The long process of re-mapping paragraph and text styles

The process of re-mapping all the paragraph and character styles was just that – a process.  While there was a script available to swap out the instances of Edufont with text variables, ensuring consistency among different sets of materials and reducing errors, there was no simple way to re-map all the paragraph and character styles used in IT Training materials in FrameMaker 12.

I ended up doing the entire mapping process manually, which gave me good exposure to how the materials were structured, as well as the hierarchy of styles in the materials.  Working with the XML that structures everything behind the scenes is one thing, but seeing the structure in action – and the paragraph and character styling that accompanies that structure – is something different. It’s a facet of the digital publishing process that one may not give much thought to in certain types of digital publications, or may not need to put much effort into, but is essential in training materials such as what IT Training offers.

When re-mapping paragraph styles, I needed to pay precise attention to the specific order styles were used in and make sure styles were set correctly. Some sets of materials used styles incorrectly, and other times the InDesign to RTF export caused strange results, which I would have to fix manually.  This ensured that the documents were structured correctly, and styled correctly as well. In all, it took about two weeks of work to remap all the paragraph and character styles for 8 workshops, as well as clean up any missed Edufont instances and correct any strange formatting that occurred as a result of the InDesign to RTF export.

The next part of process entails determining new specifications for screen captures in materials, as the materials did not export with all their graphics intact, and new screen captures will need to be done for workshops that are dealing with new versions of software.  The methods for capturing graphics have not been altered much in the past decade, and the materials coordinator feels that with the change to the new materials template, now is a good time to determine if our current screen capture guidelines and file formats are meeting our needs or not.

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