Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Northern Territory, Australia
    Posts
    471
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Publishing a large document (Word 97 or 2000)

    Hi Helpers

    I am about to embark on a project to publish/format a very large document, which contains chapters, appendicies and diagrams. I am quite familiar with Word's Indexing, table of contents, hyperlinking and bookmark features.

    This document will primarily be viewed electronically. I am not sure if I should publish it in Word or if there are better options available. It could be placed on the network for access by users or viewers do have access to an Intranet. However, I have not had any experience in creating web documents. Not to say I couldnt learn if I had to. And if this is the way to go, what program is best for this? I have heard of Frontpage and Dreamweaver.

    I would be interested in anyones past experiences with such a task and any advice in which direction to head.

    in appreciation

    Kerry

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Leuven, Vlaanderen, Belgium
    Posts
    322
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Publishing a large document (Word 97 or 2000)

    Kerry,
    we've had with large Word documents increasing stability problems, certainly when it's made & read in different versions. Moreover, on 'slow' computers, it might require quite a lot of patience for your readers to view & scroll through the document. To avoid that, we make a pdf copy of the Word document using Acrobat Distiller whenever possible & publish the pdf document that on our website instead. We haven't not encountered any problems with this strategy yet.
    Hasse

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: Publishing a large document (Word 97 or 2000)

    If you want maximum control over the appearance and printing, PDF is good: most people can view and print it without problems, but the files can be large if you put it all in one (so you might "chapterize" it instead). There are many "print to PDF" products, but the ones that can preserve the links (e.g., trable of contents) tend to cost a bit.

    If you imagine people will "random access" small chunks of it, then HTML might be best: quick download, few trees killed printing one relevant part, and anyone can view it. As for how to get from Word to HTML, well, there are many threads on the "issues" with Word's verbose HTML output. If you search HTML and filter, you probably can get some tips.

    And, to make everyone happy, both. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Warrington, Cheshire
    Posts
    355
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Publishing a large document (Word 97 or 2000)

    Both replies are very valid on their own merits.
    I personally have used both methods when sharing information in a technical authoring/doc publishing company.
    The advantage of pdf is that, given the correct usage, you can restrict printing of the files by setting the security when first creating the pdf PLUS the pdf document is laid out exactly same as the word document.
    The disadvantage is as pointed out previously, the file sizes can be quite large, but if you separate into chapters, and use an index link page for the creating links then it works fine, however,......if your company has a couple of strange fonts or logos, be sure to include the fonts with the file when creating the pdf. All the settings are changeable when running the distiller (if you use acrobat that is).
    When you use html, you have to accept that people can and will cut/paste/copy/print many copies (because their new 21 inch screen has not arrived from the IT department yet) and generally send a bucket load of critiques about the layout of the original word document not being the same as the printed intranet version.
    Me? Cynical? Its another word for experience.
    Best of luck
    Alan
    Cheshire
    UK

  5. #5
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Northern Territory, Australia
    Posts
    471
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Publishing a large document (Word 97 or 2000)

    Hi Alan

    Luckily I dont have to start this project until 1 June, so I have some time to give some thought to the direction I will go. I am not a lover of .pdf format and havent yet seen anything pdf that turns me on!

    I am not familiar with building web pages and html yet, but may have to do a crash course. I have seen plenty of great looking "web works" and think that may be the way to go. As for people unfortunate enough not to have 21'' screens, I think I can live with some copy, paste, printing. If they are stupid enough to do it, then so be it. My aim is to make my work so "user friendly" and "easily navigated" that they will always go "electronic" to find the info they want.

    I guess the next question is, what software package should one use, Word, Frontpage or Dreamweaver??

    Kerry

  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Warrington, Cheshire
    Posts
    355
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Publishing a large document (Word 97 or 2000)

    All three programs you mention are pretty much fine for developing web pages. However, as you get into it in a more teckie kind of way you'll realise from the code generated that each of these programs also comes with a helluva lot of dross code in the final output.
    You may want to try a free program to begin with such as evrsoft. I can't remember the link at this moment in time but its a starter for ten and its free and I personally used it for some time before assessing other packages such as dreamweaver (my now final choice and installed software), allaires home page and front page et al.
    Basically, they all do the same thing except some do it with extra bells and whistles, but for a company site, try evrsoft for a start.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    3,852
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 259 Times in 239 Posts

    Re: Publishing a large document (Word 97 or 2000)

    I would throw another software class into the mix - Online Help Tools.

    These create your content in HTML or compiled help formats and give you other bells and whistles such as easy navigation, indexes, TOCs, searches etc. This is a useful format for more than just online documentation of software. It can be used for all sorts of corporate manuals that are made available on an intranet or www etc. Being an online help format, you can also link any other software to specific regions in the file so that if a user is performing a task in some area of the business, they can click a link that opens the online manual relevant to that task. Whilst this extra feature is possible, it may be overkill for your purposes.

    Software like eHelp's RoboHelp integrate with Word so that you create your content in Word, using RoboHelp's formatting buttons to apply formats etc. Then the Word file gets saved out to whichever format you wish (including CHM or HTML Help). If you save the file out to HTML Help then you have a useful website ready to go direct from Word.

    AuthorIT is another commercial package that is useful for creating single-sourced documents -- where you create the content once and then output it to any format you want at the time (eg hard copy document or online format)

    You can get free evaluation demo copies of both of these software packages off the web.

    Software such as Microsoft's HTML Help Workshop (free download) allows you to create online help in the CHM format (needs Internet Explorer for users to read the file) but requires HTML pages as input and is a much more labour intensive way of creating an Online Help file.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •