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22.30 Generating the FAQ in your favorite format

Q: How can I generate the FAQ list in a format I'm used to?

A: First, I suggest to check whether the FAQ is already available in your format. The FAQ distribution includes the Info, plain-ASCII (text), and HTML (one large .html file) versions of the FAQ list. (Personally, I recommend to use the Info version, because Info readers generally have superior search facilities.) More formats will be available as the tools for their generation are developed/tested.

If you prefer to read the FAQ list as hard-copy, get faq230p.zip from the same place. It includes the FAQ in PostScript and PCL formats; the former is for printing on a PostScript printer, the latter is for the LaserJet series. Be warned: the FAQ is a large document, more than 200 printed pages. faqNNNp.zip also includes a .dvi file which you can print or view using one of the available DVI drivers and previewers, such as Ghostscript or dvivga.

If none of these formats is good enough for you, you will need to get the FAQ sources and convert them into the format of your liking. The sources of the latest version of this FAQ list are on SimTel. This includes the FAQ sources themselves (written in Texinfo), and all the auxiliary tools required to produce all the formats in faqNNNb.zip and faqNNNp.zip.

Once you download the sources, you will need one or more of the tools listed below to generate the FAQ list in other formats.

A program called Makertf can reportedly be used to convert a Texinfo sources of this FAQ to the Rich File Format which can then either be browsed by an RTF browser (such as Adobe Acrobat) or converted into a Windows Help file with a Windows Help compiler. The Windows Help Compiler is available via anonymous ftp from the Microsoft ftp site. I'm told that the Windows Help compiler, hcp, issues a lot of warnings when it runs on Makertfs output, but these warnings can be safely ignored.

A derivative of TeX called PDFTeX can be used to generate a PDF file from TeX sources. This means that a Texinfo source can also be submitted to PDFTeX, but I didn't try that. PDFTeX was ported to DJGPP and can be downloaded from its home site via FTP. Another option for generating a PDF version of the FAQ is to use the DviPDFm program which can convert the FAQ in the DVI format (included in the faqNNNp.zip distribution) into a PDF file. DviPDFm is available with several TeX distributions and can be compiled with DJGPP.

There's also a program called INFNG that can be used to convert the Info (not Texinfo) version of the FAQ to the Norton Guide format. INFNG is available from the DJGPP archives.

If you know about any format not mentioned above that can be generated using widely available tools, please drop me a note so I could update this list and consider that format or those tools for inclusion in a future release of the FAQ. If you develop any such tools, consider uploading them to a site where they will be publicly available, and tell me about that site.

Note that the FAQ sources are heavy users of the Texinfo macro facility, so any conversion program that doesn't support Texinfo macros will probably have hard time coping with the FAQ. When confronted with this problem, try feeding the converter with the macro-expanded version of the FAQ (the Makefile in the source distribution has a special target for such cases).



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  Copyright 2001   by Eli Zaretskii     Updated Apr 2001