Combining documents into one huge report

Subject: Combining documents into one huge report
From: "Ealasaid A. Haas" <writer -at- ealasaid -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2007 16:34:33 -0800

Hi, all!

I am facing a project at work which I am not looking forward to, and it
occurred to me to ask if anybody here had suggestions about more
effecient ways to do it.

Basically, I am to compile hardware test results and reports generated
by in-house test engineers, vendors, and third-party testers into one
giant report, with a table of contents and introductory pages for each
section (the reports/test results are clustered by subject; for example,
there are several reports on different kinds of cables that were tested,
so they go in the Cables section, each report in its own little

If I only had to generate hard copy, this would be easy - print all the
docs out, put them in the right order, put them in a binder; when new
docs are handed over, find the right place and put them in.

But no! I have to generate a pdf soft copy too.

Last time I did this, I assembled the 1000+ page report in Adobe Acrobat
Pro, which was kind of lame - whenever I got a new document, I had to
re-open the FrameMaker book I was using for the table of contents and
introductory pages, fix them, save them as pdf, extract the pages in
question, import them into the big pdf, then find the place to wedge in
the new document (sometimes removing an old one it was replacing). The
documents are all in formats I can convert to pdf, so that wasn't too
bad, but the many steps it takes every time I update the big report is
making me crazy.

There has GOT to be an easier way to do this.

I would really love to be able to include the docs in the Frame book so
they were automatically included when I did a "save as pdf", but so far
I haven't figured out how to do that (assuming it's possible in the
first place).

Does anybody have any words of wisdom to help me out?

Many thanks in advance,
Ealasaid Haas

-- *

Maturity is knowing you were an idiot in the past.
Wisdom is knowing that you'll be an idiot in the future.
Common sense is knowing that you should try not to be an idiot NOW.
- Questionable Content,


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