4. Automated conversion of whole documents to HTML

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This Part is not yet updated for 2000.

4.1. Converting word processing documents automatically (RTFtoHTML)

RTFtoHTML allows you to convert word processing documents and other documents which can be saved as Rich Text Format (also known as Interchange Format) directly into HTML.

RTFtoHTML Version 4.17 can be downloaded from http://www.sunpack.com/RTF/latest . It is shareware and can be purchased for unlimited use. Some limited trial use is available after downloading - instructions are at http://www.sunpack.com/RTF/guide05.htm .

The Pricing information states "RTFtoHTML may be run for 30 days from the date of acquisition of the software for the purpose of evaluating the software. After 30 days, you must either purchase a license for the software, or remove it from your computer system."

4.1.1. RTFtoHTML User Guide

For details on how to use RTFtoHTML, see the User Guide. You will need to refer to it to make effective use of RTFtoHTML.

Start by reading the Features list.

4.1.2. Creating a document using heading levels

Heading levels (`Heading 1', `Heading 2' ... to `Heading 6' are used in HTML to give a consistent appearance to text which is formatted at that level, irrespective of the browser used, or its sophistication. In general, `Heading 2' headings are used as sub-headings under `Heading 1' headings, `Heading 3' indicated sub-headings under `Heading 2' etc.

To achieve consistency over large numbers of web pages, or large bodies of text, use of headings is recommended strongly.

One drawback of Headings is that all text in a paragraph must be at the same heading level.

Identification of heading levels in text is also one of the main ways by which RTFtoHTML automatically converts word processing documents into sophisticated hypertexts.

On your test page, type some lines of text and format different lines variously as Heading 1, Heading 2 etc, so as to see the variations in format.

4.1.3. Using a pre-existing word-processing document

You will need a word-processed copy of an essay or other document you have created (or someone else's document that you are entitled to use).

First , open the document in Word (or other word processor) (unless it is already saved as rtf). If it does not have any significant structure, give it a structure by applying Word's `Heading 1', `Heading 2' etc (from the [Format | Style] menu, or from the Style window) to headings or other significant structural divisions in your document.

Also apply a number of style elements such as italics and bold to some of the text.

Save the re-structured document as Rich Text Format (RTF), with a .rtf suffix.

Now follow the instructions above for use of RTFtoHTML.

4.1.4. Alternative - without a pre-existing word-processing document

Create a short document of a few paragraphs using Word 6, using at least 2 levels of headings to give the document some structure (see above). Also apply a number of style elements such as italics and bold to some of the text.

Then save the document as RTF (see above), and continue the exercises using that document.

4.1.5. Cleaning up converted documents

There are usually a few things which need to be done after converting a document using RTF to HTML, to ensure that it has maximum utility. Here are a few to watch out for:

4.1.6. Using RTFtoHTML to create multi-page web documents automatically

RTFtoHTML is effective in breaking long documents (more than a few print pages) into a series of interlinked HTML pages. Read the RTFto HTML User Guide concerning file splitting.

Run RTFtoHTML again over the document you used for the previous exercise, but this time use it with the flag `-h1' (to break the document up at level 1 headings) or, if the document is long and complicated enough, by using the `-h2' flag (to break the document up at level 2 headings).

4.1.7. Other RTF to HTML features

Read the RTFto HTML User Guide and experiment using at least one of the additional features: footnotes, tables, images and embedded hypertext links.

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