A new version of the Underground PHP and Oracle Manual coming soon

I know this is nothing to do with PHP or Oracle, but something that's been bugging me for a while and I've just found the answer to it.

I'm working on the 1.3 version of the Underground PHP and Oracle Manual that Chris Jones and myself have been writing over the last year. I'm writing it in MS Word. I used to be a technical writer many years ago and I'm used to working with long, complex documents, using the appropriate tools. This time I'm using MS Word. It is just awful for this type of job.

One thing that was driving me mad is that I couldn't figure out how to remove paragraph or character styles. Most of the time I could just change them to another style, but sometimes they wouldn't budge. After some research, I found out that to totally remove a paragraph style, change it to Normal, then to the new style you need. Who'd'a thunk?

A similarly strange method is required for character styles. You need to select it and then hit Ctr + Spacebar. That removes it and you can apply another one.

This has been a thorn in my side for the last two releases of this book. Hopefully I can spend some time reformatting it so each chapter looks a little more consistent now I've worked out how to do it.

Moral of the story ... don't use Word for anything other than a fax!

Now if anyone can tell me how to get the bookmarks and links working from a Word master document to Acrobat, I'll send you a special present.

If you hadn't worked it out from this blog, I'm working on version 1.3 of The Underground PHP and Oracle Manual. So in a long and roundabout way what I'm really saying is stay tuned for more news on the upcoming release of the new and improved version of this book.

Comments:

Hey Alison, long time no see... errm, hear, I mean, read. ;-) Whatever - instead of just chatting I actually might be able to help you. That is, assuming you're talking about bookmarks/links in a PDF in general by asking "how to get the bookmarks and links working from a Word master document to Acrobat". I don't know or have the "full" Adobe/Acrobat Suite or whatever it's called nowadays, but I'd suggest using OpenOffice.org Writer for this task: It has a built-in PDF exporter that's also capable of generating PDFs with bookmarks. - Import/Open your .doc in OOo Writer - Generate/Edit your table of contents so that the links also work in Writer itself (that's important!) That means that the "entries" tab in the dialog where you insert/edit your TOC *has to contain* a "structure" line that begins with LS and ends with LE. - Use the PDF export and make sure that "export bookmarks" is checked in the PDF options. (In the tab about user interface options, you could even specify how many levels of headings/bookmarks Adobe Reader will display by default when opening your document) Besides, OpenOffice is probably better suited for longer docs anyway... but who knows. (The "professional" alternative would be to use LaTex/PDFTex - which also generates very nice hyperlinked PDFs... but of course behaves entirely different than Word) If you have any questions, contact me. Regards, Manuel

Posted by Manuel Hossfeld on April 18, 2007 at 02:32 AM DDUT #

You may of already figured this out... You need to use the Adobe PDFMaker Macro in Word, rather than Distiller. M.

Posted by Matt Gifford on July 01, 2007 at 02:09 PM DDUT #

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