Metric conversions

Subject: Metric conversions
From: geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 12:55:57 -0600

Howard Rauch wonders <<A catalog we are preparing for one
of our clients requires that we make metric conversions for
pressure, force, weight, length, etc. I am looking for a
way to automate this process instead of making the
conversions manually.>>

I can't give you specific recommendations for Frame (I
don't use it), but working in a spreadsheet or database
program will work for almost any similar situation: all you
have to do is export a tab-delimited ASCII file and open it
in Frame. Databases will give you more export flexibility,
so they're probably a better bet than spreadsheets. Note:
If possible, don't use comma-delimited ASCII: this makes it
harder to get the spacing right, and will cause you endless
grief if you expect to use (say) French format numerals, in
which commas replace periods as the decimal indicator.

Most software should accept the tab-delimited file directly
into its table editor (and check the manual... it may
actually import the original database file directly, which
makes things even easier). If you standardize your table
formats, you can even create a "few named styles to cover
every eventuality (e.g., "standard 3-col table", "software
table", "hardware table"). I did this in PageMaker once I
got fed up with their table editor, and it made table
creation a piece of cake.

One note: check your conversion equations very carefully
(do at least a few spot checks). In one spreadsheet that
I'll leave unnamed so as to protect the not-so-innocent, a
few of the conversion factors were seriously off. They
fixed the problem in subsequent releases, but still... If
you enter the equations yourself, have someone else check
your work... it's all too easy to miss one's own mistakes.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Disclaimer: Speaking for myself, not FERIC., or

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