17 Replies Latest reply on Jun 1, 2008 2:19 PM by margielf

    How do I quickly and easily

    margielf
      I imported my word .doc file into robohelp to start the project.
      When I went to the HTML files to start the changes, I found that the converter had given me a perfect copy of my word formatting including putting margins in inches and "no page break instructions in my tables.
      The css file is about eight pages long!!!
      To make things worse: not all of the formatting is in the style sheet. Every table has cell padding and every list item is a paragraph with a list having a class tagged with my Word formatting.

      I am looking for any tips or tricks to make this cleanup easier, either before I convert it from word or after.

      I would be interested both in people's individual techniques as well at any site with tutorials or lists of techniques.

      Thanks,
      Marjorie
        • 1. Re: How do I quickly and easily
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          That sounds like you might have a lot of inline styles in Word and you have ticked the Convert Inline Styles to CSS option.

          Open your Word document, press CTRL + A and then CTRL + spacebar. Your document will change a lot if my guess is right as that removes all inline styles in Word.

          See my site for more information.

          • 2. Re: How do I quickly and easily
            RoboColum(n) Level 5
            Hi Majorie.

            It is generally accepted better to clean up the word file before importing it. Click here for a page on Peter Grainge's site on this topic.
            • 3. Re: How do I quickly and easily
              margielf Level 1
              first:
              where can I find the " ticked the Convert Inline Styles to CSS option."?

              I had been real careful to make sure I had named formats and styles but even with headings all it did was give me <p class=whatever>. I found it was easiest to go into Dreamweaver and to find and replace changes on all of the files but is there a way to do that kind of cleanup directly in RoboHelp?

              Also is there a better way to edit the style sheet in RoboHelp than the Format > Styles dialog box? It is awkward and I keep getting compound pseudeselectors rather than the simple classes I want to work with.

              Marjorie
              • 4. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                It is one of the options in the dialog when you import. I may not have the exact wording but it is close.

                You mention Named Formats and Styles. It is important that you do not rename the Heading styles that Word offers. Just leave them as Heading 1, not Heading 1 My Changes.

                I always edit using Top Style but you could use Dreamweaver's CSS editor.

                • 5. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                  margielf Level 1
                  I went through the import wizard again and could not find a "Convert Inline Styles to CSS" option. The closest I could find was "Auto-create styles from inline formatting".

                  The next dialog box shows my styles, but it gives me no way to change them.

                  When I tried again with the "Auto-create" option checked I still got just as much inline formatting.

                  I have a word file I would like to send you showing what I am working with. I do not see an attach option here and I do not know how to ftp.
                  • 6. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                    That's the one! Sorry but what it does is what I had in mind so I'm surprised you didn't have that ticked given the CSS you are getting.

                    The styles need to be changed in Word before you start.

                    How big is this file?

                    • 7. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                      margielf Level 1
                      The file is about 200kb word file showing the screens on import and attempts at importing my file first with "Auto-create" not checked and the second time with it checked. I am not seeing a difference between them. The file also uses the style template I created for my documents.. It sounds like I did it bass ackwards on setting up the formats.

                      Marjorie
                      • 8. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                        Just attach it to an email an send it via my site.

                        Anyone else reading this, please do not send files until requested.

                        • 9. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                          margielf Level 1
                          You should receive the Word file soon. I just found out my mail server did not send it last night when I asked it to.
                          • 10. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                            margielf Level 1
                            Peter,

                            I got your email and basically did option 1. I detached the generated style sheet (all eight pages) and created my own which was much shorter and cleaner (except where RoboHelp “helpfully” added in some combined selectors I did not want or even understand how it got).
                            Then I started doing cleanup. (If I had an Euro for every time I deleted redundant style information like <span class=GUIName><span style="font-size: 11.0pt;"> )

                            What I really want to know is how do I change my Word template to keep this from happening next time. I was beginning to wonder if it would have been faster to save my file as txt and put all the formatting back when it got to RoboHelp.

                            Thanks,
                            Marjorie
                            • 11. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                              I suspect the additions were LI for each style? RH does that for reasons explained in Using RH7 on my site. You can avoid it by editing outside RH with TopStyle or suchlike but those styles do no harm and have some advantages.

                              The only way to prevent it is to remove the styles from your template. Are they all required? If they are, then you have more or less sealed your fate. If you create styles in Word, RH is just carrying them through.

                              • 12. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                                margielf Level 1
                                So bottom line seems to be that I need to start from square one with my Word template and make up a template where I use only pre-existing styles built into Word.
                                That will work ok for things like lists and headings but what should I do about the character formatting I need to do? Or is this a MS Word question?

                                Marjorie

                                • 13. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                  If you need those Word styles, leave them in. However, you have to accept that they will also be in your stylesheet. Does it really matter as long as it all works? They don't bother you in Word, the only difference is you cannot see them but if you lifted all the definitions into a text file, it would amount to the same thing.

                                  If it ain't broke...

                                  • 14. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                                    margielf Level 1
                                    Reply to if it ain’t broke

                                    The styles I have in the document are ones I created for print production. I do not need them in RoboHelp. They were getting in the way when I had to make any changes by cluttering up my code view. I had to spend more time in a real HTML editor clearing away the redundant coding so I could see where I was, than making the structural changes I need for the help version of the manual.

                                    The only things I really need are to be able to differentiate the following:
                                    • My headings
                                    • My paragraphs
                                    • My lists (bulleted, numbered, and nested)

                                    What is the best way to prepare the word document?
                                    • I tried detaching my template and attaching normal, then mapping all my styles to canned styles.
                                    • Even when I save as filtered HTML, I get in-line formatting on my tables and my bullet list show up as <p class=bulleted>.
                                    • I tried the control-A control-spacebar and my tables still have some formatting but not nearly as much.

                                    Right now I am working on student projects, but when I get into a real job I will need to be able to get a clean transfer so I am not wasting time cleaning up formatting.

                                    Thanks,
                                    Marjorie
                                    • 15. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                      You just changed things quite significantly. Normally people will want the styles retained and I had thought that was the case here, with your problem being the size of the CSS. Now I know you don't need those styles to retain the formatting, the advice will be different, but only in this scenario.

                                      Any inline styling in Word can be removed by using CTRL + Spacebar. To remove defined styles, go to Word's organiser and delete them. The affected paragraphs will change to Normal and you can then apply whatever you want.

                                      I think RH will pick up the styles in your document but it might also pick up from the original template and / or normal. That will need some testing. If you suspect that is happening, go to the two templates and create a new style in each with a crazy name such as redrabbit and greenrabbit. If they end up in RH, you will know which template got used.

                                      Does that help? There is also some other information about importing on my site.

                                      • 16. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                        One other tip.

                                        Import into a new project and refine the html files there, then import the html files into your real project.

                                        That way if anything goes wrong, it is easier to trash it and start over.

                                        • 17. Re: How do I quickly and easily
                                          margielf Level 1
                                          Thank you

                                          It sound like mostly a Word problem. I have tried contacting their support people but have had no answer yet.
                                          Maybe I should just switch over to FrameMaker; it gives me an anchor on every single paragraph (sometimes more) but at least it is giving me clean code.