Non PDF version

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sunrunner20
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Non PDF version

Post by sunrunner20 » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:28 am

I'm wondering if I can have a copy of the manual in Microsoft word format so I can do several things:
1. format it to look better for printing(there are several areas where a new header is very close to the bottom of a new page- all of it should be moved over)
2. Create bookmarks(easy nav in acrobat)
3. move it over to a format much easer to work with on palm OS devices.

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Re: Non PDF version

Post by sunrunner20 » Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:17 pm

Ok, well I know it originated from word because its been labeled "Application: PDF maker 6 for word."

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Re: Non PDF version

Post by shiningpathb4me » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:34 pm

PDF files have to be the worst design idea to come along since the beginning of http. I absolutely hate running across them while trying to research something. They completely interrupt the flow of what you are doing. Every now and then, you can actually load one without being prompted to update your reader, but it's rare. PDF files don't work like html files in a browser. While it might make your manual appear more 'booklike' the disadvantages far outweigh any benefits.  This is speculation of course, but I suspect most saavy web users RARELY print online manuals. Why kill trees when you can navigate a manual faster by using a keyboard and mouse, and it's always right on your PC where you left it.  :)

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Re: Non PDF version

Post by humvee » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:51 pm

shiningpathb4me wrote: PDF files have to be the worst design idea to come along since the beginning of http. I absolutely hate running across them while trying to research something. They completely interrupt the flow of what you are doing. Every now and then, you can actually load one without being prompted to update your reader, but it's rare. PDF files don't work like html files in a browser. While it might make your manual appear more 'booklike' the disadvantages far outweigh any benefits.  This is speculation of course, but I suspect most saavy web users RARELY print online manuals. Why kill trees when you can navigate a manual faster by using a keyboard and mouse, and it's always right on your PC where you left it.  :)
Hi shiningpathb4me,

Well, you are right - and you are wrong ;). I would suggest that it is probably 50:50 overall

The User Manual as far as it went was originally on the Help Portal, and people were 'screaming out' for PDF version. When we managed to do the 1.0.11 User Manual last October we went for the PDF direction first off, with a view to developing it on the Portal after that, but the need to work on the 1.5 Help Screens has taken priority and this has been placed on the back burner.

The 1.0.x Help Screens are being updated at the moment, and if it is possible the Administrator and User Manuals will be next.

Andy

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Chris Davenport
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Re: Non PDF version

Post by Chris Davenport » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:44 am

Hi shiningpathb4me,

Different formats have different strengths and weaknesses.  I rarely print PDF's either, but I do appreciate their strength in platform-neutral, device-independent rendering.  At least if I do decide to print a PDF I know that the output will be as near to identical to what the author/designer intended as the device is capable.  And the same is true if I view it on-screen.  The same cannot be said of HTML or Word, while as far as I am aware CHM can't be viewed at all on non-Microsoft platforms!

No one format is "better" than another.  They each have their uses.  That is why the holy grail for us documentors is to write stuff once and have it automatically disseminated in whatever format that the user finds most useful to them at the time.

Regards,
Chris.
Chris Davenport

Davenport Technology Services http://www.davenporttechnology.com/
Lion Coppice http://www.lioncoppice.org/

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Re: Non PDF version

Post by sunrunner20 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:31 am

Acctually, I found a CHM reader that works very nicely on linux.
http://xchm.sourceforge.net/

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humvee
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Re: Non PDF version

Post by humvee » Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:43 am

sunrunner20 wrote: Acctually, I found a CHM reader that works very nicely on linux.
http://xchm.sourceforge.net/
Hi Sunrunner20,

I just realised your original post in this thread had gone unanswered. I have been asked to follow through the work I am currently doing with the 1.0.12 Help Screens and Administrator Manual to also include the updating of the User Manual to 1.0.12 so there will be a new version in the (hopefully) not too distant future.

This will not be an overnight process so would ask you to bear with me. The intention however will be to re-create and upgrade the manual in a format that is of more use in multiple formats web, pdf (and more interactive this time), possibly chm  ;) and anything else that it will comfortably fit into to be of the greatest use, but without creating an unmanageable beast!

So watch this space - or at least a space nearby.

Regards

Andy

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Re: Non PDF version

Post by sunrunner20 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:38 am

I'll be willing to contribute some man hours on the PDF version.
PS: I have a fully legal copy of Acrobat 7 pro. So, if there is anything specific to the officall acrobat version, I'm ready to provide.

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humvee
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Re: Non PDF version

Post by humvee » Sat Jan 20, 2007 10:05 am

sunrunner20 wrote: I'll be willing to contribute some man hours on the PDF version.
PS: I have a fully legal copy of Acrobat 7 pro. So, if there is anything specific to the officall acrobat version, I'm ready to provide.
Hi,

Thanks very much for the offer when it gets nearer the time of production I will give you a shout.

Regards

Andy

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Re: Non PDF version

Post by shiningpathb4me » Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:09 pm

Chris Davenport wrote: I rarely print PDF's either, but I do appreciate their strength in platform-neutral, device-independent rendering. 

Whoa that's a mouthful! . . .  So the whole world hasn't actually gone mad?  I've always suspected that PDF was the brianchild of some evil sociopath. Now I think I understand. They're Mac users! I can't highlight and copy code, hash values, settings, or long text strings and it's not because someone is intentionally trying to prevent me, it's that if they let me do it, their manual wouldn't look right on a Mac? I guess, since this super-tanker is too big for me to rock, I'm going to have to spend some time sorting out PDF files, and why I can't highlight text and copy it. Maybe everyone else in the world knows how and I'm just a big fat idiot.  :'(  I'm pretty sure you can't copy text from one column of a two column layout. I like to be able to grab code and settings from manuals because it's easier than retyping. PDF files seriously hinder that process and slow me down.

I think all of you guys and what you are doing is great. I just wanted to voice my feelings on this because the subject came up.

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Re: Non PDF version

Post by sunrunner20 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:24 pm

I'm going to make a small assumption here and explain the primary reason behind your being unable to copy code etc.
The reason you are unable to copy the code is because most the non-commercial PDF creators emulate a printer, and thus do not recive text information, but recive a bitmap outline. Thus, unless they use OCR, it all ends up as an image.
However, the Joomla manual isn't printed like this, so it does have selectable text.
PS: to select the text is the "select" tool.


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