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Rodney

Using the Print Topic Feature in the Forum

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This is a test of the manually documenting system via that Print Topic thingy up there on the right ^^^

It is in microsoft word format in case anyone wants to review it in another context than the forum or to edit it.

 

Added: A PDF version of the same.

Please note how the links are preserved in the PDF.

AMAnswers__Initial_Discussion_.docx

AMAnswers__PDF_hifi_version_.pdf

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If I get where you might be going with this, the forum could then be easily translatable into a PDF or word document? That could be helpful in creating print versions of certain things. With some tweaking of course, but saving a lot of copy and pasting

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I get where you might be going with this, the forum could then be easily translatable into a PDF or word document? That could be helpful in creating print versions of certain things. With some tweaking of course, but saving a lot of copy and pasting

 

Hey, I'm not going anywhere with this. I'm just following ya'lls lead.

 

As a break from the forum yesterday I created the attached PDF.

I was digging in and editing... tossing out stuff and 30 minutes or so came up with this:

 

Note that Marcos's MUFOOF topic was not gracefully formatted.

If following some set guidelines the process would take a human being 1 to 5 minutes (including upload to the forum).

If automated or processed directly through the back end it'd be... well, that would be amazing.

 

Added: One of the reasons I didn't pursue this years ago concerns the issue with perception.

It's hard enough to know how someone will react when you edit them but when you purposefully delete what they've said... eeek. :unsure:

I knew that would require a serious paradigm change.

 

Note that I only edited/incorporated the commenter posts about one half way through the topic before shutting things down and going to bed. The idea would be that at the end of the document the author and all the commentary would receive credit.

 

I said I was going to stop posting... and yet here I am.

Why the heck is that.

(To keep everything else on topic I'll split this stuff about Print Topic to it's own thread.

Multiple_Frames_in_Only_One_Frame__MUFOOF_.pdf

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Y'know that only makes me further inclined to some sort of forum based system because this allows a PDF version to be created! Obviously not a magic voila button, but probably close enough!

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At a minimum it would produce some decent tutorials. ;)

 

For the most part I always use a three step process when 'print topicing' from the forum:

 

1. Select 'Print Topic' from the option at the upper right corner of the forum.

2. Select, Copy and Paste the resulting text and graphics into Microsoft Word.

3. Edit

4. Save and then Export to PDF from MS Word (Saving first as a .doc or .docx file ensure you can always go back and reedit if you have to)

 

I would imagine that the sticking point for most people getting involved would be having MS Word.

I've done the same thing with Open Office and that works well, I just prefer the options I get with MS Word.

Standardizing on Open Office would mean that everyone could play Publisher/Editor that wanted to.

 

If someone didn't have any of the required tools that still wouldn't be a problem though because anyone can review a document and test procedures to make sure they are clearly presented, understood and that they work. In exchange for a little time they get seriously advanced previews on articles, tutorials and whatever else gets produced.

 

My ultimate goal in PDF for A:M is a few years away. I'm guessing that'll be roughly the same time the PDF format gets replaced by something much much cooler. ;)

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Come to think of it, I remember about a year or so back I used the Print Topic feature on a phpBB3 board to save a copy of a 60 page RP that I had led. It required some tweaking, but overall I would consider it a success and fairly quick (quick being a relative term of course)

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The reason I want to work on a copy of the forum is so that I can quickly merge all the posts into one post per thread. Not only would that make editing easier it'd make the Print Topic easier as well. As I recall the Print Topic function can only handle so many pages of posts before it stops so really long topics would be truncated before the end of the discussion/tutorial.

 

Whether wikis, PDFs, or whatever, there is always something that needs to be worked around.

 

And... we've haven't even begun to talk about attachments. ;)

If the discussions are pure gold then whatever shall we make of the attachments.

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Attachments might have to be more of a manual endeavour. Now obviously things like video attachment and project attachments won't work so well with a PDF...unless we take the Dave Rogers approach to it. Link to a companion download folder or something and then you click the link on the PDF and it calls up the attachment via the companion. Am I making sense? It makes sense in my brain, but that doesn't mean it actually makes sense...

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Now obviously things like video attachment and project attachments won't work so well with a PDF

 

If you look inside most PDFs you'll see the indicators of things that can be added or attached. (Make sure you are using the Abode Acrobat Reader X or else you might not see all the options there. For instance did you know that we can add comments and hightlights to PDFs and save them? That's old news now but it's still a great convenience.

 

Not only does this include video and text (the text would cover almost all native A:M file formats) but even things like 3D (although I'm not as interested in that because it's not spline based 3D).

 

Due to the file sizes it would create it doesn't make a lot of sense to attach videos inside of PDFs but it makes perfect sense to add Project files, Models and any other file that would be utilized in a tutorial. There'd be no more looking for those lost files if they were all contained right there in the PDF!

 

Regarding the attachments, I'll just leave that topic for now.

Perhaps we can use those with a different project in the future.

Going through files like that and documenting them is a major undertaking.

 

Attached is a copy of the MUFOOF PDF with lame commentary added.

The neat thing about this is that you can open and edit/add/delete comments as well.

 

So... for editing purposes even someone without PDF creating capability can comment within the PDFs.

These two change (highlighting and commenting) at approx 10kb to the file.

Multiple_Frames_in_Only_One_Frame__MUFOOF__comment_test.pdf

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This isn't quite 'Print Topic' related but it does shine some light on a potential solution for broken links to references.

 

Here's a very quick PDF I put together based an old promo for the A:M 2004 upgrade.

You'll note that the links take you to the Wayback Machine so that even though the page is no long in existence on the net it still links back successfully to the Wayback Machine.

 

Perhaps even better though, I didn't have to type in all of the links! They came in when I copied the page. :)

I just formatted it differently to get it all to appear on one single page.

 

Thinks like this have the potential of helping to keep links active for a very long time even though their persistence has faded.

Note that in some cases for me a link on a wayback page might not appear to work (the browser displays an error page) but clicking once or twice anywhere on the webpage makes the linked page appear.

AM2004Upgrade.pdf

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Those are both quite fascinating! I'd like to comment more, but I have to head out to work in a few minutes! :(

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