Converting XML directly to PDF

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Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby beagley on Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:37 am

Anyone ever try to convert Flare's XML files directly to PDF, using another processor or a perl script?
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:13 am

Check out AndyR's blog on the subject. (It's a three-part article. To get to the other two articles, click on the Madcap Flare link on the right.) --> http://techwritetip.wordpress.com/2006/07/19/best-pratice-flare-3-high-definition-pdf-part-1/
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby beagley on Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:41 am

Neat!
Conceptually, that all makes sense to me... but I definitely lack the technical ability to really put the process into action.

Anyone know if that technique has been implemented somewhere?
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby RamonS on Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:38 pm

Would be nice if the final version of Flare 4 can do exactly that.
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby bonnie on Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:26 am

Check out AndyR's blog on the subject. (It's a three-part article. To get to the other two articles, click on the Madcap Flare link on the right.) --> http://techwritetip.wordpress.com/2006/ ... df-part-1/


I want to try to convert directly from Flare to PDF. I was going to look at the above blog, but it doesn't exist anymore.
Are there any other leads to this information?

Thank you in advance.
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby doc_guy on Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:29 am

Flare 4 has this capability. You should either upgrade (if you have maintenance), or you should download a trial of Flare 4 (you can do this without messing up your current Flare installation.

The future is here, and it's built directly into Flare 4!
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby bonnie on Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:00 am

I do have Flare 4. I'm trying to use it to set up my PDF output.

But I was using Master pages for the Frame output, and now I'm learning about Layout pages for PDF output. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out how to get alternating left and right page layouts. The master pages used Madcap page footers for this. I can't figure out how to get a Madcap page footer onto the Layout page.

Also I need to figure out how to "control" the way fonts convert (I was using Lucida Sans Unicode for headings in my Frame document, but that font is coming out with excess letter spacing in the PDF).
Thanks for any advice or leads you can give me.
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby bonnie on Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:08 am

I was using Master pages for the Frame output, and now I'm learning about Layout pages for PDF output. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out how to get alternating left and right page layouts. The master pages used Madcap page footers for this. I can't figure out how to get a Madcap page footer onto the Layout page.


OK. I just found the answer to this one in the Help. I started out with the default page layout template. I should have started with the ChapterLetter template, which provides right and left pages.
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby bonnie on Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:49 am

Also I need to figure out how to "control" the way fonts convert (I was using Lucida Sans Unicode for headings in my Frame document, but that font is coming out with excess letter spacing in the PDF).


I've found that I can tighten up the letter spacing OK i the PDF by using the Block letter-spacing property and setting it to a negative value, using units of either em's or points (negative percentages didn't seem to work right.)

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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby bonnie on Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:08 pm

I'm having pretty good success converting directly to PDF in Frame 4.0. One really good thing is that hyphenation is turned off going to PDF. So I'm pleased about that!! :D

There are a couple of problems that I've noticed. One thing that seems to be unique to the PDF output is that the bullet of an unordered list item is vertically aligned too low (it's aligned on the text baseline). On the other hand, when I make my own bullet as an image and try to use that, the bullet is too high on the text line. Any suggestions as to how to vertically align the bullet correctly?
Thanks,
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby bonnie on Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:47 pm

Another problem I've found in PDF coming directly out of Flare is that the line height specification has limitations. A line height of 14 points is as low as I can go for 10point Palatino Linotype. The lower limitation on line height seems to be proportional to the font size (for 8 point Palatino Linotype, the lower limit for line height is 12 points). The lower limit line height for Times Roman 10point type is 12 points (just to show that this problem is not limited entirely to Palatino Linotype). I haven't taken the time to test other font types.

I am trying to get a line height of 13 points for 10-point Palatino Linotype, which is what I've been using in all my documents up til now.)

P.S. Line heights come out exactly as specified in the FrameMaker output.

Maybe there's somewhere outside of Flare that this needs to be adjusted.
Any ideas, anybody?
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Re: Converting XML directly to PDF

Postby bonnie on Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:09 pm

One thing that seems to be unique to the PDF output is that the bullet of an unordered list item is vertically aligned too low (it's aligned on the text baseline).

On the other hand, when I make my own bullet as an image and try to use that, the bullet is too high on the text line.

It turns out you can add some white space (or some clear space) above a custom bullet (as part of the bullet image) in order to center the bullet vertically. (White spaces works on a white background).
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