Re: Single sourcing Word and HTML

Subject: Re: Single sourcing Word and HTML
From: Kathryn Poe <ksmp -at- CYBERRAMP -dot- NET>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 10:48:46 -0600

Let me tell you about the way we distribute our corporate docs-
We have been using Word docs for both our hard and soft copy distribution
for a about two years. (Which Word are you using? The Save as HTML feature
in Word 97 works pretty well for most "vanilla" documents). When things are
getting to jumbled I use Hot Metal Pro as my conversion filter. It works on
some of the more unusual elements of our documents. There are lots of other
tools but all will need tweeking depending on your document complexity.

Which tool really depends on how complicated your docs are to begin with.
If they are not more "vanilla" in style have you thought about using PDF?
You probably know the whole HTML vs. PDF saga but if the way your docs
"look" is a big deal then maybe you should consider PDF.

For example, we write our docs in Word, convert them to HTML for Help files
or distribution if requested, and put them on the web as PDF with
bookmarks. In the last quarter we began doing some CD-Rom distribution as
well and the PFD is going on those.

Bottom line is don't give up on a single source for your docs- trying to
maintain and update 2 or more sets of the same document is a nightmare!

-Kathryn Poe
Ursa Minor Svcs "For when you can no longer bear your
ksmp -at- cyberramp -dot- net

Kylie Bansemer wrote:

> I am contracting with a company which makes extensive use of procedure
> or business systems documentation. Currently, this documentation is
> written in Word and printed. The Word documents don't use any nifty
> features like bookmarks, either. Just styles and plain old text.
> However, in the past couple of months I have seen a definite push by
> developers to get the information on-line, as HTML documents.
> We still need the Word documents. Most of the managers here are not
> familiar with HTML, and have no wish to learn it, so they will still
> need to edit the Word source. The documents will also still need to be
> printed to show to visitors, such as clients, other department
> personnel, etc.
> As far as I can tell, our options are:
> - to use Word's Save As HTML feature. However, the HTML created is
> unattractive and pretty darn useless.
> - to create some custom macros to do our own Save As HTML, which will
> convert styles as needed, save sections in the document as separate
> pages, insert links, etc. But this will require a fair amount of time
> to implement.
> - to forget about single sourcing and maintain two sets of documents.
> This will also take some time to implement and maintain.
> So, my question is, what to do? Are there third-party applications out
> there that will do this? Have other companies tried to implement
> something like this? Are there any other options?
> Any insights, experience, tips, examples appreciated.
> ---------------------------------------
> Kylie Bansemer
> Click Computing
> ...Mailto:click -at- qits -dot- net -dot- au
> ...
> ---------------------------------------

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