Printing manuals (book) and outputting pdfs

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Printing manuals (book) and outputting pdfs

Postby smurray on Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:01 am

Hi,

Has anyone created a custom-sized paperback manual (book) with Flare? I am using Flare to create my application help and I have not yet created any printed output with the MadCap Suite. In the past I used RoboHelp to produce WebHelp and Adobe InDesign to create a paperback custom-sized manual (which is actually a book) which was printed at a professional printers. I also used InDesign to create pdf output of this manual.
Is there any way, with the Madcap suite of products, that I can produce a high-quality paperback manual (so I can use single-source content in this output too).

Also can I not directly output to pdf without having to buy Word 2007?

Thanks

Susan
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Re: Printing manuals (book) and outputting pdfs

Postby Dave Lee on Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:32 am

smurray wrote:Also can I not directly output to pdf without having to buy Word 2007?


You need Word 2007 if you want to use the Office 2007 PDF add-in, and this lets you make a PDF from the Word doc automatically.

If you have Word 2000/2003, you'd generate a Word target, then manually make the PDF by printing it to Acrobat (or an alternative PDF utility).

In Flare v4 (or Blaze), you'll be able to output directly to PDF (without Word, add-ins, or Acrobat), if you can wait til it comes out.
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Re: Printing manuals (book) and outputting pdfs

Postby smurray on Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:35 am

Oh great! When's Flare v4 being released?

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Re: Printing manuals (book) and outputting pdfs

Postby RamonS on Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:41 am

Nobody knows for sure when Flare 4 is released, but it is expected to come out during fall or later this year. Word 2k7 allows for automating the PDF generation. You can use any of the freeware PDF creation tools (typically a virtual printer driver) or import the .doc file into OpenOffice.org and then generate PDF from there.
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Re: Printing manuals (book) and outputting pdfs

Postby Dave Lee on Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:46 am

Good question. It was announced in March, so not too much longer hopefully.
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Re: Printing manuals (book) and outputting pdfs

Postby Richard Ferrell on Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:36 am

Flare v4 should be released this summer, you can get a sneak peak at some of the features be included in the Next version of Flare by siging up for the beta of Blaze.

Blaze will be very similar to Flare, but will be only used by people who need to use Print Output only. Flare v4 will have all these features plus other improvments.
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Re: Printing manuals (book) and outputting pdfs

Postby beagley on Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:20 am

RamonS wrote:Nobody knows for sure when Flare 4 is released, but it is expected to come out during fall or later this year. Word 2k7 allows for automating the PDF generation. You can use any of the freeware PDF creation tools (typically a virtual printer driver) or import the .doc file into OpenOffice.org and then generate PDF from there.


I've been round this tree a few times, so to clarify: You can't create a .doc file with Flare unless you have Word 2k7 (or some version of Word) installed. Not to pick on RamonS, but his comment makes it sound like you could get to PDF using freeware tools or OpenOffice.org. You can't. You can't get to PDF if you don't own MS Word or Framemaker.

Yes, you can use OpenOffice.org to create the PDF, but before that you still need to have Microsoft Word (or Framemaker) installed on your computer in order to get the content out of Flare. THEN you can use OpenOffice or other "freeware PDF creation tools."

Summary: Either pick up an old copy of MS Word (pretty cheap, really), or wait for Flare 4.
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Re: Printing manuals (book) and outputting pdfs

Postby doc_guy on Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:58 am

beagley is correct. You cannot create print output if you don't have either Framemaker or Word installed on the build machine. The Flare build process requires the target program in order to create a target for that type.

In Blaze (and presumably Flare 4) you will be able to create direct-to-pdf output without having Word or Frame installed.
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