Single source PDF

Subject: Single source PDF
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2000 07:37:07 -0500

It's been noted on this list that PDFs that are designed for print often
show up badly on screen, and that his is a barrier to using PDF. I'd like to
point out a workaround that may appeal to some of the more technologically
bold among us.

You can now, using appropriate creation software (not Word, for heaven's
sake!) create your documents and output them as XML. XML can be completely
restructured using a companion language called XSLT, which allows an XML
document to be rebuilt as you choose. You can also attach a completely
different CSS or XSL (both stylesheet standards) to an XML document and
completely change its look: raise font size, reduce line length, make breaks
at different places, change colors, and so forth.

All of this technological chicanery, once set into place, gives you the
ability to create the doc, export as XML, then let the machinery take over
and automatically split the document into two, one bound for print, the
other for online. It can also automatically render the document as PDF, post
it to the web or intranet, send a PostScript file to a printer, and produce
HTML if desired. You can even create help files automatically, in WinHelp,
JavaHelp, or HTML Help. It takes setup, but it works. And it's all done
single source, so changes can be made to a single document, rather than to
three or four.

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar Method(TM)
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
317.562.9298
http://www.simplywritten.com






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