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Revising a book (Read 6067 times)
Rob Forsyth
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Revising a book
Oct 13th, 2009, 7:18am
 
Dear all

Looking for general advice/pointers/benefit of relevant experience here. A few years ago I co-edited a handbook that's now due a second edition. The text of the original is available as a single ~7MB PDF file. The book is deliberately written in a rather telegraphic, bulleted style rather than long sections of prose, but has some figures, photographs and tables. The publishers will require the final version of the 2nd Ed back as a Word file using their defined style palette for various levels of side heading etc

It occurred to me that importing into TBX might be helpful during the revision process in allowing one to mark sections as needing revision, assigning revision work to colleagues etc, also to allow one to keep track of relative section sizes through sum(child,$WordCount) etc

I have Acrobat Professional and can export the PDF as Word, RTF, HTML±CSS for importing into TBX but would then need to manually re-establish the outline/nesting structure I guess. Could create prototypes for various levels of side heading to allow tagged re-export of the final product for find-and-replace to assign Word paragraph styles

Does this seem a sensible way forward? A massive waste of time? Has anything tried anything similar?

Thanks as ever

Rob
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Revising a book
Reply #1 - Oct 13th, 2009, 8:24am
 
For import, Explode is your friend once 'raw' data is in. Getting to that point may involve experimenting with a couple of different input formats to see what travels well. Depending on the size/structure of the source you might also want to bring it in in chapter or section chunks rather than the whole lot. I'd suggest copying pasting text and see how well things like bold/italic come in. You'll need to find out if the original artwork used in the PDF is available separately, or you'll need to recover those from the PDF too, though I'd keep them out of the TBX and simply link to them on export.

You are right that by dividing up the data (and nesting accordingly) you can use prototypes to set - or at least flag the eventual structure. In this sort of task Explorer is your fiend with left pane as outline and current note text to the right.

Probably your easiest route to word is to output to CSS-styled HTML using CSS based on the target Word style format.

There's no one-size-fits all procedure for this sort of tasks as there are so many minor variations (differing versions of Acrobat/PDF, versions of Word, end-user on Mac or windows, etc.) that can affect outcome; such little detail counts here.

But, yes, it strikes me a perfectly good way of re-editing - unless you just go straight to Word and do it there!

Happy to help more if I can.

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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Revising a book
Reply #2 - Oct 13th, 2009, 9:14am
 
I wonder, actually, whether you might consider using the Tinderbox document as an overview and project management tool, while keeping the book chapters themselves in a separate set of word processing documents.

The big advantage to working directly in Tinderbox, I think, would be the opportunity for big and small structural edits -- for trying out new organizations in a flexible and fluid way.  That's what I'd recommend for a new project.  But here, preparing a second edition of a successful book, you may be constrained to maintain the existing framework.

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peter
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Re: Revising a book
Reply #3 - Oct 13th, 2009, 6:36pm
 
somebody please tell me we are not relying on msword for editing ...
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Revising a book
Reply #4 - Oct 14th, 2009, 3:04pm
 
Putting Tinderbox in the mix makes no statement on the capability or degree of use of Word. Note that word is only the format in which the original poster must submit to the Publisher - up to that point they're free to choose their tools. The source material isn't in Word form either, it's PDF. So, in the this scenario the user has a choice of tools.

The pertinence of using Word throughout probably depends on the exact nature and degree of the (re-)editing. If the PDF was created from Word in the first place and includes Word-compatible tagging then there's a better chance of recovering a usable Word document as export from the PDF.  Another factor how expert the user is with Word.

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Mark Anderson
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peter
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Re: Revising a book
Reply #5 - Oct 14th, 2009, 4:37pm
 
apologies if my comments were taken as criticism of tbx'ers. Far from it in fact. I just despair of publishers demanding specific formats - and word of all things...
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