Demystifying
DITA to PDF Publishing




                     Sarah O'Keefe
            Scriptorium Publishing
Housekeeping

 Slides and some demo files available after the
 presentation; email me.
 I will have several question breaks...
The five stages of DITA-based
PDF publishing
 “How hard could it be?”
 “Why is this so $#@!$#@ hard??”
 “Maybe I can get th...
PDF publishing is hard because:

 Printed page layouts have more options than
 HTML layouts.
 Extensible Stylesheet Langua...
Please choose one of the following
terrifying options:
 DITA Open Toolkit
 Page-based layout tool
  FrameMaker
  InDesign
...
What are your PDF priorities?

 For typography, choose InDesign or similar.
 For automation, choose the DITA Open Toolkit....
Lower your standards.

 Does your audience care about fine typography?
 Less copyfitting = greater automation
What about the help authoring
tools?
 Yes, if you need cross-browser,
 cross-platform help.
 Not the best choice for PDF o...
PDF through the DITA Open Toolkit

 Very difficult to configure
 No “tweaking” to fix copyfitting problems
 Almost certainly t...
DITA Open Toolkit process

 Install the DITA OT (!)
  Java
  Ant
  XSL processor
  XSL-FO processor
 Modify XSL-FO files to...
DITA Open Toolkit challenges

 Fonts
 Formatting
 Foggy FO
 FOP foibles
DITA Open Toolkit demo
Questions about DITA Open Toolkit?
PDF via FrameMaker

 Configuration requires modifying a formatting
 template
 Nice PDF
 Can tweak to adjust pagination
FrameMaker process

 Modify the template to meet your requirements
 Open the map file
 (v8 and earlier) Generate intermedia...
Only sort of fake FrameMaker demo
FrameMaker pitfalls

 Sensitive to whitespace
 DITA specializations
 Round-tripping
 Authoring
FrameMaker recommendations

 Use DITA-FMx plug-in
Questions about FrameMaker?
PDF via InDesign

 Beautiful typography
 Can tweak to adjust pagination
 No default support for DITA
 Extensive configurati...
InDesign process

 Transform DITA content into “InDesign-friendly”
 XML via XSLT
  Flatten map files
  Resolve and flatten c...
InDesign challenges

 Extensive preprocessing
 Round-tripping
 Authoring
 Whitespace
Questions about InDesign?
Factors to consider

 Platform requirements
 Technical resources
 Typography requirements
 Velocity
 Volume
 Versioning
Questions
Demystifying DITA to PDF Publishing
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Demystifying DITA to PDF Publishing

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This session, from DocTrain West 2009, explores the pros and cons of using InDesign, FrameMaker, or the DITA Open Toolkit for publishing DITA content.

Published in: Technology, Design

Demystifying DITA to PDF Publishing

  1. 1. Demystifying DITA to PDF Publishing Sarah O'Keefe Scriptorium Publishing
  2. 2. Housekeeping Slides and some demo files available after the presentation; email me. I will have several question breaks. Please ask questions. Emphasis will be on Open Toolkit and InDesign; no extensive FrameMaker demo.
  3. 3. The five stages of DITA-based PDF publishing “How hard could it be?” “Why is this so $#@!$#@ hard??” “Maybe I can get this to work with different tools/people...” “At least I got our logo on the front page and nobody knows that I did this.” “It looks adequate and it publishes in seconds.”
  4. 4. PDF publishing is hard because: Printed page layouts have more options than HTML layouts. Extensible Stylesheet Language Formatting Objects (XSL-FO) needs to support sophisticated page layout options. Pushing XML into page layout tools is challenging. Automation means giving up page-by-page formatting.
  5. 5. Please choose one of the following terrifying options: DITA Open Toolkit Page-based layout tool FrameMaker InDesign Quark Help authoring/conversion tool RoboHelp ePublisher Pro Flare?
  6. 6. What are your PDF priorities? For typography, choose InDesign or similar. For automation, choose the DITA Open Toolkit. For a middle ground, choose FrameMaker.
  7. 7. Lower your standards. Does your audience care about fine typography? Less copyfitting = greater automation
  8. 8. What about the help authoring tools? Yes, if you need cross-browser, cross-platform help. Not the best choice for PDF only.
  9. 9. PDF through the DITA Open Toolkit Very difficult to configure No “tweaking” to fix copyfitting problems Almost certainly the long-term winner
  10. 10. DITA Open Toolkit process Install the DITA OT (!) Java Ant XSL processor XSL-FO processor Modify XSL-FO files to get the output you want Generate PDF from the command line
  11. 11. DITA Open Toolkit challenges Fonts Formatting Foggy FO FOP foibles
  12. 12. DITA Open Toolkit demo
  13. 13. Questions about DITA Open Toolkit?
  14. 14. PDF via FrameMaker Configuration requires modifying a formatting template Nice PDF Can tweak to adjust pagination
  15. 15. FrameMaker process Modify the template to meet your requirements Open the map file (v8 and earlier) Generate intermediate book Save as PDF
  16. 16. Only sort of fake FrameMaker demo
  17. 17. FrameMaker pitfalls Sensitive to whitespace DITA specializations Round-tripping Authoring
  18. 18. FrameMaker recommendations Use DITA-FMx plug-in
  19. 19. Questions about FrameMaker?
  20. 20. PDF via InDesign Beautiful typography Can tweak to adjust pagination No default support for DITA Extensive configuration required Whitespace in XML results in anaphylactic shock for InDesign
  21. 21. InDesign process Transform DITA content into “InDesign-friendly” XML via XSLT Flatten map files Resolve and flatten content references (conrefs) Modify structure of images and tables Control whitespace Do something about xrefs with InDesign scripts Set up template in InDesign Import modified XML into InDesign
  22. 22. InDesign challenges Extensive preprocessing Round-tripping Authoring Whitespace
  23. 23. Questions about InDesign?
  24. 24. Factors to consider Platform requirements Technical resources Typography requirements Velocity Volume Versioning
  25. 25. Questions
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