Table widths in Help and printed output

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Table widths in Help and printed output

Postby bjorden on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:14 am

Hello -

I'm a new Flare user and have gotten my new company's old Doc-to-Help v2 projects converted and reformatted in Flare. Most of our tables are simple two column tables with widths of 200px and 800px (Field and Description columns). They are an appropriate width for online Help, but now my boss's boss wants to be able to have a printed version of the Help. So I've created a new css, etc. My issue is this: the 1000px wide tables are too wide for an 8.5x11 page with standard margins. The print output I'm most comfortable with is FrameMaker, so that's what I've been using. I've looked in the Flare Help and saw that columns can have set or relative widths, you can use table stylesheets, etc. But nothing's really worked so far. Has anyone else conquered this issue yet, and can you please point me in the right direction? I'd like the tables in the Help output to remain 1000px wide but they need to be resized to around 600px wide in FrameMaker.

Thank you!
Barry
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Re: Table widths in Help and printed output

Postby Daniel Ferguson on Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:39 pm

Hi Barry,

My recommendation would be to convert your absolute pixel column widths to percentages in your table stylesheet. For example, you could set the table to take 100% of its available width, then set column 1 to take 20% and column 2 to take 80%. These tables and columns then adjust themselves based on how much width is available to the table no matter what output format you use. This way, you're prepared for when your boss's boss comes and starts asking for mobile help in a couple years.

If you want to keep the pixel dimensions for your online help, you can switch to the print medium in your table stylesheet and set the column width behavior just for print output and leave your online output alone.

Note that all of this depends on not having any column widths in the topics themselves. To do any of this, you need to get rid of any inline styles in your topics and rely on your table stylesheet.
Daniel Ferguson
Certified Flare Trainer & Consultant
smartoutput.com
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Re: Table widths in Help and printed output

Postby bjorden on Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:42 am

Thank you, Daniel! I appreciate your answer.
bjorden
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Re: Table widths in Help and printed output

Postby bjorden on Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:49 am

Giving this a go right now, Daniel. I've created a table stylesheet and applied it to a test table that only uses the typical table tags (thead, tr, th, td). I specified the Cell Content Style for both the rows and header. On my output to FrameMaker, I noticed that the table cell content is tagged in FM as "*td_TableStyle-[table stylesheet name]-BodyD-[column name]-[row name]", which kept FM from applying the appropriate style to the content (should be p_TableText, as specified in the table stylesheet). (Applying the table stylesheet to the table would overwrite the in-table styles if they are set,) Also, the Cell Padding settings never made a difference to how the table appears in FrameMaker.

Guessing it might have to do with FrameMaker, but am not sure. Any advice? Thanks!
bjorden
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