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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: MS files included with elements?

On Thursday 10 May 2001 11:59, Galen Boyer wrote:

> Is there any publication that takes some wysiwyg screen prints
> and says what tags one would need to convert them to XML.
> I am trying to convert a few Word docs and can't figure out what
> tag I need sometimes.

You're looking at the problem from the wrong angle.

What separates DocBook from the common word processor is that your create 
DocBook documents based on the *meaning* of your information, rather than on 
how you think it should look. It's up to the stylesheets to format it in a 
pleasing manner.

DocBook is not WYSIWYG. It's WYSIWYM, what you see is what you mean. It makes 
no sense in DocBook to refer to text as bold, italic, large font, indented or 
anything like that. Instead you mark your text according to its meaning 
(content markup), like <title>, <para>, <emphasis>, <ulink>, etc.

In trying to convert a word processing document over to DocBook, look at the 
heading levels for a start. The biggest heading levels should be <sect1>, and 
on down. If you see italics and the content suggests that it was used for 
emphasis, use <emphasis>. On the other hand, if italics were used to markup 
the title of a book, then use the appopriate DocBook tag. Etc. Sometimes 
you'll need to use bridgeheads to when converting a badly organized document.

If all else fails, save the Word file as plain ascii to filter out all 
remnants of style markup leaving only the bare information. Then start 
wrapping the appropriate tags around stuff.

If something comes out not looking quite right in your final PDF document, 
then fiddle around with the stylesheets. By all means, don't fiddle around 
with the tags.

David Johnson

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