Re: .pdf vs. .html

Subject: Re: .pdf vs. .html
From: Janet Swisher <jmswisher -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 14:56:12 -0500

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 11:21 AM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com> wrote:
> Acrobat Reader can handle URLs to bookmarks:

If you look carefully at that document, you'll see that Reader can
handle URLs to specific pages or "named destinations", which are not
the same thing as bookmarks. This is important because many PDF
generators create bookmarks, but do not create named destinations. You
have to either created them manually or get an extra utility that will
turn bookmarks into named destinations. At least, that was the
situation when I looked into it a year or so ago.

> What's your source format?

This is a key question. If you are using FrameMaker, you can generate
HTML using Mif2Go or WebWorks ePublisher.

Other key questions are:

* What are your products? "The industry standard" depends on what
industry you're in. Software products have different needs from
hardware, and different hardware products have different needs from
each other.
* Who is your audience? How and when do they refer to the documentation?
* What is driving this change: Ease of use for users? Or
convenience/cost-savings for your company?

As far as the "right" format for online presentation: generally, HTML
works better if the document is to be read online. PDF is designed for
print output, not online reading. However, just outputting exactly the
same content in HTML as in a paper manual does not usually work well.
You will want to consider online reading patterns when structuring
your content for online delivery.

> On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 6:22 AM, Anne Woolson <anne -dot- woolson -at- rimage -dot- com> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> My company is wanting to move away from posting our documentation as
>> .PDFs on our support site, and move to presenting them in .HTML. I'm not
>> at all thrilled with this idea, especially since our user manuals are
>> long (300+ pages) and heavily formatted. I think this will be a
>> nightmare to do initially and equally bad (or worse) to maintain.
>> Can anyone tell me what the industry standard really is? And any insight
>> as to what formats are going to be useful in the future? Is there a
>> consensus on what is the right format to be using for online
>> presentation?
>> One point I can't answer is - is there a way to have an html link on our
>> web page jump to a specific bookmark in a .pdf? If so, that may solve my
>> problem outright.

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.pdf vs. .html: From: Anne Woolson
Re: .pdf vs. .html: From: Robert Lauriston

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