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Breaking down a large Word document for sharing

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Posted by clacha
Dec 2, 2009 at 05:31 AM

 

Hello,

I understand that you want to manage structured documents, for which XML is required but must be hidden to end users.

You may have a look at Scenari : http://scenari-platform.org
An open source suite for the design and use of authoring and publishing chain of structured documents.
We use it in production since one year with positive feedback from authoring end users.

Regards

 


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 2, 2009 at 10:45 AM

 

Steve: thanks; you’ve saved me a lot of effort by trying out Zoot before I did

Quant: thanks; the macro is very interesting though I cannot fathom how it calculates the size of the excerpts which appears completely unpredictable. I wish I knew vba…

Moritz: thanks for all the ideas;
? 3 looks great for the future (we are not on Sharepoint and contributors are distributed in the globe)
? 4 has the unbelievable 500 kb limitation; we’ll be moving to Google Apps soon, so I expect that will not be there
? 5 OneNote will also be ideal with the client side software; I’ll check whether anybody else has OneNote (I don’t use it, but I have it)

Chris; thanks, I’m trying to figure it out. Probably the best solution this time as everyone uses Word.

Clacha; thanks, I’ve tried Scenari in the past; not what I’m looking for right now since 80% of the work is ready in Word. However, I like the structured “separate content from layout” approach.

More as it happens, thanks again!

 


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 2, 2009 at 07:01 PM

 

For your information:

(a)  I resorted to manually break down the file; it took less than two hours, and my learning any new program would have probably taken me longer, for a task I am unlikely to do for some time. That said, I am seriously considering learning VBA.

(b) The advantage of keeping things in .doc format is that everyone in the team can edit it. Since no two people will be working at the same tasks at a time, I expect the updating will be manageable.

(c) I put all the files on a server location, so people can download them. They’ll have to mail me back the updated versions for me to re-upload, which in my case is an advantage for maintaining the overview.

(d) MS Word’s long document management features are clunky indeed, so in order to manage the whole lot of files created I resorted to a freeware program that had been suggested here in the past: ChapterByChapter http://pagesperso-orange.fr/sebastien.berthet/cbc/index.html  I had never tried it previously, but I find it brilliant.

Thanks again for all your suggestions. The CRIMP side in me would have wanted a more hi-tech and automated solution and I expect that in the future I will try to foresee one from the start. As it happens, the current document grew out of something much less ambitious, so nobody had considered the possibilities earlier.

 


Posted by Pierre Paul Landry
Dec 2, 2009 at 09:04 PM

 

Alexander Deliyannis wrote:
>(c) I put all the files on a server location,
>so people can download them. They’ll have to mail me back the updated versions for me to
>re-upload, which in my case is an advantage for maintaining the overview.

You could put the files in a Dropbox folder and share it with co-workers. This make this solution much more manageable (no download, no re-load, no server passwords, etc)

(plus you get 250MB for each new user that registers…)

 


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Dec 2, 2009 at 09:36 PM

 

Pierre Paul Landry wrote:
>You
>could put the files in a Dropbox folder and share it with co-workers. This make this
>solution much more manageable (no download, no re-load, no server passwords,
>etc)

Yes indeed, but here (finally) comes the CRIMP fun of it all: once the tasks are in discrete files there’s some wonderful things I can do with them, apart for being able to manage them through Chapter By Chapter.

So I imported the whole folder to MyInfo, and rebuilt the structure within the program. Then I exported it all as a website and uploaded that to the server. Now my co-workers have an online structure where they can :
(a) see the organised tasks straight from their browser and
(b) download the .doc version of each task for their own editing

What I like about MyInfo is that I can simply exchange each task node’s .html and .doc files when they are updated without having to go again through the whole process.

Thanks to Steve for suggesting MyInfo in the first place.

Ah, the simple joys of living…

 


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