Re: "Printer-friendly" web pages

Subject: Re: "Printer-friendly" web pages
From: tstorer -at- free -dot- fr
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 09:11:38 -0700

First, thanks to Dick, Eric, and Gordon for your replies!

> Does no one see the obvious? Use each format where it is best suited. If
> you are currently producing PDF, continue to produce PDF.

Well, that's it. We're wondering if PDF can't be replaced by something
different. Our PDFs get kind of big, so the people installing the products
sometimes don't install them with the products in order to save disk
space; our consultants at customer sites sometimes have trouble
downloading them quickly enough from our website if the available band
isn't wide.

Make smaller guides, you'll say. We're working on that, too, but there's a
lot of legacy documentation to rework.

> With a little bit of planning and foresight,
> the HTML and PDF can even be complementary and not simple re-formatted
> regurgitations of the same content and structure.
> It's dead simple to manage and produce multiple outputs and it serves your
> audience/users well. As you currently produce PDF, keep your current
> workflow and determine how best to extract/create the HTML content from
> your current workflow. The initial attempts may result in less than
> optimal HTML, but as the system evolves, both the PDF and HTML output will
> evolve to their optimal forms.

Good points. Our situation is complicated by a recent merger with another
company; our doc teams don't work the same way yet and we're looking for
compromises. They single-source from Frame to online help, we produce
separate help content in RoboHelp. On both sides, installation of doc
deliverables with the products is a problem for the installation
development team because there are so many files to put on the
installation CD, especially when localized versions are included. Hence
our looking for web-only (or web-mostly) doc delivery options.

Thanks again for your explanations of "printer-friendly" pages and other




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