DITA to PDF Publishing
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.
The ﬁve stages of DITA-based
“How hard could it be?”
“Why is this so $#@!$#@ hard??”
“Maybe I can get this to work with different
“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.”
PDF publishing is hard because:
Printed page layouts have more options than
Extensible Stylesheet Language Formatting
Objects (XSL-FO) needs to support sophisticated
page layout options.
Pushing XML into page layout tools is
Automation means giving up page-by-page
Please choose one of the following
DITA Open Toolkit
Page-based layout tool
Help authoring/conversion tool
What are your PDF priorities?
For typography, choose InDesign or similar.
For automation, choose the DITA Open Toolkit.
For a middle ground, choose FrameMaker.
Lower your standards.
Does your audience care about ﬁne typography?
Less copyﬁtting = greater automation
What about the help authoring
Yes, if you need cross-browser,
Not the best choice for PDF only.
PDF through the DITA Open Toolkit
Very difﬁcult to conﬁgure
No “tweaking” to ﬁx copyﬁtting problems
Almost certainly the long-term winner
DITA Open Toolkit process
Install the DITA OT (!)
Modify XSL-FO ﬁles to get the output you want
Generate PDF from the command line
PDF via InDesign
Can tweak to adjust pagination
No default support for DITA
Extensive conﬁguration required
Whitespace in XML results in anaphylactic
shock for InDesign
Transform DITA content into “InDesign-friendly”
XML via XSLT
Flatten map ﬁles
Resolve and ﬂatten content references (conrefs)
Modify structure of images and tables
Do something about xrefs with InDesign scripts
Set up template in InDesign
Import modiﬁed XML into InDesign