Ventura convers'n SUMMARY (kind of)
beth_staats -at- ARTISOFT -dot- COM
Wed, 17 Jul 1996 09:57:46 MTN
Julie and TWs,
I have received a lot of replies about this, but a new priority arose
and I haven't had time to analyze them. So I'll see if I can paste all
the Ventura conversion messages into this message.
In skimming the messages I noticed that some people advise buying an
application that does conversion; one person said simply copy the
Ventura text and then paste it into a Word doc, which I tried and it
WORKS! But I suppose you lose your graphics. One person provided lots
of basic information about Ventura structure. Very useful.
_THANK YOU, everyone, for the info! This list is so valuable._
P.S. (off topic): Personally, I loved the "two spaces after sentence"
discussion because it's a pet peeve of mine. Double-spacing after
sentences is an archaic habit.
Beth (me, opinionated?) Staats in Tucson
bstaats -at- artisoft -dot- com
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Ventura filter
Author: Julie Zagorski <juliez -at- NIGHTOWL -dot- NET> at INTERNET
Please reply to the list, I also am in need. I have older Ventura 4.0?
files that I need converted to Word or PageMaker (Preferably). Do you all
have any suggestions?
HEREWITH, ALL MESSAGES THAT I STUFFED INTO MY VENTURA E-MAIL FOLDER:
Fairly straightforward. Decide what format you wish to convert it
to, e.g., MS Word. Open your VP chapter. In each VP document (you'll
have to find them individually), look under Frame|Rename (s/g like
that). You can rename and convert the linked document file to
several different formats. Do so.
While you're in VP, note the name of the different graphics files.
Some you can convert to something else.
After you save the VP Chapter, all the external documents will be
converted to the requested type.
Now open each individual document in the target program, e.g., Word.
The VP tags will be displayed; they're hard to miss. You can either
write macros to convert to styles or formatting, or just strip out
the VP tags and hand-format.
Bruce H. Johnson
corpknow -at- earthlink -dot- net Los Angeles, California
Ventura text is (was?) marked-up ascii.
You ought to be able to save the file in just about ANY supported
format. Check the manual - I forgot excatly on what menu/list this
option is found.
john glenn <sfarmh1 -at- scfn -dot- thpl -dot- lib -dot- fl -dot- us>
Depends. You can save the _text_ portion as just about anything.
You'll still have to deal with all the pesky embedded tags though.
Saving it as-is? Nope. The way Ventura saves documents is you have
a .chp file, which is pointers to the others. Each graphic you
import is a separate file. There is a .frm file which specifies
all the frames. There is a .doc file (sometimes .txt or .sam) which
is your document's text portion. You also have a .sty file which
has your paragraph styles, and a .wid file of your font widths.
With all those different files, no other software can really
understand a ventura document.
I just checked my Ventura 4.2 reference manual, and the closest it
comes to suggesting you might ever want to do anything other
than Ventura is a section titled "Ventura and Adobe Acrobat",
supposedly Appendix D, which isn't in the book. (The book is
better than the online help.) The appendix is on the online help,
though, and it says that you print a chapter or pub from Ventura and
then distill it with Acrobat distiller. I infer that means the
print files are in postscript format -- there might be other tools
to translate it from there. (Also the options menu has a direct
salper -at- col -dot- hp -dot- com
Ventura keeps documents in ASCII (or in the language of the
word-processor that produced them). It adds formatting tags in angle
brackets. The documents remain editable in the wp that produced
If the document is old enough Beth may be faced with something that
was written in WordStar. This was an excellent program in its day,
but I don't remember a single filter that made a good job of
converting it to any of the programs that replaced it.
If the worst comes to the worst open the files with any program that
claims to work with ASCII files, even a Microsoft Applet, and delete
everything but the text
ibbetson -at- idirect -dot- com
If you have Ventura, you could 'convert' to Acrobat by printing to
Acrobat Exchange; you could convert to ASCII by printing to file
with the printer driver Generic/ Text only.
If you don't have Ventura and if you are just interested in the text
anyway, I'm sure a simple macro will do to clear the Ventura *:DOC
file of the styles ('@name =') and
tags ('<xxx>'). This will only work, though, if you have a more or
less plain text Ventura file (no tables).
I have now forgotten what you want to convert TO, but anyway... I
needed to convert Ventura to Word 6. I saved the file as plain text,
loaded it into Word, and wrote a macro to read the codes and strip
them out, and then apply (predefined) styles to the results - the
result was 99% OK - only a few tables went wrong (of course you will
prbably have to regarb your bitmaps, if any)
thirlwaym -at- usoft -dot- nl
The answer is basically yes, Ventura saves its text in word
processor files anyway, it has no text format of its own. I assume
you have the document files but no Ventura to load them with? A
Ventura doc consists of groups of files with the following
*.PUB - a publication file containing pointers to one or more
chapter (CHP) files. It also contains TOC and index creation
instructions. contains no actual text.
*.CHP - chapter files containing pointers to text and graphic files
that go to make up the document. contains no actual text.
*.CAP - caption files containing any text that is not part of an
external text file. These are ascii files with Ventura formatting
commands in them.
One cr/lf is a soft return, two cr/lf's are a hard return (i.e.
*.VGR - graphics files containing low-res displayable copies of
graphics. No use to you. May not be present.
*.STY - Style sheet containing all the typographic definitions of
the doc. Binary, so you can't look at it. You can however print it
from Ventura - if you don't have VP, send me the .STY and I can dump
it for you. You could then tie up the formatting stuff with the text
*.GEN - files generated by VP for contents and index. readable
ascii, like .CAP files
All other files are probably text and graphics files, mostly with
meaningful extensions showing the program that created them, e.g.
DOC, CDR or whatever.
So you can find the text files and figure out what wordprocessor to
open them with. When open, you will see some alarming stuff, like
@HEADING = blah blah
@TITLE = blah blah
These are the tag names that refer to paragraph definitions in the
style sheet. They always start with the at-sign, and end with space
equals space. Easy to strip off. Any para that does not have one is
Body Text, which also has a definition in the STY.
Then you may see things like this:
These are formatting commands that work just on the text where they
are sitting. They always start with a < and end with a >. A double
<< or >> means a printable character instead of a command.
Depending on the wordprocessor for which the file was saved, there
may be bold, italic etc in the WP's own format.
I have used VP 8 hours a day for about 9 years now, so I can
probably help you - please feel free to contact me.
Chris Hulin chrish -at- ctl -dot- com -dot- cy
Well, certainly; I mean, there's _always_ a way. Unfortunately, I
was unable to find if there's a way to export it from within Ventura
itself, and I don't have my Framemaker docs handy (they're boxed
As I see it, your options are two: First, try and find a conversion
program. You should be able to look in the classified ads of most
any DTP magazine to find one. The problem is, it will probably be
expensive. The second option is to strip the special codes out
yourself. You see, Ventura spreads the data for each publication
over a number of files, one of which is basically just a marked-up
text file. So, find the .txt file, pull it up in a text editor (or
your page layout program, if you like) and strip the special Ventura
codes out. If you've ever done HTML, this should be simple.
= Warren -- http://www.cyberport.com/~tangent
I suspect you want something that means you don't have to spend
forever stripping out the Ventura formatting codes. If there are
tools out there that do this kind of thing (especially an HTML
conversion tool - btw, I've already tried HTML Transit),
I'd love to know about it too.
In version 4.2 (and below) all you can do is change the file type of
your document file (Frame menu, File Type/Rename option) but when
you open the file in the other tool, it'll be full of "@Heading1 = "
and "<f225p255d>" and all those other lovely formatting codes which
you then have to delete (fire up those search and replace macros!).
I don't think you can export from Ventura 5.0 either but I've only
had a brief look at version 5.0 (I'm desperately hoping that version
7.0 *really* will do all Corel are claiming for it).
You could try looking at http://www.corelnet.com, which
has discussion lists for Corel products, and try posting the query
on the Ventura list.
Nice to hear that I'm not the only Ventura user in the wonderful
world of tech writing. :-)
kathw -at- firefox -dot- co -dot- uk
I'm so glad you asked that question: it's been bugging me too.
Please post the answer if you get one.
BTW, Ventura 5.0 comes with a tool called TagWrite, which _appears_
to be what's needed. It claims to tag and untag text according to
templates you set up.
HOWEVER, I found the documentation so indigestible (I think there
are about 4 manuals, delivered as Acrobat files) that I gave up last
time I had a look. I decided that for the size of job I had to do it
was going to be quicker to use copy/paste and then replace all the
characters that mysteriously get dropped from the ends of
paragraphs! I couldn't help thinking that there had to be an easier
way, and just hoped that I would stumble across it before I had a
more substantial conversion to do. No luck so far...
TagWrite does come with a couple of templates, one for importing
.RTF files, and one for exporting to WordPerfect, but since I don't
have WordPerfect this wasn't a lot of help. I guess it was the mere
fact that they didn't include an 'export to ascii' template that led
me to believe that there was an alternative, easier method.
(Incidentally, I did get the impression that using TagWrite would be
quite straightforward once I'd waded through the documentation. If
you don't get any better answers, it might be worth the investment.)
alisonb -at- mmtech -dot- co -dot- uk
You might want to post your question to discuss-ventura -at- popco -dot- com It
is the Ventura discussion list.
I've never done it, but I knew there was a way to do it, because
that's what Natalie had to do to get the manuals ready to be
converted to FrameMaker.
So I looked and looked, and I think I've finally figured it out --
select the frame your text is in, and then select "File Type/Rename"
from the Frame menu. Change the text format to ASCII in the dialog
box. I'm not sure what it will do to tables and boxes. (When you
test it out, you may want to change the filename as well, until you
make sure nothing is eliminated.)
If you want, I can get you the name of the outside consultant we
used to convert our docs to FrameMaker from Ventura 4.1.1.
dave -at- synergex -dot- com
I've used a DOS-based program called VenEdit to strip Ventura Codes
out of the base text files. Of course, you lose your graphics.
I've also used a Windows program called MasterHelp to convert
Ventura files to WinHelp files. The latest VP version I used it on
was 4.2, but they may support later versions.
If you're interested in either of these programs, e-mail me
(mpackman -at- cisco -dot- com) and I'll send the contact info off-list.
I have version 3.0 of Ventura, so my answer may or may not match
1. Select File Type, then Rename
2. Enter a new file name with an extension of .txt or .doc (or what
is appropriate for step 3.
3. Select the radio button for ASCII (or the word processor format
4. Click on OK.
Should give you several choices. Hope it helps.
tom_lange -at- ccmail -dot- bmc -dot- com
In response to the Ventura to Online Help question I asked some
Performance Software Inc, (psi -at- richmond -dot- infi -dot- net) has a product
called MasterHelp, This tool is for VP 4.x only. They do not
distribute MasterHelp for VP 5+.
For VP 5+ everyone who responded basically converted to text or
ANSI, stripped off the headers, and then reformated. Some used Word
and Macros to do this. Others wrote more elaborate programs.
Thank you for your responses and help.
julie -at- ctl -dot- com -dot- cy
TECHWR-L List Information
To send a message about technical communication to 2500+ list readers,
E-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send administrative commands
ALL other questions or problems concerning the list
should go to the listowner, Eric Ray, at ejray -at- ionet -dot- net -dot-
Previous by Author:
Re: Electronic books/PDF drawbacks
Next by Author: Object-Oriented Development and Documentation
Previous by Thread: technical writer's bibliography
Next by Thread: Multi media stuff
Search our Technical Writing Archives & Magazine