Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat

Subject: Re: HTML vs. Adobe Acrobat
From: Barbara Miller <millercm -at- MILLER-COMM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 1996 07:14:45 -0700

>Marsha Wolicki <wta -at- TAUX01 -dot- NSC -dot- COM> asked:

>>Can anyone tell me what functionality we would get from
>>converting our FrameMaker documents to HTML that we will
>>not get from the Adobe suite of products? In other words,
>>did we make the right decision?

Yvonne said it best: It depends.

My former employer put both HTML and Acrobat versions of our printed
documents on the web. We had both because, as Yvonne pointed out, not all
users will download Acrobat to view the file and we wanted to cover all
bases. Our printed documents were heavily designed in color with photos and
graphics. Converting them to Acrobat was fast and maintained that look. Our
HTML versions were text only. It was a time thing.

Unfortunately, we did not take advantage of what Acrobat offered, including
linking to other documents in a series or making web links to supplemental
information. I was trying to get them to take advantage of all of Acrobat's
features when I left.

>I believe you can do some hyperlinking in Acrobat, but it isn't supposed to
>be easy. Basically, you will probably get a static document instead of one
>with links.

The linking is not too difficult. It requires drawing a box around the "hot"
text or graphic.

>Also, people will need to download the whole file to see one page. (I think
>this changes when Adobe Amber comes out.) You may want to create separate
>Acrobat files for each chapter if your readers may want only a few

Definitely break the file down. You can use the bookmark feature to link all
the chapters. This will make the document look seamless.

You can also convert spreadsheet files to Acrobat, saving all the hassles of
creating tables that will only display on Netscape or Netscape-compatible

Acrobat is not a substitute for HTML; they both have advantages, depending
on your need. Personally, I like being able to print out PDF IRS forms that
look just like the printed ones.

If you're interested, I wrote a paper on using Acrobat in the publication
process for a class I took at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth over
the Internet. The paper is on display on their alumni exhibits page (blush).
I describe the features of Acrobat and how I used it with a client that was
2000 miles away. The URL is

I use the features that I explain in the paper.

Barbara J. Miller
millercm -at- Miller-Comm -dot- com

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