Summary: converting Ventura to Word (long)

Subject: Summary: converting Ventura to Word (long)
From: Tracy Boyington <tracy_boyington -at- OKVOTECH -dot- ORG>
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 1998 09:58:29 -0600

Thanks to all who suggested solutions. I also received several very kind
offers of help, which made my little heart go pitter patter -- what a
great group!!! :-) The suggestions generally fell into two areas:
stripping out the Ventura codes by hand/macro or using conversion
software and/or filters. I'll post to the list if either of these
options turns out to be wildly successful. In the meanwhile, since there
was some interest, here's a digested version of the responses (with some
snippage to try and reduce the length of this post).

Tracy

------

> If the Ventura files are pretty old, they should be formatted in a
> sort of markup language, so you can probably just write a little
> search and replace script to convert them to WordPerfect fairly
> painlessly. (WP also uses a markup language.) That is, if nobody
> knows of a better solution.

------

> The only thing I know you can do is open the doc files (on which each
> chapter is based) in Word, and clean out all the Ventura codes. Some
> say you can write macros that will more quickly delete all the codes.
> I don't know how to do that.

------

> It's been a long time since I used Ventura, but I remember messing
> around with this problem at one point.
>
> Ventura files are largely tagged ASCII text. It should not be too hard to
> write a series of WordBasic or VBA macros that would convert the tags to
> Word
> formatting or Word styles. You can probably convert about 80% of the
> formattting fairly easily like that, the rest may require stripping the tags
> and manually reformatting in Word.
>
> I do remember playing around with a shareware product that someone had
> written that would do Ventura > Word conversion (or maybe it was Word >
> Ventura). Perhaps a search of DTP sites or software archives will turn
> something up.
>
> You could also check out commercial conversion products such as Word for
> Word.
> I posted a similar question to the Ventura list a few months ago, and
> someone told me about a conversion tool by Performance Software that
> converts Ventura to either Word or FrameMaker. He thought they had a
> demo available, too. He listed http://www.infi.net/~psi/ as their
> address. I didn't research this option myself, so I can't give any
> recommendations.
>
> If this doesn't pan out, the yecchy alternative is to salvage the old
> text files from the old Ventura publications. You should be able to open
> them using Word's import filters. However, the text files don't include
> any graphics, or anything that has been placed in a frame (such as
> charts, callouts, or whatever). Plus, you'd have to strip out all
> formatting codes.

------

> WAIT -- FrameMaker (V5.5) has a Ventura>in filter.
> It does NOT work with Ventura 7, but it MAY work
> with Ventura 4/5 (was there a 6?) (snip)
>
> in the old days, when you HAD Ventura, there was
> a Word out-filter; in Ventura 7 (maybe before) it
> 'disappeared.'
> also in the old days -- and you might want to look
> for this -- there was a VP > FrameMaker conversion
> from Rosetta Stone .. worked OK.
> also in the old days, there was a software house
> called MasterSoft (acquired by Frame and probably
> dumped by Adobe) that made VERY good filters that
> I THINK included VP>?. (Blueberry also has good
> filters, but I get the impression you DON'T want
> to spend any $$).
>
> HAVING WRITTEN ALL THAT, and not knowing how
> many VP files/pages you have, I think the best,
> least expensive option is (if you HAVE hardcopy)
> to print and scan with a good OCR utility.

------

> I think you'll need to bring up each of the source docs in turn in Word,
> reformat from scratch, then put all the pieces together.

------

> Tracy Boyington wondered how to convert Ventura files to Word format.
> By curious coincidence, I just came across what would seem to be the
> product of your dreams: "Masterhelp Ventura Conversion". (Old
> <stitch>: Found it in the latest edition of _Technical
> Communication_, so it looks like my STC membership will
> benefit someone other than me!)
>
> Contact: Performance Software Inc, 589 Southlake Boul., Richmond, VA.
> 23236, (804) 794-1012, www.infi.net/~psi
>
> The product is designed to convert Ventura 4.1/4.2 files to Word for
> Windows or Frame, and preserve all the big features (including
> tables) while so doing; the company also offers a turnkey conversion
> service (you send the files and a cheque, they return the converted
> files). Caveats: I've never used the product, never heard of it or
> seen a review, and I don't work with the company. That being said, it
> sounds like just the right product for your needs, and hopefully some
> techwhirler can comment further on how good the product really is.
> Have you tried Blueberry Software's Filtrix? They have filters for
> converting documents from lots of formats to lots of other formats.
> I've just been beta-testing their Frame-to-Word and Word-to-Frame
> filters and they look pretty good.
>
> I know they handle Ventura and WordPerfect; the question is whether
> they support the versions you're coming from and going to. There's
> probably a list of supported source and target file types at their
> Web site: www.blueberry.com
> I'll try to make this short since I know your getting lots of responses. We
> just converted from an old version of Ventura (4.1.1) last year, but like
> other responders, we went to Frame because Frame has a Ventura filter that
> actually works quite well. If you are going to Word and don't have a copy of
> Ventura, it's difficult. You can open up Ventura .doc or .txt files in Word,
> but they end up containing all of the codes that Ventura used to format text
> (tag names etc.). Tables are basically garbage. Graphics are stored in
> different file than the text, so graphics are lost too. Not encouraging.
> Sorry.
>
> If you are talking about large numbers of Ventura books that you have to
> convert Word, it would take so much time to re-do graphics and re-format
> text that you may be able to justify moving it to Frame instead of Word. If
> that is absolutely not possible, you might just want to do it in Word from
> scratch and copy text out of the Ventura .doc/.txt files.

------

> Check the directory where Ventura stored your original files. Unlike
> Frame or Pagemaker, Ventura does not embed your files into a proprietary
> file. Ventura links files them to the publication/chapter. The .CHP/.PUB
> file stores the link data along with captions. Prior to Ventura 5 you
> could read and edit the links in the chapter (CHP) file using a text
> editor.
> I keep all my text as either Word or Wordperfect. You'll have to remove
> style tags from your text files. A quick way to remove these tags is to
> find small strip utilities available from the Ventura Publisher Users
> Group (VPUG) or the newsgroup at corel.support.ventura4and5.

------

> I have used this product [MasterHelp], and I must admit that it does a pretty good
> job of converting Word files (to RTF)
>
> But you really should have Ventura to run this conversion tool, so that
> you can prepare the ventura files before conversion (anchoring graphics,
> saving text files as 8-bit ASCII etc.)
>
> As an alternative, we had an outside vendor develope a suite of word
> macros which allowed you open the Ventura text file and translate most
> ventura codes into compatible word codes.

------

> We had to convert 9 books last fall from Ventura 4 and it was a
> collossal pain. We bought MasterHelp, as has been suggested, but
> despite its claims, and in spite of several calls to them for
> assistance, we could not get it to convert all elements of the files.
> Forget graphics for sure. Most tables do come through though. We never
> did figure out for sure if our problems stemmed more from cross
> platform issues or just that darn Ventura.
>
> I wonder, though, if you can do the conversion if you don't actually
> still have Ventura installed? In which case you almost have to send
> your files to MasterHelp and pay them to do the dirty work.

--
======================================================
Tracy Boyington mailto:tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org
Oklahoma Dept. of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, OK, USA
http://www.okvotech.org/cimc/home.htm
======================================================




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