Adobe InDesign as Single Source?

Subject: Adobe InDesign as Single Source?
From: "Bill Trippe" <btrippe -at- nmpub -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 13:06:26 -0500

Hi All,

I read the archives carefully, and am pretty sure I have pulled together the
previous points on this, but I wanted to throw the question out there again,
and test what I have learned so far.

I have a client that will be using Adobe InDesign for their documentation.
I say "will be" because the decision has already been made for a variety of
reasons, so the mission now is to figure out how to support them in this
effort. A few points:

* It's a small group. One writer and one editor, supported by a
graphic designer who will create the templates.
* Their total volume of documentation is probably a few thousand page
a year, much of it updates and custom versions of one key deliverable (user
documentation for software that runs as both client-server (Windows and Mac)
and Web-based.
* They will be using a workflow solution, WoodWing, that will allow
the authoring to be done in InCopy, with the templates being maintained by
the designer using InDesign.

The print output is straightfoward, but my concern is output to Help without
too many manual steps by the small team. From reading the archives, it
appears there is no tool that directly supports InDeign-to-Help output, but
there are two indirect options:

1. Use the XML capabilities in InDesign and InCopy to produce XML
output that could than be transformed into Help.
2. Produce a PDF file or files that could then be ingested by one of
the Help tools (preferences or recommendations here? They use RoboHelp with
MS Word now, but are not committed to it) I am assuming this approach means
the PDF file needs to have enough hooks, links, etc., in it to make the
transformation to Help automatic.

Do I seem to have captured the state of the art? Does anyone have any
experience, recommendations, etc? Also, if you are a consultant who does
this kind of work, I would be interested in hearing from you offlist.

Many thanks in advance. I am a long-time reader of this list, but rarely
post, so I look forward to hearing from you.



Bill Trippe

New Millennium Publishing

763 Massachusetts Ave

Cambridge, MA 02139

781 526 2564 <> <>


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content
delivery. Try it today!.

Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

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