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Soft Skills of a Technical Writer

What soft skills should technical writers have when they start their career? Linguistic and technical understanding is important in our profession. So are the soft skills - just like in any other job. more ...

RDF is not XML – RDF serialization and iiRDS metadata

The world of technical writing loves XML. Its document type definitions are the foundation of structured authoring. XML and the underlying schemas structure the content of our information products. The benefits are twofold. Content is consistently structured and easy to read. Authors have an easier time writing the content. The structure provides guidelines for authoring. more ...

How to become a technical writer – Confessions of a former translator

A former translator, I worked the first seven years of my professional life in the translation industry, in various positions. While I learned a lot from this experience, it also left me, as a writer, frustrated. Translators are chained to their source text and writing the words of others in another language, usually focusing on what their clients want. more ...

tekom impressions part 2: API documentation and the VUKA world

Daniela Herbold and Ulrike Parson write about better API documentation and solutions for innovative human resources management. more ...

Impressions from tcworld 2017

Part 1: Improvisation, fluff hunt, and videos for technical documentation. more ...

FrameMaker Tips & Tricks 1: Copy Unformatted Text from the Clipboard

It’s no news: Working with the structured version of FrameMaker has not freed us from dealing with content from unstructured templates.

In theory, we could import that content into FrameMaker automatically. In practice, that does not always work. Then we need to copy and paste – tedious work, which makes us authors unhappy and cranky. But we have no choice. We need to get that stuff into FrameMaker, one way or the other.

And it gets worse. Sometimes, when copying content, we get the format of the source file with it. To get rid of that unwanted formatting, we can use the Paste Special command. But there is a simpler way.

We modify the settings that determine the order in which clipboard content is inserted into FrameMaker:

1. Locate the file maker.ini in your FrameMaker application directory and open it in a text editor.

2. Locate ClipboardFormatsPriorities in the section [preferences]. The line should look like this: 

ClipboardFormatsPriorities=FILE, MIFW, MIF, RTF, OLE 2, META, EMF, DIB, BMP, UNICODETEXT, TEXT.

3. To make FrameMaker insert unformatted text first, move UNICODE TEXT in front of RTF. Now the line should look like this:

ClipboardFormatsPriorities=FILE, MIFW, MIF, UNICODE TEXT, RTF, OLE 2, META, EMF, DIB, BMP, TEXT.

This small but important modification often gets forgotten when installing or reinstalling FrameMaker. Thanks to cap studio for reminding me.

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