Re: How can I automate production of many documents with same template but different key/table-value content?

Subject: Re: How can I automate production of many documents with same template but different key/table-value content?
From: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
To: Dan Richards <danrrich -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:58:15 -0700

The database publishing tools can typically work with flat files as well. E.g.:

http://www.miramo.com/english/overview/dp_download.html

On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM, Dan Richards <danrrich -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Thanks for the initial suggestions! I'm hoping production of the documents
> could be done in about a week. I have no need for collaborative editing and
> just need to get to PDF files at the end that I would rename/redistribute. I
> do need the document template to be professional/have clean visual design
> rather than look like a stock database table export for example, so want to
> define the visual style of each of the ~10 tables (e.g. wrt table border,
> column widths, header row naming and fonts, etc.) for example in the
> document template and have whatever renders each document with the
> substituted content to retain the style.
>
> Regarding the 1000 sets of label-value and table-values content that I want
> substitute into the document template, I could put it into a database if
> needed, but want to find a means to script/automate the
> import/mapping/layout (handling pagination, text wrapping, etc.)/rendering
> to PDF of all ~1000 documents so that I do not need to intervene manually on
> creating any of the documents (each would be 4-8 pages long fwiw) assuming
> some script or wrapper could iterate through all 1000 and send the content
> and save off the resulting PDF document for each.
>
> If there's a particular tool (or third-party tool that could do this for
> Framemaker) that seems well-suited for this it would help to know; it's the
> automation of inserting content into a fixed document template with hooks
> for pre-specified label-value and table-values locations/styles, and
> rendering at scale that I need to find an efficient way to accomplish. Any
> further ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
>
>
> On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 9:52 AM, Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
> wrote:
>>
>> If these values are coming from a database, Google "database
>> publishing." FrameMaker and InDesign both have third-party tools for
>> that.
>>
>> On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 6:29 PM, Dan Richards <danrrich -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>> > Hi, I need to create 1000s of multi-page PDF documents which require the
>> > typical header/footer/pagination/wrapping of text/etc. and each of which
>> > (aside from static text) has 0-10 tables (of fixed types--i.e. the
>> > column
>> > headers are pre-specified, but the number of rows/specific content
>> > varies
>> > for each document), as well as ~30 different label-value pairs that need
>> > to
>> > be substituted in predefined locations (some label values are a
>> > paragraph
>> > of text, but others are single words). I need to give the tables a nice
>> > visual design and have rendering the table automatically handle wrapping
>> > values in columns automatically.
>> >
>> > What tool would you recommend using to create a template to specify the
>> > layout of these elements to indicate where each label or table should be
>> > placed? Preferably specify some basic conditional logic control over
>> > whether to show a section/table based on whether content exists for it
>> > for
>> > that document, to put the logic in one document template rather than
>> > have
>> > multiple document templates for the different possible combinations.
>> >
>> > What tool or process would you recommend to substitute in the specific
>> > label-values and tables values for each document into the template and
>> > render to PDF?
>> >
>> > I've never needed to do something at this scale where I need automation,
>> > so
>> > any advice would be appreciated. I'm not sure if there may be a means to
>> > script something like Framemaker to automate this (applying appropriate
>> > template and label-value and table-values content files for each
>> > document
>> > to render to PDF) or is there some modern approach for producing
>> > high-quality paginated documents from a template but substituting
>> > variable
>> > key-value and table-value content may be better?
>> >
>> > D
>> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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>> >
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>> >
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>
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp enhancements, and more. Read all about it.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/NNcWqS

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References:
How can I automate production of many documents with same template but different key/table-value content?: From: Dan Richards
Re: How can I automate production of many documents with same template but different key/table-value content?: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: How can I automate production of many documents with same template but different key/table-value content?: From: Dan Richards

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