TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:RE: Word-to-html vs. RoboHelp for Web help From:"Humbird, Len - CFC" <Humbird -dot- Len -at- cfwy -dot- com> To:"'TECHWR-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 13 Dec 1999 13:10:39 -0800
On a very basic level, Word does not split a document into multiple, linked
HTML documents with a TOC. Instead, what you get is a monolithic file. A
50-page nicely-formatted print document turns into a ONE-PAGE
horribly-formatted HTML file. (Go ahead and try it!) Long HTML files are
inherently difficult to use online. That is, unless you prefer scrolling
through wads of text, looking at large and/or crusty graphics, waiting
endlessly for it to load, and not having any clue as to what's in the
document or where you are in it. Hey, managers like what you've got probably
don't need aids like a TOC, browsing sequences, pop-up panels, etc. With
Word, there's not a single processing cycle given to layout, graphic
conversion or typography which is suitable for the web.
You'll probably need more than just an HTML converter to get you by. You'll
need something to format the graphics. For example, Doc-To-Help has a
bundled batch image scaling program that's trick. It does a pretty nice job
at scaling all the screen captures or other images to a size that's suitable
for the web.
Sure, tell him that you could take the output from Word and manually hack it
up by hand. This would cost FAR more in labor than buying and using a
Ask him what life would be like if he had to give up his xyz software
program and do everything by hand. Then say, "Repeat after me: 'Software is
good, RoboHelp is our friend...'"
Hope that helps!
From: Karen Field [mailto:kfield -at- STELLCOM -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, December 10, 1999 1:38 PM
Subject: Word-to-html vs. RoboHelp for Web help
I'm developing my first online help system for a web site. My bosses want me
to justify the expense for Robohelp standard (which includes Web help) vs.
using Word's html function (I get nightmares at the thought). (My first
thought was, "Yeah, WOrd does everything else so well--not; I'm sure it does
something as complicated as this well, too. Not.) Since I've not used
Word-to-html, can anyone tell my exactly why this process is the nightmare I
know it's going to be? Thanks in advance.