RE: Frame --> HTML / PDF / print

Subject: RE: Frame --> HTML / PDF / print
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Brierley -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 10:55:45 -0400


I am.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Cornellier [SMTP:cornelli -at- clamart -dot- srpc -dot- slb -dot- com]
> Subject: Frame --> HTML / PDF / print
> I'd like to hear from anyone who is using Frame to single source HTML /
> & printed output.
> 1) How good is the HTML output? Can I specify style mapping, e.g. Heading
> One = H1, etc.?
I dunno. I use Quadralay's WebWorks Publisher (WWP) to create HTML output
for help. WWP is a good tool. There is learning curve, but I can go from
book file to online help with a couple of clicks and without modifying my
source doc any.

> 2) Can I control the HTML file structure? E.g. could I specify that I want
> every chapter in its own directory and called index.htm?
> 3) Are there any glitches and gotchas with the hyperlink conversion --
> either to PDF or HTML?
Make sure you turn on hypertext links in Index and TOC creation. Otherwise,
I can think of none.

> 4) Can I use conditional text to control the output to PDF/ HTML?
With WWP, I use conditional text settings. These are online only and print
only. Anything tagged online only shows up in my HTML help. Anything tagged
print only does not show in my online help. WWP lets me manage my conditions
automatically, such that WWP considers the conditions as it creates the HTML
help. This is something I set up in the template, beforehand. Using
conditional text with PDF is like using condition text for any printed
source. Choose which conditions you do not want and print to PS --> PDF.

> 5) If I have already created an index in Frame, can that be converted to a
> PDF index? Or do I have to use Catalog once the PDFs are made?
Your FrameMaker index will be hypertext in the PDF. It will look just like
the index did in FrameMaker or in print. This is without tweaking. Also,
your TOC gets mapped to bookmarks (set this up beforehand).

> 6) With the HTML output, can I specify that inline graphics in the PDF /
> printed version become alinks (so that they are not obligatory downloads?)
Hmmm. Good question. Not that I've found, but I haven't tried. You
statement here confuses me a tad. I am creating a PDF from the FrameMaker
book as one process, a printing process. I am creating the HTML from the
FrameMaker book as a separate conversion process. Same book, different
processes to get the PDF versus the HTML. Thus HTML and PDF creation really
do not affect each other.

> 7) Is there any provision for generating a navigation system in the HTML
> pages, e.g. so that each page has at the top
> Home > Engineering Guide > This Chapter
> With "Engineering Guide" being a link to an autogenerated TofC
WWP lets you choose a few different navigation methods, depending on the
kind of HTML help you choose to create. I'm not sure what FrameMaker lets
you do.

> 8) Can I control the CSSs from within Frame, or do I edit them separately?
AFAIK, you edit them separately, using a text editor. The CSS initially
grabs its information and setup from your book.

> 9) Anything else I didn't think of?
I am not sure what you are doing or how you are using your output. I write a
book and create a PDF from it. The PDF is hypertexed using FrameMaker only,
I do not tweak the PDFs at all. A hard copy is provided to the customer,
plus the PDF electronic copy that the customer can print. Also, we update
the electronic copy by e-mail and FTP as the book needs changing.
Additionally, since I am writing about software, I provide online help. I
use Microsofts compiled HTML, called CHM. This is the online reference and
is chunked quite differently than the PDF. Like the PDF but unlike standard
HTML, the CHM help file exists as one all-inclusive file.

> Background :
> The documents are currently in HTML (HomeSite). They consist of text,
> hyperlinks, graphics, tables, and equations. The layout & formatting are
> very simple. Extensive use of CSS.
> It's a very large doc set -- 150+ chapters, thousands of pages.
> I have Acrobat 4.0. I am upgrading to Frame 5.5.6 from Frame 4. I have yet
> to try Frame's HTML filter or its PDF output).
I have dabbled with FrameMaker's native HTML output. It uses CSSes and is
adequate. However, I use WWP because it allows me to avoid the extensive
editing that FrameMaker's output needs. WWP saves much time and effort and
makes consistency between projects easier. PDF output is seamless. You end
up with one PDF file that is your book. It looks like your book, and prints
that way, too.

Best regards.

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> All advice gratefully received by
> John Cornellier,
> Schlumberger Oilfield Services, Paris

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