Style names after a Word Import

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Style names after a Word Import

Postby AshleyQ on Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:15 pm

We purchased Flare so that we could automatically build our PDFs and CHMs using a command line. So, I need to set up the .flpj so that the target looks good without doing any tweaking to the project in Flare.

So, I spent about the last 4-5 days learning about .CSS and developing a good .CSS that plays nicely with my Word source docs. I finally get the PDFs to look as they should. After backing up that .CSS to a different folder, I reimport my Word docs, recopy the backed up .CSS to Content/Resources/Style Sheets, and rebuild the PDF. All the list styles are messed up. I feel like I just wasted 4-5 days of my time since the .CSS doesn't work after imports!

I've been backing up the .CSS and reapplying it after import, because I can't get Flare to import files without overwriting the CSS. If I try to prevent the overwrite of the CSS, Flare freezes and I have to Task Manager out of it.

I do know that when I import a Word doc, that Flare does not recognize list styles as li, but as p. So, I made sure to address this in my .CSS, by defining all my p.bullets and p.numbers as I would want them to look if they were an actual li. But, when I reimport my Word docs, the list styles rename as something different from a previous import. For example, my first import created the style p.bullet1. The second import creates p.bullet1_1. The third import creates p.bullet1_1_1. So the style that I defined for p.bullet1 doesn't work and my bulleted lists look pretty bad.

I've tried Preserving MS Word Styles both with and without converting the inline styles to CSS. I've tried not preserving MS Word styles. With each method, I can't get the list styles to format correctly, because the list styles get renamed.

Is there a way to stop the import process from renaming styles?
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Re: Style names after a Word Import

Postby wclass on Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:24 pm

Is there a way to stop the import process from renaming styles?
Unfortunately no.

Getting styles and imports to work depends on your workflow. Are you:
  • maintaining the content in Word, and reimporting into Flare just to generate online help,
  • or importing Word documents that you want to maintain and edit in Flare?
If the first, you are best to set up styles in Word, then import with preserve Word styles and don't attach a separate style sheet, just let it create it. If you specify an existing style sheet, Flare tries to create new styles from the import, hence the extra styles with added numbers.

If you want the second workflow, don't preserve the styles, but you will have some post-processing to do.

Lists are the biggest problem. I have found that if I create a Word style that applies a list it is imported differently than if I have a list set to "normal" style and I just click the "list" graphic on the Word toolbar. The "normal" style lists are imported as "li" elements, which is good for Flare but unfortunately this is not the best way of applying styles in Word.
If you have applied styles in different places throughout a document, like a paragraph in a table, Flare tries to differentiate this by adding _1 or _2 whatever it is up to - wish it didn't!

If only Flare would let us map our lists! I have reported this but I am still not happy with imports.
Margaret Hassall - Melbourne
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Re: Style names after a Word Import

Postby AshleyQ on Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:58 am

wclass wrote:If the first, you are best to set up styles in Word, then import with preserve Word styles and don't attach a separate style sheet, just let it create it.


That's a big limitation of Flare, and I wish I would have known this before purchase. I completely agree with you that being able to map list styles would make my life a lot easier. One of my prime reasons for wanting to use Flare was the ability to use CSS for different outputs. I don't want my printed doc and online help to have the same look.

Thanks for the suggestion with using the Bullets button in Word. But as the lone tech writer responsible for 1500 pages of source doc, reapplying the bullets is not a small job.

Is there anyway to apply a style sheet content after import? Or will we ever be able to map list styles in Flare?
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Re: Style names after a Word Import

Postby KevinDAmery on Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:54 am

AshleyQ wrote:Is there anyway to apply a style sheet content after import?


Yes: select the topic(s) in the content explorer or the file list and open the properties (right click menu or F4). In the Topic Properties pulldown, select the stylesheet you want to use.
Until next time....
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Re: Style names after a Word Import

Postby LTinker68 on Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:42 pm

KevinDAmery wrote:
AshleyQ wrote:Is there anyway to apply a style sheet content after import?


Yes: select the topic(s) in the content explorer or the file list and open the properties (right click menu or F4). In the Topic Properties pulldown, select the stylesheet you want to use.


Note that this will add a new stylesheet reference, not replace the existing one. If you select the files in Content Explorer or the File List view, then you can go to Tools > Stylesheet Links, and select the stylesheet you want to apply and the one you want to remove from the topic.
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Re: Style names after a Word Import

Postby KevinDAmery on Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:17 am

LTinker68 wrote:
KevinDAmery wrote:
AshleyQ wrote:Is there anyway to apply a style sheet content after import?


Yes: select the topic(s) in the content explorer or the file list and open the properties (right click menu or F4). In the Topic Properties pulldown, select the stylesheet you want to use.


Note that this will add a new stylesheet reference, not replace the existing one. If you select the files in Content Explorer or the File List view, then you can go to Tools > Stylesheet Links, and select the stylesheet you want to apply and the one you want to remove from the topic.


Uhhh, don't think so--I've never ended up with multiple stylesheet refs doing it through the properties window. I think they're just two ways to access the same function.
Until next time....
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Re: Style names after a Word Import

Postby LTinker68 on Thu Jun 12, 2008 8:13 am

Oh, right. I had it backwards. If you want two stylesheets associated with a topic then you have to do it from the Stylesheet Links screen. The Properties screen only allows you to specify a single stylesheet.
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