Offer readers both PDF and HTML editions of your work and they will love you.
PDF is the ideal medium for preserving your document's look. HTML is a better choice for distributing your document's data. Your source document can give you both, as shown in Figure 4-4.
PDF does have newer features for tagging document data, allowing it to behave somewhat like HTML. However, PDF tagging can double your file size. Also, only a few, proprietary programs are able to tease the tagged data out of a PDF. Consider attaching alternative editions or even attaching the source document to your PDF [Hack #54] instead of tagging.
In Word 2002 and 2003 you can save your document as a web page or a filtered web page. A Word web page includes extra document information in case you want to edit it in Word later. A filtered web page omits this extra information, making it more suitable for distribution.
If you have been making changes, save your source document now (File Save). Otherwise, your changes will be lost.
Select File Save As . . . .
In the "Save as type" drop-down box, select Web Page, Filtered.
A dialog will open, warning you that this format doesn't contain Word's special tags. Confirm that this is acceptable by clicking Yes.
The side effect of this Save As . . . operation is that you are no longer editing the source document in Word. Instead, you are editing the filtered HTML document you just created. Close this document, because you should make edits only to the source.
Customize HTML output options by selecting Tools Options . . . General Web Options . . . . For example, you can enable old-fashioned HTML 3.2 text styling by disabling Rely on CSS for Font Formatting.
Word 2000 does not have a built-in Save As Filtered Web Page option. You must download and install the Office 2000 HTML Filter 2.0 component from Microsoft:
This adds an Export to Compact HTML feature to Word 2000. It also includes a standalone program for filtering Word's special tags out of existing HTML.
From Word, select File Export To Compact HTML . . . . After you create the HTML, your source document remains open in Word (unlike using Save As . . . in Word 2002, as noted earlier).
Customize HTML output options by selecting Tools Options . . . General Web Options . . . . For example, you can enable HTML 3.2 text styling by unchecking the Rely on CSS for Font Formatting checkbox.
Word:Mac does not have a built-in Save As Filtered Web Page option, but it does include a Save Only Display Information option under File Save As Web Page that accomplishes a similar result. The Web Options button on that dialog also enables you to choose how some aspects of web page creation are handled.
wvWare can convert Microsoft Word documents to several formats, including HTML. It is a command-line tool developed on Linux that has been ported to Windows. It is free software and can be found at http://wvware.sourceforge.net.
Like Word 2002, StarOffice enables you to Save As . . . HTML, but it then replaces the currently open source document with the new HTML document. Close this new document because you should edit only the source.
Customize HTML output options from Tools Options . . . Load/Save, especially the HTML Compatibility section. I like to set the HTML Compatibility Export to HTML 3.2 when creating material for handheld reading.