FrameMaker to HTML: Single-Source Solution for Paper and Web

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9780201312041: FrameMaker to HTML: Single-Source Solution for Paper and Web

This practical guide is for professionals who want to publish new or existing Adobe (R) FrameMaker documents on the World Wide Web, on an intranet, or on CD-ROM. These documents-books, user guides, reference manuals, periodicals, technical reports, white papers-may be long and complex, containing graphics, tables, cross-references, tables of contents, and indexes. Whether you are a writer, production specialist, or information manager, this guide will help you transform such printed documents into web books. FrameMaker users will find here techniques for designing effective web pages, planning for easy navigation, handling graphics, and publishing both printed and electronic works from a single FrameMaker source. The book focuses on powerful tools available for converting FrameMaker documents to HTML-WebMaker , Webworks Publisher, HTML Transit , and HoTaMaLe, the converter bundled with FrameMaker. It describes a specific process for evaluating and using these tools, and provides a step-by-step illustration of their workflow and results. Coverage includes HTML, Cascading Style Sheets, and alternatives to conversion tools, such as Acrobat and SGML.This book's emphasis on production from a single source will help you save time, control versions, and contain costs. The techniques presented in this book apply to all the conversion tools discussed. 0201312042B04062001

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Review:

If you need to convert your large existing Adobe FrameMaker documents into HTML-based documents for the Web or an intranet, check out FrameMaker to HTML. The authors start out by discussing the process of using converter tools to turn complicated documents, including those with tables and graphics, indexes, cross references, and tables of contents, into linked HTML pages. In these chapters the authors generally don't discuss any one converter tool, but instead assume that once you run the conversion process, which is fairly automatic, you'll still have editing and tweaking to do. This is where they really help, giving a great deal of advice coding HTML and on planning the design and navigational elements of your site. Then, in the last part of the book, the authors discuss how to use the conversion tools included with FrameMaker, such as HoTaMaLe, as well as several third-party tools, such as WebMaker, Webworks Publisher, and HTML Transit. There's also information on using alternative publishing tools such as Acrobat and SGML. What's especially nice is that the authors assume that you're a desktop publishing professional, but not a Web author, and that you want to get up to speed in the world of Web publishing quickly. The included CD-ROM has a demo version of WebMaker.

From the Inside Flap:

In this book, we explain the tools and techniques for converting FrameMaker documents to HTML.

Audience

We have written this book for practitioners who are helping to lead their organizations into the World Wide Web. If you are such a person, you may have a lot of learning to do-about the design of web pages, the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), the array of tools available, the process of converting existing printed documents to HTML, and the issues that arise with graphics on the Web. This book covers these topics specifically for FrameMaker users who want to publish FrameMaker documents in the format of the World Wide Web. FrameMaker users include writers, designers, production staff, researchers, computer programmers, scientists, professors, publishers, information managers, and webmasters.

Although FrameMaker users have a variety of professions, we call them writers in this book for simplicity. Traditionally, writers provide information in printed documents, whereas web authors provide information in HTML. Web authors are responsible for determining the content and for representing that content well in HTML. This book helps people to make the transition successfully from writer to web author.

Long, complex documents

People who have chosen FrameMaker as their desktop publishing tool usually work on documents of significant length and complexity, because FrameMaker is ideally suited for handling such documents.

When you are converting long documents, you do a kind of work that is different from when you are dealing with one- or two-page documents. You can imagine learning the basics of HTML and using an ordinary text editor or an HTML authoring tool to convert one or two pages by hand. However, when you have even a ten-page document, that technique is no longer manageable. If you have a 100-page document, you need a good conversion tool.

This book concentrates on the needs of people who handle long and complex documents. In particular, we aim to automate the conversion process as much as possible, and we help you create web documents that are readable and easily navigated by the web readers.

Legacy documents

We focus on the situation where a document already exists-or possibly a large set of legacy documents already exists-and you need to publish those documents on the World Wide Web, on an intranet, or on a CD-ROM in HTML format. In this situation, you may not have the luxury of editing the FrameMaker sources due to the volume of documents. You need to automate the conversion process as much as possible.

New documents for paper and web

The conversion approach has benefits even for documents that have not yet been written. If you know that you must provide the new documents in both high-quality web and printed forms, conversion is an excellent approach. You can create the document in FrameMaker, and use that application's powerful formatting capabilities to provide the printed copies. You then convert that FrameMaker document to HTML using the tools and techniques described in this book. The advantage of this approach is that you have one source document for both paper and web; you can easily update the source document in FrameMaker to produce a revised printed version, and can reconvert it to HTML to produce a revised web version. We discuss this approach in Chapter 4, The Single-Source Solution.

Goals of this book

The goals of this book are the following: To give you all the information that you need to publish your documents in HTML on the World Wide Web or on an intranet To help you understand other solutions related to web publishing, including Acrobat and SGML To help you evaluate FrameMaker-to-HTML conversion tools To describe specific techniques for maintaining a single source document that produces both a printed document and a web document To help you create web documents that present their content well, by being well organized, attractive, and easy to navigate

Overview of the conversion process

Some steps of the conversion process are purely mechanical (such as converting FrameMaker bullets into HTML bullets); conversion tools handle those steps. Creating a successful conversion process, however, requires more than just using a conversion tool; it requires thought, planning, and care-that is why we wrote this book. We want to guide web authors through the interesting parts of translation, to help them represent their documents well in HTML, and to reduce or eliminate the mechanical work required of the web author.

Regardless of the conversion tool that you use, the overall process of converting a FrameMaker document to HTML is similar. We show the steps of the process in Figure P.1. Parts I through III of this book reflect the three major steps of the conversion process; the details of the conversion tools are postponed until Part IV.

Step 1. Deciding on the Approach Learn how web books differ from home pages (Chapter 1)
Learn the basics of conversion (Chapter 2)
Learn about simultaneous paper and web publication (Chapter 3)
Learn the advantages of a single-source solution (Chapter 4)
Consider HTML, SGML, and Acrobat (Chapter 5)
Choose a conversion tool (Chapters 6 and 17*22)
Learn the basics of HTML (Chapter 7)
Learn about Cascading Style Sheets (Chapter 8)


Step 2. Planning and Designing Identify the goals of the web book (Chapter 9)
Analyze the source document (Chapter 10)
Design the navigation strategy (Chapter 11)
Design the layout of the web pages (Chapter 12)
Decide how to offer printed copies (Chapter 13)

Step 3. Doing the Conversion Convert and debug the web book (Chapter 14)
Handle any graphics issues (Chapter 15)
Publish the web book (Chapter 16)

Figure P.1 Major steps of the conversion process. Conversion tools

In Part IV, we give tours of four popular conversion tools: WebMaker (from Harlequin), HoTaMaLe (from Adobe), WebWorks Publisher (from Quadralay), and HTML Transit (from InfoAccess). Most of the FrameMaker-to-HTML conversion tools use similar approaches. We work for Harlequin Incorporated, the vendor of the WebMaker conversion tool. We use WebMaker as an example in Chapter 2, Quick Start, and we provide an evaluation copy of WebMaker on a CD-ROM included with this book. Our goal, however, is to describe the overall conversion process for all FrameMaker users, using any conversion tool, and to that end we have described each tool as objectively as possible. Users of any FrameMaker-to-HTML conversion tool will find this book useful.

Every conversion tool has its own documentation, which provides the necessary details of how to use the tool. Like any software product, conversion tools are continually updated, and their documentation is updated to reflect the changes. This book does not attempt to document any particular tool.

CD-ROM provided with this book

At the back of this book, you will find a CD-ROM containing WebMaker 3.0 software. This evaluation copy includes the complete software of WebMaker but no registration number. You can use the software on the CD-ROM without a registration number to experiment with WebMaker and to create the first five HTML pages from a FrameMaker file or book. You can purchase WebMaker for $99.00 per license by contacting Harlequin at harlequin/. You will receive a registration number that will remove the five-page limitation on the WebMaker software.

Conventions used in this book

We use boldface type when we introduce new terms, such as web author. We use bold typewriter font for filenames, such as draft1.html, and for URLs, such as aw/.

When we refer to a menu command in a program such as FrameMaker or a browser, such as the Save command in the File menu, we refer to it like this: File>Save.

When we capitalize the word Web, we are referring to the World Wide Web. We use the word web in lowercase letters to refer to HTML-based technology that exists on the World Wide Web, intranets, and CD-ROMs. For example, a web author is a person who creates content in HTML, a web page is an HTML file, and a web book is a set of linked web pages that constitute the equivalent of a printed book.

Creation of this printed book and web book

We used FrameMaker to write and typeset this book. We used WebMaker to produce a web book that contains portions of this book. The web book is available at harlequin/ and aw/cseng/.

Cover image

S. Randall McLamb created the image of the magician transforming a scarf from one color to another-our visual analogy of transforming FrameMaker into HTML. The magician is a character from commedia dellAarte, the street theater popular in the Italian Renaissance. His name is Harlequin.

Acknowledgments

We thank our reviewers for sharing their conversion experiences, pointing out tips and techniques, helping us to keep the tool comparison objective, and suggesting ways to shape this book so that it will be most useful for our readers. Paul Bra

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