saved out of FrameMaker in Excel. It's a mess--don't try this.

    Gratefully yours,
    Nancy

  4. Default Re: Converting FrameMaker tables to Excel

    Nancy,

    Glad I could help.

    One additional thing you may want to play with (and it may be more both than it's worth), but there are a couple fonts out there that contain nothing but fractions. I'm thinking that if you used one of those to generate your fractions instead of building them up that Excel wouldn't try to interpret them as dates because the cell content wouldn't fit the parsing format any longer.

    Art

  5. Default Re: Converting FrameMaker tables to Excel

    Dear Art,

    I've considered using a fraction font, but the cell body type size is 6.75 point. In the interest of consideration for middle-aged and older catalog readers, I decided against it.

    Thank you for your continuing efforts to help me.

    --Nancy

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Converting to PDF from Framemaker 7.0 problems!!!
    By Application Development in forum Adobe Framemaker
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-25-2006, 04:52 PM
  2. Converting linked Excel tables to black and white
    By Application Development in forum Adobe Pagemaker
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-08-2006, 09:27 PM
  3. Converting FROM HTML to a FrameMaker book
    By Application Development in forum Adobe Framemaker
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-24-2006, 12:27 PM
  4. Converting single table format to text (not all tables in doc)
    By Application Development in forum Adobe Framemaker
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-24-2006, 10:31 AM
  5. Converting access tables to XML for use in .NET web app
    By Application Development in forum XML SOAP
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-20-2006, 02:21 PM