Velasquez. Las Meninas (1656)


Course Information

Course objectives

Textbooks
Course policies & grade calculation
Gradebook
Course resources
Class e-mail / e-mail archive
Chatroom


Weekly Schedule

Aug. 28
Sept. 4
Sept. 11
Sept. 18
Sept. 25
Oct. 2
Oct. 9
Oct. 16
Oct. 23
Oct. 30
Nov. 6
Nov. 13
Nov. 20
Nov. 27
Dec. 4
Dec. 11


Other Links

ACC home page
BTCM Program home page

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Course Overview

This course begins with a general focus on FrameMaker in which you learn basic and book-building skills, along with some formatting and writing exercises. After the FrameMaker segment of the course, we move into the major documentation-project segment in which you develop user guides either solo or as part of a team, including the documentation proposal and plan, prototypes, templates, tags, and multiple drafts. As time permits, we will get an introduction to FrameMaker XML, FrameScript, tools for converting FrameMaker documents to XHTML/CSS with WebWorks, and tools for converting FrameMaker documents to help files.

See the Course Calendar for a calendar-style view of semester due dates.

Semester/year Fall 2006
Instructor David A. McMurrey
Class meetings MW: 7:05-8:20pm in NRG 4209
Office Northridge 4225
Office hours Tues./Thurs. 2:00-4:00 p.m., and by apptmt. (Always call before driving all the way out to Northridge Campus.)
Phone 512-223-4804
E-mail hcexres@prismnet.com

Week of August 28

Getting organized. In the first week of this course, let's get oriented and organized.

Fill out the questionnaireódue Aug. 29
Write the get-acquainted memoódue Aug. 29
See the get-acquainted memos

FrameMaker basics. Use the FrameMaker basics tutorial to get familiarized with basic tasks such as creating and saving files, making text italics or bold, changing fonts, changing tabs and margins, applying standard tags (such as for headings or numbered lists).

FrameMaker basics tutorial: tutorialódue Aug. 31
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: "Getting Started" and Lesson 1
FrameMaker basics quick-refs: quick-refódue Aug. 31
FrameMaker basics edits: editódue Aug. 31

Personal memo in FrameMaker. Use what you've learned about FrameMaker so far to write a personal memo. (You can use the same text you posted out on our class website.)

FrameMaker personal memoódue Sept. 5

Week of September 4

FrameMaker paragraph and character tags. You'll learn how to apply tags in FrameMaker and how to modify them as necessary.

FrameMaker tags tutorial: tutorialódue Sept. 5
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lessons 2 and 3
FrameMaker tags practice: practiceódue Sept. 5
FrameMaker tags quick-ref: quick-refódue Sept. 5
FrameMaker tags edit: editódue Sept. 5

FrameMaker tags project. In this project, you use existing FrameMaker tags to format text so that it looks exactly like a PDF document (developed originally in FrameMaker).

FrameMaker tags projectódue Sept. 12

FrameMaker tables. In this unit, use the FrameMaker table tutorial to learn how how to create tables in FrameMaker. (You'll need to use tables when you do the book-design project in one of the next units.)

FrameMaker tables tutorial: tutorialódue Sept. 5
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lessons 7 and 8
FrameMaker tables practice: practiceódue Sept. 7
FrameMaker tables quick-ref: quick-refódue Sept. 5
FrameMaker tables edit: editódue Sept. 5

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 1 (writing mechanics): ReadMe 1 Quizódue Sept. 7
ReadMe 2 (constructing text): ReadMe 2 Quizódue Sept. 7

Week of September 11

Templates in FrameMaker. Review how to apply templates in FrameMaker, and learn how to create your own.

FrameMaker templates tutorial: templatesódue Sept. 12
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 4
FrameMaker templates practice: practiceódue Sept. 12
FrameMaker templates quick-ref: quick-refódue Sept. 12
FrameMaker templates edit: editódue Sept. 12

Master pages in FrameMaker. Review how to apply master pages in FrameMaker, and learn how to modify and create your own.

FrameMaker master-pages tutorial: tutorialódue Sept. 14
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 4
FrameMaker master-pages practice: practiceódue Sept. 14
FrameMaker master-pages quick-ref: quick-refódue Sept. 14
FrameMaker master-pages edit: editódue Sept. 14

FrameMaker formatting project. Use graphics and unformatted text supplied by your instructor, create a well-designed technical document using FrameMaker and FrameMaker tags that you have specified.

FrameMaker formatting projectódue Sept. 19

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 3 (writing style): ReadMe 3 Quizódue Sept. 14
ReadMe 4 (online writing style): ReadMe 4 Quizódue Sept. 14


Week of September 18

Basic page design. Study some of the standard specifications for headings, lists, notices, cross-references, tables, highlighting, simple typography and layout issues, and other. Explore what is common or standard, focusing particularly on page design concepts for written instructions and rhetorical strategies for writing effective instructions.

Page Design
Page Design Quizódue Sept. 21

Anchored frames & graphics with FrameMaker. Learn how to create and incorporate graphics into FrameMaker documents (with anchored frames) as well as how to use screen captures as well as create simple drawings in FrameMaker.

FrameMaker anchored-frames tutorial: tutorialódue Sept. 19
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 9
FrameMaker anchored-frames practice: practiceódue Sept. 19
FrameMaker anchored-frames quick-ref: quick-refódue Sept. 19
FrameMaker anchored-frames edit: editódue Sept. 19

FrameMaker graphics tutorial: tutorialódue Sept. 21
FrameMaker graphics practice: practiceódue Sept. 21
FrameMaker graphics quick-ref: quick-refódue Sept. 21
FrameMaker graphics edit: editódue Sept. 21

Screen capture tutorialódue Sept. 21

Brief procedure 1. Find a simple computer hardware or software task you are familiar with, and then document that task using FrameMaker and FrameMaker tags that you have designed.

Brief procedure documentation projectódue Sept. 26

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 5 (links): ReadMe 5 Quizódue Sept. 21
ReadMe 6 (tasks, procedures, steps): ReadMe 6 Quizódue Sept. 21

Week of September 25

Brief procedure 1. Don't forget! This is due this week.

Brief procedure documentation projectódue Sept. 26

Cross-references with FrameMaker. Learn how to create various styles of cross-references using FrameMaker book—both within the same document and between documents.

FrameMaker cross-reference tutorial: tutorialódue Sept. 26
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 10
FrameMaker cross-reference practice: practiceódue Sept. 26
FrameMaker cross-reference quick-ref: quick-refódue Sept. 26
FrameMaker cross-reference edit: editódue Sept. 26

TOCs with FrameMaker. Learn how to generate, format, and update automated tables of contents.

FrameMaker TOC tutorial: tutorialódue Sept. 28
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 11
FrameMaker TOC practice: practiceódue Sept. 28
FrameMaker TOC quick-ref: quick-refódue Sept. 28
FrameMaker TOC edit: editódue Sept. 28

Indexing with FrameMaker. We'll discuss standard process and guidelines for indexing hardcopy books, and then learn how to create indexes using FrameMaker. The task for this unit will for each member of the class (or small teams of class members) to index one or more chapters of a book and then consolidate that work into one unified, well-designed index.

Review ReadMe 14 for indexing)
FrameMaker indexing tutorial: tutorialódue Sept. 28
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 12
FrameMaker indexing practice: practiceódue Sept. 28
FrameMaker indexing quick-ref: quick-refódue Sept. 28
FrameMaker indexing edit: editódue Sept. 28

Week of October 2

Basic book design. Study or review the standard components of a user guide, from front cover to back cover. We'll explore what is common or standard, look at your user guides, and develop specification grids for decision making.

Book Design
Book Design Quizódue Oct. 5

Book building with FrameMaker. You'll learn how to "build" books using FrameMaker: how to bring multiple documents into a book structure and how automate tables of contents, cross-references, indexes, and numbering streams.

FrameMaker book-building tutorial: tutorialódue Oct. 3
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 11
FrameMaker book-building practice: practiceódue Oct. 5
FrameMaker book-building quick-ref: quick-refódue Oct. 5
FrameMaker book-building edit: editódue Oct. 5

Autonumbering and variables with FrameMaker. Learn how to automate any numbering stream in a FrameMaker book, how to enable versions of the same documents, and how to create variables for rapid updating.

FrameMaker autonumbers, variables, and version control tutorial: tutorialódue Oct. 5
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lessons 6, 13 and Appendix C
FrameMaker autonumbers, variables, and version control practice: practiceódue Oct. 5
FrameMaker autonumbering quick-ref: quick-refódue Oct. 5
FrameMaker autonumbering edit: editódue Oct. 5

Brief procedure 2. Find another relatively simple task you are familiar with, and then document that task using FrameMaker and FrameMaker tags that you have designed.

Brief procedure documentation projectódue Oct. 16

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 7 (international): ReadMe 7 Quizódue Oct. 5
ReadMe 8 (legal): ReadMe 8 Quizódue Oct. 5

Week of October 9

Reference pages with FrameMaker. Learn how to use FrameMaker reference pages to store frequently used graphics that must be positioned consistently throughout a document, to hold boilerplate material or clip art that you can copy and paste on body pages (for example, symbols for cautions and notes), and to maintain hypertext commands, formatting information for generated lists and indexes, definitions of custom math elements, and mappings for converting to XML and HTML.

FrameMaker reference-page tutorial: tutorialódue Oct. 10
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading — check the index
FrameMaker reference-page practice: practiceódue Oct. 10
FrameMaker reference-page quick-ref: quick-refódue Oct. 10
FrameMaker reference-page edit: editódue Oct. 10

Book-formatting project with FrameMaker. Your project will be to build a book—complete with automated page numbers, cross-references, tables of contents, indexes, headers, and footers—from text supplied by the instructor.

FrameMaker book-formatting projectódue Oct. 24

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 9 (document types): ReadMe 9 Quizódue Oct. 12
ReadMe 10 (editors): ReadMe 10 Quizódue Oct. 12

Week of October 16

Brief procedure 2. Don't forget! This is due this week.

Brief procedure documentation projectódue Oct. 17

Book-building project with FrameMaker. — continued.

FrameMaker book-formatting projectódue Oct. 24

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 11 (illustrations): ReadMe 11 Quizódue Oct. 19
ReadMe 12 (GUIs): ReadMe 12 Quizódue Oct. 19

Week of October 23

Book-formatting project with FrameMaker. — continued.

FrameMaker book-formatting projectódue Oct. 24

Readings in documentation. Read about theory, process, and format related to documentation.

ReadMe 13 (glossaries): ReadMe 13 Quizódue Oct. 26
ReadMe 14 (indexing): ReadMe 14 Quizódue Oct. 26

FrameMaker wrap-up. You've been through all of the FrameMaker tutorials. Ideally, you should be able to do all those tasks without looking at books, tutorials, or notes. (Yes, ideally.)

FrameMaker essentials. Just take a look at this list of 20 essential FrameMaker tasks. In future courses, I will ask students to be able to do these tasks without looking. For now, just keep it in mind; use if you go go for a FrameMaker job interview.


Week of October 30

Project announce. To develop your final project, you either work solo or build a team and define team roles and rules. In either case, you describe your project and its audience, develop an outline, and design it. All this planning work you post ojn your solo or team project website.

  • Start the final project. For the rest of the semester, you'll develop a user guide for a computer hardware component or software application, using the techniques and tools covered in the first part of the course. In this part of the course, focus on some of the key phases of the documentation cycle, organization, and "deliverables." As for your actual project, you can choose to work on your own or as part of a team.

  • Define team roles & rules. If you work as part of a team, determine who will do what: roles such as writers, editors, graphics specialists, designers, technical researchers, formatters, coordinators, and overall team supervisor/manager. Post these roles and names on the team web page. Also, discuss basic rules: decide how you will handle problems such as a team member not showing up, not doing his or her assigned work, not getting work in on time, not attending team meetings, and not doing quality work. Explain what you'll do if team members cannot agree on certain issues. Post a summary of these decisions on the team web page.

  • Post project, audience, and outline. Whether you work solo or with a team, decide on what you will document, define the audience, and create a detailed outline of the project document. Post a summary of these decisions on the project web page (applies to both solo and team projects).

  • Design the project. Whether you are working solo or as a part of a team, decide on the specifications for your document (margins, fonts, etc.); set up a template to use as you write the guide; and create a prototype (a skeletal model of your manual with all textual components such as preface and index and all format components such as headings, lists, headers, footers included, but using dummy text). (This requirement applies to solo projects also.)

    Team building (only if you are working as part of a team)ódue Nov. 7
    Project announceódue Nov. 7
    Project designódue Nov. 7

Week of November 6

XML & structured authoring with FrameMaker 7. Learn how FrameMaker 7 handles structured documents and XML.

Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lessons 16 and 17
FrameMaker structured-documents tutorial: tutorialódue Nov. 7
FrameMaker structured-documents practice: practiceódue Nov. 7
FrameMaker structured-documents quick-ref: quick-refódue Nov. 9
FrameMaker structured-documents edit: editódue Nov. 9

Week of November 13

Continue developing your project. Continue your work in learning the product you are writing about, designing your FrameMaker tags and templates, and developing your prototype documents.

First draftódue Dec. 5

Project template and prototype. Send in your FrameMaker template and prototype (using Lorem Ipsum).

Template and prototypeódue Nov. 21

FrameMaker WebWorks conversions. Experiment with importing various external documents into and out of FrameMaker. Also, if we can get the full version of Quadralay's WebWorks in the lab and someone in to show us how to use it, you'll see how to convert FrameMaker documents to web pages.

FrameMaker conversions tutorial: tutorialódue Nov. 14
Adobe FrameMaker 7 Classroom in a Book optional reading: Lesson 18 and Appendix B
FrameMaker conversions practice: practiceódue Nov. 14 (Practice materials are in the tutorial.) FrameMaker conversions quick-ref: quick-refódue Nov. 16
FrameMaker conversions edit: editódue Nov. 16

Week of November 20

Project template and prototype. Complete these two items and send them in.

Template and prototypeódue Nov. 21

Start developing the first draft. You or your team prepares a first draft of the documentation. Graphics and indexing may not be complete, but enough of the manual needs to be available for editing, testing, and evalution. (We'll discuss requirements and other aspects of the first draft in the chatroom during this time.)

First draftódue Dec. 5

Rapid, large-scale changes with FrameScript. If we can get someone in to show us how to use it . . .

Week of November 27

Continue working on the first draft. If possible send sample chapters or rough drafts to your instructor for quick review.

First draftódue Dec. 5

Week of December 4

Continue working on the first draft. If possible send sample chapters or rough drafts to your instructor for quick review.

First draftódue Dec. 5

Week of December 11

Prepare the final draft. Receive your instructor's review and revise as necessary.

Final draftódue Dec. 14


Information and programs provided by hcexres@prismnet.com.