HTML editor/converter tips

Subject: HTML editor/converter tips
From: John Trollope <John_Trollope -at- WATSONWYATT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 13:54:56 -0700

>I'm interested in this, and wouldn't mind seeing on-line responses

I'm part of a team putting up a corporate Intranet site. For each department,
there is a site manager who will ultimately take over the day-to-day maintenance
of their site with my department (IT support) providing assistance on more
technical issues such as Javascript, server side programmes, etc. For this
reason, we chose to use Microsoft Front Page for our HTML editor as it is
similar (although not as similar as Microsoft's promotional literature might
have you believe) to Microsoft Word.

For now, it is my job to convert the documents from Word (we use the Front
Page's converter) and from Winhelp (we use the Robohelp help-to-html converter).

I am beginning to prepare some guidelines which will simplify the conversion
from Word. Here are some things I have found:

But first, my maching specs: Running a Pentium (something or other), Win 95,
Word 6 (to ensure backwards compatability and to use Robohelp)/Word 97 with *the
Save as html disabled*, Front Page 97.

- Use Times New Roman Size 12 if you do not want to use the <font face> tag

- Convert the .doc file to .rtf *before* pulling it into Front Page if you want
to conserve the butllet points

- Change the regedit setting if you want to convert tables as a percentage and
not as a fixed width.

- Change all tab-delimited text to a Windows table (lost my parallel structure
here :-)

Lastly, you will find it much easier to make any global changes in the HTML by
using a text editor's search and replace facility. For this, I pull in the .htm
file into word (as text!!!) because you can specify paragraph symbols ^p in the
find and replace field.

For help to html conversions, I first remake the .rtf file so that each topic is
the equivalent of the .htm file. I manually flag any areas which will be an
internal link (though thankfully there are not too many). I use this double
conversion as it also converts all the graphics. I then convert it with Robohelp
although we are going to purchase WexTech's converter which, at least on their
spec sheets, does a much better job.

I wish I could write more, but things are hectic here this week.


John_Trollope -at- watsonwyatt -dot- co -dot- uk
Javascripts for technical writers and translators

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