Re: Master Docs in Word - alternatives to avoid these kind of problems

Subject: Re: Master Docs in Word - alternatives to avoid these kind of problems
From: Harald Klein <webmaster -at- textquest -dot- de>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 10:25:53 +0200

Maggie Secara wrote:

Don't. Just don't. Before Steve Hudson gets here and tells you otherwise,
just don't.

Ok, now Young Goodman Hudson does have a method he swears makes Master Docs
work just fine, but you have to be very very VERY organized from the start,
and nothing ever goes wrong along the way. He and one or two other people
on this list and/or Word-PC claim to have never had any trouble with them.
Then there's the rest of us. When something goes wrong, chapters disappear.
Truly disappear, leaving not a .tmp behind. poof.

For large docs in Word, keep each chapter in its own file, and assemble your
ToC and Index using RD fields (see Word Help for details).

I read nearly all the statements/problems connected with Word. Well, the name says it all, Word and not Book or Text. I gave up writing bigger projects with Word, because I know all the problems, experienced some of them, and looked for an alternative. And there is one.

For my work as a software developer I have to write a manual and fill the help system with content. I use TeX (and its macro package LaTeX) which allows me to produce PDF, help system texts (RTF) and HTML output. It is free, doesn't change file formats each year, and there is a lot of user support available. You can include as many files as you like, GPFs are unknown, you just have to learn the SGML standing befind the macro package LaTeX (well, if you know a bit of HTML, the syntax is very similar). It works like a compiler: you use your editor, compile the text, and the results can be viewed. Before I get too enthusiastic, this setup does what I WANT.

Harald Klein
Social Science Consulting
Brückengasse 12
07407 Rudolstadt
Tel/Fax: +49 3672488494

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RE: Master Docs in Word: From: Maggie Secara

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