Archive for the ‘ePublisher’ Category

How to Upgrade to Reverb 2.0

Posted on: July 17th, 2018 No Comments
Have you ever tried to upgrade from PDF, WWH5 or Reverb 1.0 to a more advanced user-friendly output? We know it might seem difficult for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps you have inherited a project and you are not sure where to start or maybe you have several customizations in your output that make upgrading seem impossible.
With the release of ePublisher 2018.1, many ePubilsher customers have quickly and easily upgraded to Reverb 2.0. By utilizing the information in this article, this post will help get you started on the path to a Reverb 2.0 HTML5 advanced document set.

Here are a few reasons  why it is a good idea to upgrade to Reverb 2.0

  • Improved Customer Satisfaction
  • Increased Product Value
  • Measured Customer Engagement

Reverb 2.0 was designed to help you, the Content Creator, get the most relevant information to the customer in the least amount of time while maintaining an intuitive feel to your document sets. If you are looking to increase the value documentation brings to your organization Reverb 2.0 is a big step in that direction.

Process for upgrading

Find the Right Reverb 2.0 Skin

To view the Reverb 2.0 skins, we recommend adding a target to your existing ePublisher Designer project. This is so you can see what your source documents look like in the new skin and identify which customizations are going to automatically transfer over and which ones will need to be manually transferred. You always have the option of creating a new Designer project to see what the default output will look like.

How to add a target

  1. Click on the Project Tab in the menu bar and select Manage Targets
  2. In the Manage Targets window, you will select Add to create a new target
  3. Pick a target name and enter it in the Target Name box
  4. In Format Type, click on the drop-down arrow and select WebWorks Reverb 2.0
  5. Click OK
  6. Verify that the new target name appears in the Manage Targets window.
  7. Click Close

Once the new target has been added, it will now appear in your active target window. To view the new format simply select the target and generate all. Feel free to experiment with each new target, once you find the right Reverb 2.0 skin you can delete the other targets.

Choosing the Right Customizations

Once you have selected a skin the next step is to choose the right customizations. It is a simple process:

  1. Compare customizations from the old target
  2. Pick which new features to customize in Reverb 2.0
  3. Regenerate your output.

When comparing customizations (for more about ePublisher customizations click here) we recommend starting with the Style Designer. Any customizations in the Properties or Options tab will be automatically carried over to Reverb 2.0. Only review bolded items on the Target Properties or Target Options tab because they are not automatically carried over because they are Target specific.

After you have reviewed the old customizations you can add new ones. All new features available in this area will be listed in the Properties and Options tab. If you see a feature you would like to customize only for the selected target, look for the feature listed in the Target Properties or Target Options and make the changes.

Once you’re finished working in the Style Designer compare customization in the Target Settings window.

Hint: create an excel sheet with the categories in Target Settings that have been customized.

If a category carries over to Reverb 2.0, the name will be the same in the Target Settings window. For example, Company Information is the same category name in the Target Settings of WebWorks Help, Reverb 1.0 and Reverb 2.0. 

With the excel spreadsheet created you can compare target settings in Reverb 2.0 and determine which settings should be transferred.  After transferring the target settings you can scroll through the categories and determine which new features to customize. After all the customizations have been made, generate the new target. If the output meets all the requirements, we would recommend moving to the section “Putting on the Final Touches” If not, you will need to compare the Advanced tab customizations.

We recommended you have the person who created the Advanced tab customizations compare them. If that person is not available, you can create a support ticket to get help with the transfer. If you would like to learn more about the Advanced tab customizations there are several options available to you. We have ePublisher 201 training that covers Advance tab customization in detail. We also have Study Hall in which you could bring in a project and have someone help you determine the best way to customize a project. The optimal path is to take ePublisher 201 training for a solid overall understanding of the Advanced tab features and then Study Hall or a support ticket for one-offs.

Putting on the final touches

The final step of the process is to put on the final touches to your Reverb 2.0 output. Reverb 2.0 was developed with Sass technology to make it easier to customize colors, logo placement, and icons.

To change the color, logo placement or icon of your Reverb 2.0 output, navigate to the proper file under the Advanced tab (to learn more about Advance tab customizations click here.) Once you have selected either target or format customizations navigate to the Sass folder and make the necessary customizations in the correct file.

_colors.scss is the file to change the color scheme of your Reverb 2.0 output. This file is written so you can design a nice output with as few as three colors. You just enter the hex color code in the proper location as indicated in the picture below.

_sizes.scss is the file where you can control the dimensions of sections within the Reverb 2.0 layout. Sections include areas like menu, toolbar, and toolbar logo. The file is well noted and easy to navigate. Just find the right section and make the necessary changes.

These are just a few examples of the Sass system we are using to help you customize Reverb 2.0. For a full list of the Sass files and their descriptions, you can go here.

We at WebWorks have designed our newest output with your customers in mind. Reverb 2.0 has new and improved features to help you guide your customers to the information they need. We’ve made upgrading easy for you by decreasing the amount of time needed to do so and by helping make sure you hold on to the customizations you’ve added. When making the move to Reverb 2.0 feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Product Update: ePublisher 2017.1 build 2333 now available

Posted on: November 1st, 2017 No Comments

After releasing 2017.1, we made some minor enhancements that we wanted to make available before the next major release.

For users who have already installed ePublisher 2017.1 build 2306: The update to build 2033 takes only a few minutes and does not require a prior uninstall. At the setup prompt, just select the Update option.

With build 2333, you will be able to incorporate the following summarized enhancements:

  • Reverb Search Index Relevance handling now supports fractional values smaller than 1. By default ePublisher styles are scored with a relevance of 1, however with this improvement, baggage files and external links that get indexed will default to a small percentage of 1, making sure that they do not get artificially inflated due to document size.
  • Reverb Search Indexing of external links ignores duplicate links to URLs different only by the ‘#’ at the end. This prevents indexing the same document mulitiple times just because it was linked multiple times with a different ‘#’ target.
  • Reverb Search baggage info file can now be located relative to the first source document in the project. This is useful for CloudDrafts publishing and when maintaining different Express projects that use the same stationery but have different baggage files and external links.
  • AutoMap now supports new command line options for scanning to find new variables, conditions, and styles. This allows for scripts to detect variables and conditions that have not been configured in the Statinoery or Express project.

For more information, please consult the release page and online documentation.

Responsive UX Design

Posted on: June 21st, 2012 No Comments
Responsive UX Design Whitepaper

Responsive design seems to be a buzzword on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. Lately, there has been a lot of emphasis surrounding the concept of creating web content for cross-compatibility. Web developers have begun to eliminate the need to develop multiple sites that display the same content across desktop and mobile devices by taking advantage of advanced techniques made possible through HTML5 and CSS3. Today, instead of developing multiple sites which consume excess time to create and maintain, developers are now separating their content from their design and creating one single site that responsively interacts with all devices and platforms. This responsive technique has cut development time and maintenance substantially.

The topic of responsive design has now begun to enter the minds of technical writers. As a group of early adopters, technical writers are beginning to see the importance of developing their online content responsively. If you are behind on the subject of responsive design, check out WebWorks’ brand new whitepaper titled Responsive UX Design. It offers an in-depth analytical look at this progressive technology and how it is now affecting us as technical writers.

 

WebWorks Releases ePublisher Version 2012.1

Posted on: May 8th, 2012 No Comments

WebWorks goes to market with its newest version of ePublisher.

2012.1 New Release

WebWorks ePublisher has been hard at work developing its latest release, version 2012.1. One of the pinnacles of WebWorks’ success is attributed to its in-depth understanding of the value of delivering great help documentation.

Today marks a very exciting day for the WebWorks family as they kick off their 20th anniversary with the first release of the 2012 series. This release not only showcases a new look and feel for ePublisher, but it also incorporates several advancements in customization.

For more information on some of the more notable advancements to this version of ePublisher, visit our Latest Release page. For a more in-depth analysis of version 2012.1, take a look at our Release Notes page.

 

Improved Look and Feel

2012.1 Splash Screen

One of the first things you will notice once you open ePublisher 2012.1 is the updated look and feel to the splash screen. Our new splash screen now displays four icons signifying each of the quarterly releases offered by the ePublisher platform. As each new quarterly release gets updated, the associated marker icons will fill in notating that you are indeed on the most current version.

 

ePublisher Start Page

While the start page is not a new feature to ePublisher, you will notice the updated look and feel has also carried over. This more aesthetic accent to the start page is just the tip of the iceberg, however. The ePublisher start page offers users many beneficial points of access. At the top left, you will notice the “At A Glance” section, which offers users avenues to view new features added in the latest release, as well as portals to the WebWorks support system. Just below that, you will see the “Recent Projects” section, allowing users to quickly access their most recent projects or start up new projects. Finally, to the right is one of the most useful and often overlooked features of the ePublisher start page, the “News” section, which offers a current feed from the WebWorks blog. Throughout the year, WebWorks will offer an assortment of insightful articles dealing with both ePublisher and the technical writing industry. Keep an eye out here for insightful whitepapers, ePublisher tips and tricks, upcoming appearances by the WebWorks team, and other communications as we strive to help you grow above and beyond your competition.

ePublisher Start Page

 

Advancements in Customization

Most notable to this release are the advancements in customization. WebWorks has made it easier than ever to customize the way your content is published through improvements to the customization UI and style designer’s preview mode. Check out a more detailed description of these advancements as well as some advances in WebWorks Reverb on our Latest Release page.

DOC vs DOCX

Posted on: March 19th, 2012

In ePublisher 2011.3, we introduced an alternate processing flow for the Microsoft Word Office Open XML (OOXML, and DOCX, hereafter) document format. Following is a brief explanation of the reason for this new processing flow, some of the existing side-effects, and the implications of this approach down the road.

Let’s start with a brief history of the Microsoft Word integration with ePublisher. In 2004 – 2005, when ePublisher was being designed, the Word adapter leveraged existing code to process Word DOC files to ePublisher intermediate files (WIF), using Word VBA. Through the years, ePublisher development on the Word adapter has been based on this processing flow, and with each successive release of Word (2007 and 2010), the same processing flow has been used.

In Word 2007, Microsoft introduced a new document format named Office Open XML, which uses a *.docx file extension when saved. Unlike the DOC format, the DOCX format is an XML-based open standard. Up until 2011.3, ePublisher has continued to use the same VBA processing flow for both the DOC and DOCX formats.

So why another adapter? There are a number of issues that show up when processing DOCX files using the DOC processing flow. The root cause of these issues is the fact that the VBA-based processing flow normalizes all files to DOC format. This save is lossy and the effect is that formatting information from DOCX files is dropped in some cases.

Why save DOCX to DOC?  Why not just leave the file in its native format when generating the ePublisher’s intermediate files?  The answer, VBA does not allow inspection of character style runs.  Because ePublisher is unable to use the VBA to iterate runs of character formatting, it relies on a library which inspects the raw bytes of a DOC file. The library is able to derive the runs of character formatting from this analysis. This library only works with DOC files (inspection of runs of character formatting is available in DOCX via XPath), so all files must be saved as DOC before the VBA-based processing flow can be applied.  So, the same processing flow cannot be applied to both Word formats, but only to the DOC format, an inherent constraint of DOC/VBA processing flow.

The new DOCX adapter works around the limitations enumerated above by leaving the original DOCX file in its native format. It uses a combination of DOM manipulation and XSL to produce the ePublisher intermediate files. The effect is that formatting information derived from DOCX files is more correct and complete.

There are some growing pains associated with this new approach. The DOCX processing flow is not as mature as the DOC processing flow. There are a number of issues with the DOCX adapter as of the 2011.4 release, which we are working to address. As of the 2011.4 release, intermediate patches are being made available for the DOCX processing flow which address these issues more immediately than the regular quarterly release interval. Following is a link to the page from which these intermediate patches are available:

http://wiki.webworks.com/Updates/DocxUpdates

There are a number of natural advantages to the DOCX adapter. Because of the problems with character style runs, the DOC adapter is forever tied to legacy 32-bit code. The DOCX adapter has no such limitation. It represents a viable path toward 64-bit binaries. Also, the speed and memory performance of the DOCX implementation are far superior to the DOC implementation, which improves the scalability ceiling of the DOCX format. Finally, while there are no current plans to make the needed changes, the fact that DOCX is open (doesn’t require Word in order to read and manipulate) opens the potential of the format to be used across platforms.

WebWorks version 2011.2

Posted on: July 15th, 2011

The WebWorks team is hard at work developing ePublisher version 2011.2.  Stay tuned to www.webworks.com for more information about this exiting release and its new features.

WebWorks Tips and Tricks: Transform Static Content into Engaging Web Pages

Posted on: July 1st, 2011

Click the links below to view WebWorks’ Latest Tips and Tricks.  Learn how to fully utilize WebWorks Reverb and its Disqus integration to turn your online help or published content into an engaging and interactive web page that will make your end users swoon.

STEP 1: Add WebWorks Reverb to your ePublisher Pro Project >>

STEP 2: Enable Disqus in your Format Settings >>

Happy Snowman Donut Award

Posted on: February 1st, 2011

ePublisher 2010.3 shipped on January 13th, 2011.  Those of us in Development gave a big sigh of relief.  And our favorite Sales manager, Christopher Ward, presented me with the coveted “Happy Snowman Donut” Award.

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TIPS & TRICKS ARCHIVE #2 – ePublisher Reports

Posted on: September 27th, 2010

ePublisher is not just about converting your content from one format to another. While automating the publishing process by separating it from the authoring process is one of our key objectives, another is helping you develop the most efficient high quality output possible. To do this we generate reports on what ePublisher is doing and the status of your documentation at every stage of the production pipeline.

Using these reports you can easily find, and correct errors, as well as continue to fine tune your process to ensure that you deliver the best content in the most efficient manner possible.

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But I’m not a developer!

Posted on: September 9th, 2010

I lack objectivity when it comes to programming. I enjoy it. Programming is problem solving. It almost always includes a reasonable explanation. Programming involves building things, and fixing and refining the things that you build.

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