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HTML authoring software for creating a FAQ

Posted on 2004-03-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
I am looking for an application to help author a FAQ compilation (HTML).

Requrements:
- Should take care of section/subsection/question numbering.
- Should create a "table of contents" based on the numbering.
- Should allow easy internal (between questions) and external linking.
- Should allow creating the FAQ as a single HTML page or as several sections.
-
- The end result should look good on all reasonably modern browsers.

Basically, I need an HTML authoring package that has very good support for nested numbering levels.

For this task, I will have access to Frontpage 2000, NetObjects Fusion 7 and Visual Studio.NET 2003.
If one of these packages fits the bill, great.

Otherwise, please suggest another option.
Freeware is preferred, low-cost shareware comes next followed by expensive shareware -- I like the "try before you buy" concept.

Thanks.
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Question by:alexo
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7 Comments
 
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

by:
KenAdney earned 300 total points
ID: 10785007
To keep it as simple as can be, if the whole FAQ is going to be a single page, why not just use Word and Save As HTML?  The numbering section/subsection will be a piece of cake, it can automatically build the table of contents and hyperlink the table of contents to the questions.  True, the end resulting code is needlessly complex but you can use the free MS Office HTML filter to simplify the code.

I'm sure a better solution is to use a database driven system, but Word would be mighty easy.
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:alexo
ID: 10785860
> if the whole FAQ is going to be a single page
It has already become too large for a single page so I'd like to split it.

> you can use the free MS Office HTML filter to simplify the code.
Interesting idea, I'll look into it.

I prefer something that can handle single and multiple pages.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:ericpete
ID: 10907820
"... too large for a single page so I'd like to split it...."

Word can handle that. Ordinarily, I'd shudder at the idea of using Word to create an HTML page, but Ken's right -- you can always clean it up later using either the filter or a simple text editor.

But look at EE's help page... it has a bunch of sections, all internally linked, and it started out as a bunch of separate pages. That's the nice thing about HTML pages -- if your TOC is good, then you don't really need to worry about how long the page is.

ep
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:alexo
ID: 10907879
> That's the nice thing about HTML pages -- if your TOC is good, then you don't really need to worry about how long the page is.

I disagree.  I find it easier to peruse such documents if they are split into more manageble pieces.

Take http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite as an example. It is a very large FAQ but navigation is pretty easy.  Incidently, I emailed the author and he told me he uses a custom-tailored perl script to manage the FAQ which has borderline usability and is overdue for an update...
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:ericpete
ID: 10907920
Okay, then we'll agree to disagree.

I find having to go back and forth between multiple documents an annoyance. But it's really pretty much an academic question; either way, Ken's suggestion of using Word will work. You'll just have to clean up the HTML after you create it.

ep
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LVL 11

Author Comment

by:alexo
ID: 10907960
> Ken's suggestion of using Word will work. You'll just have to clean up the HTML after you create it.

Not an optiman solution but if I don't get any better answers soon I'll accept it.

By the way, why are your comments marked as "administrative"?
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:ericpete
ID: 10908023
Because I wasn't paying attention... *wince*... PE privileges used for testing and I forget that I have them.
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