There are two ways you can run the Mif2Go filters: from within FrameMaker, or from the so-called "MS-DOS" command line (under Win32, not under DOS itself). The command line is the original method. In 1998 we added an FDK (Frame Developers Kit) DLL component to permit full operation without leaving FrameMaker; that is now the preferred mode of operation.
Installing the FDK interface requires only copying two files to your \framemaker\fminit\plugins directory; as a plugin, it is self-registering with FrameMaker. The next time you start running FrameMaker, you will find two new items on your File menu: Set Up Mif2Go Export, and Save Using Mif2Go. Both can be used either on an entire book at once, or on one file at a time.
During initial Set Up, the program inspects the selected FrameMaker file; if it is a book file, the FDK software also looks at the TOC and the first non-generated file in the book. If you are creating Help output, such as WinHelp or HTML Help, the software tries to determine which of your styles are likely to be wanted as topic starts. It does not always get this right, but it gives you a starting point and makes clear how you specify the topics in the .ini. The software will also assign unique [FileIDs] for you; feel free to replace those with more meaningful ones of your own choosing, but make sure they remain unique for all files used in the same project.
When initial setup is done, and an .ini has been created, the Set Up command opens either the .ini file itself in Notepad (for HTML/XML), or the Conversion Designer (for RTF) which permits graphic editing of the .ini-file content in the same familiar way that you edit paragraph styles, by checking boxes, selecting from lists, and entering names and numbers. The lists that the Conversion Designer presents to you are always specific to your project; they include the paragraph and character styles, and fonts, you are using in your documents. This tends to eliminate the possibility of making typos for such names.
When you choose Save Using Mif2Go, you get the project selection dialog, then another dialog that allows you to modify a few of the .ini settings for this conversion. Then Mif2Go goes to work. If you have selected a book, it converts the book files one at a time (to minimize disk usage). For each file, it applies the conversion template you specified (if any), creates any of the graphics you wanted (including graphics for FrameMaker equations), saves as MIF, then runs the actual DCL filter software to produce the desired output. For normal-sized files, the whole process may take only a few seconds. The results for each file are logged in the FrameMaker console, so you can always look back and see what you’ve done. Any errors are logged there too.
You can run Mif2Go from the "MS-DOS" command prompt too. Generally you’ll do this only when you want to use it as part of an automated build process, perhaps under control of a Makefile or as commands in a .bat file. You can either run dcl.exe for existing MIF files, or run runfm.exe with FrameMaker.
When you run dcl.exe from the command line, you will not be able to use several Mif2Go features that are implemented in the FDK part of the software. These are:
1. FDK-generated graphics, including those for equations. However, if you have previously run from the FDK, the graphics produced then will still be present and referenced, and the filter will use them. So you only have a problem if the graphics themselves have changed, or have been moved so that their FrameID is different.
2. Automatic importation of formats from a "conversion template". Instead, you would have to import the template to the book yourself first, then save (as MIF) and regenerate. Note that in this case, your original files are altered, so you will need to reimport formats from your original templates to restore the files for print purposes.
3. Creating and deleting MIF files for the conversion. The FDK creates each MIF file just before it is needed, and can delete it as soon as the converted form is finished; this uses the least possible amount of disk space. If you run from the command line, you will need to create all the MIF files in advance; you can still delete them (in your .bat file) as their conversions are done.
4. Creating .ini files initially, and editing them graphically. Again, if you use Set Up Mif2Go from the FDK, you will get the starting .ini file for your project. You can always use the sample starting file shipped with the filter, and edit it to include you own [FileIDs] and other project-specific settings. All project files are plain text, editable using Notepad or any other plain-text editor (even Word, provided you save as text, not as a Word document).