Re: Putting Hardcopy Manuals On Line

Subject: Re: Putting Hardcopy Manuals On Line
From: Carol Atack <carol -at- ANT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 16:50:29 +0000

At 9:53 am -0500 25/6/96, L. Brook Sizemore wrote:
>One of our clients has made a request that maybe some of you could help me
>with. This client would like me to save our current manual to a print file,
>on CD, and send it to them so that they can print the manuals as they need
>them.

>I think that there must be a tool that can serve this purpose better than a
>print file. Since I have become a lurker on this mailing list, I have seen
>posts regarding Adobe Acrobat and PDF files. However, I don't know exactly
>what these tools do. Would they help me with this situation?

Yes. I find Acrobat/PDF a really good solution to this problem. Good things
about it that I especially like include:
- files are platform independent
- good for line art and diagrams - doesn't turn them into bitmaps
- reliable and easy to use
- you can add nifty features like thumbnails really easily
- not editable by the recipient

Acrobat files are basically PostScript files but with some extra bits so
that the Acrobat viewer can let you read and navigate them on screen as
well as just printing them out. Bitmaps in the document are compressed
using your chosen level of compression and the resulting files are usually
smaller than their plain PostScript equivalents.


>I need something that will do the following:

>-Let users view the documentation on line, as it would appear in the manual.
>-Restrict users from altering or changing the manual (of course).
>-Let users easily print hard copies of the manual as needed.

>Could someone point me in the right direction?

If you have WWW access, visit Adobe's web site at http://www.adobe.com for
heaps of Acrobat propaganda. To create PDF files you may need to buy the
full Acrobat Exchange package. Increasingly DTP and illustration software
have some support for Acrobat built in, so it's worth checking any software
you use especially if it came from Adobe.

Using the Print dialog in FrameMaker and the Acrobat Distiller shipped with
PageMaker, I create PDFs every day to send files to my clients for them to
print out and check, and also send on to their clients. I use options
within FrameMaker to set up a table of contents which Acrobat can use,
based on paragraph styles within the document.

Creating the PDF is really just like pressing Print twice, one to generate
the PS file and then to turn it into a PDF. Most of this process can be run
as a batch operation or automatically.

Hope this helps

Carol Atack
Cambridge

--
Carol Atack Tel: +44 1223 518221
Email: mailto:carol -at- ant -dot- co -dot- uk WWW: http://www.ant.co.uk/~carol

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