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Some outliners and the features Unicode, search in the tree, website publishing

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Posted by 22111
Nov 30, 2013 at 03:46 PM



I would by no means want to invalidate all the valuable advice we’ve got in-between. Some further remarks not connected to that.

Some weeks ago, I had started another thread, called “Viewers? eBook Creators?” = http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/5141

and in which I also mused about html with trees and pdf.

One very important of pdf is the following one: It’s accepted by non-customers, i.e. by prospects, whilst eBooks are not, by the latter: In many corporations, it is not even possible for your correspondent to download an .exe file which you might have added as an appendix to your mail, and this even after having had some telephone conversations with him: The net in his corporation prevents him from looking into your .exe stuff.

For people who don’t want to go into rather advanced scripting (in JavaScript), and buy Adobe Acrobat Prof., there are not so many alternatives to do good pdf, from outlining, i.e. there is no (free or paid) “translation tool” available to my knowledge.

On the other hand, you can go by Word, and here I must do some minor “scripting” - replacing text components by others, simply - in the html export file I get from my outliner, and which then I import into Word (where even the old 2003 version works admirably) - I go by html and not by .rtf since my outliner does not do really stable rtf export, but produces html files (= plain text files with simple markup for formatting, etc.) without flaws.

When I speak of “scripting”, you can simply import the html plain text file into any editor and then do the necessary text replacements, the “scripting” part just being there for doing that in a batch, instead of repeatedly and manually inserting the necessary “replace x by y” terms into “global replace” dialogs.

I do not really explain the workflow here: http://www.bitsdujour.com/software/nitro-pro-9 but I give enough details in order show that it is really simple, the trick being creating styles in Word, but only for those elements (e.g. every item in your outliner = every new page in the final pdf) of which, from Word, your pdf creation software (from 19 dollars today if you buy Abbyy pdf Transformer these days, even from their own page, which will give them full price and not only 9.50 dollars if you buy from bits) will then create the necessary bookmarks (and only those you want to be created).

As for html-with-tree, I looked into all the possible alternatives, and it’s either outliner-with-export-to-html-with-tree, or some real scripting, and getting some tree component, of which some are free, and some cost (within a necessary bundle) over 1,000 dollars (but the result you’ll get is really beautiful then).

Of course, there is always the alternative to create such a html compound instead of an .exe file, even for prospects, and even without general web access.

As for html-with-tree created by outliners, proprietary outliner add-ins or proprietary outliner add-ons, there is always the possibility to then tweak the html code those tools will have created (and again in any simple plain text editor of your choice, by “global replace”), i.e. you’ll preserve the tree (which will have been the reason you will have used those proprietary tools to begin with), but you will perhaps be able to visually enhance some elements of it, delete abundant “created with xyz” notifications, and so on - the problems here would mostly be on the legal side since it’s perfectly possible that you simply will not have the right to tweak what you will have got by some add-in/add-on tool; I’ll have to take a look into these questions because I myself am wondering if that could be the “best” solution for my own publishing needs here since free tree components are really as ugly most of the time, and some beautiful paid ones are, as said, really expensive.

Also, there might be special solutions for “Word to html-with-tree”, free or paid, and which up to now I might have overlooked since I only searched for general ones which would have avoided Word as the intermediate step.

In the end, Word, by its ubiquity, has created a new reality of its own, so lately I’ve come more and more to the acceptance of Word as the necessary unavoidable intermediate step, since this greatly enhances my possibilities.


Posted by 22111
Nov 30, 2013 at 04:15 PM



“For people who don’t want to go into rather advanced scripting (in JavaScript), and buy Adobe Acrobat Prof., there are not so many alternatives to do good pdf, from outlining, i.e. there is no (free or paid) “translation tool” available to my knowledge.”

I’m speaking of general, and acceptable, translation tools here; I know there is a TreePad-to-Pdf tool, which is completely awful and doesn’t create acceptable pdf’s, and this in every respect, not only the loss of your formatting. And I also know all those “print to pdf” commands, available from start on in many outliners, and which by external ““print to pdf” printer drivers” and such can be added to other outliners, too.

For Acrobat Pro, there are available some expensive add-ins (which will spare you to read the 800-page Acrobat JS scripting manual), and there might be some real good stuff among those - in view of current Acrobat Pro prices, I did not really look into these tools.

What I wanted to express above, is, there is no general tool available to my knowledge which would let you transpose your outliner tree, together with all its content, to a respective Pdf tree, with all your content again, and which does not need Adobe Acrobat Pro (or the Word middleman), and which lets you do some tweaking.

For the time being, I discovered that making the Word detour is a very pleasant way of getting a 2-column (or 3-column) pdf layout for the screen (or for printing purposes, too), which seems to be quite impossible to get at with other means; especially, and even if “you” (I’m speaking in general here of course) are willing to pay for Acrobat Pro, InDesign, and additional paid add-ins, in order to do it “even better”, you’ll quickly discover that expensive InDesign leaves much to be desired, as does expensive Acrobat Pro, so the “Word solution” seems indeed to be the very best one available - except, of course, for better insight from some expert, but from my experience, people with real expert knowledge about “how to do it the really optimized way” tend to not share their knowledge in fori: So it’s up to us to share our near-optimized solutions, at least.

I think that I resolved the “outliner-to-pdf” (with almost any pdf creator) problem as described above, and as for the “outliner-to-html” problem, I hope I’ll find something that will smoothe out the second, the “Word-to-html-with-tree” step, the very first, the “outliner-to-Word” step, not being any problem anymore at least.

Of course, all this leaves out non-textual elements yet, which would have to be inserted by script or manually, into the pdf created by the means described above - here again, expensive InDesign as a possible intermediate step comes as a big disappointment.


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