QText Version 8.0 Help Notes
Web Creation Notes for "Bitmap" HTML Generator
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First, some general comments:
One of the most unique features of QText is its automatic HTML generator which works with all of the Yiddish fonts. The manufacturer does warn that it is expected that users are already familiar with basic HTML coding and the creation and handling of HTML documents, and that users already know how to publish web pages. I agree with this assessment. Please note that I am not an HTML professional, only an amateur, but I found this tool fairly easy to use, once I figured out the following notes. I feel that anyone who has ever created and published any kind of web page before can use this facility with success.
The program can create three types of HTML documents. Two of the types require special browsers to view, which most Americans do not have. I have only worked with the third type, which they call Bitmap. When I first heard of QTexts Bitmap HTML, I was afraid that it would create *.BMP files which are normally very large and would take too long to download from the web. Fortunately, that is not the case. They use the term Bitmap to refer generically to a graphic format. Yiddish is rendered for web pages in a series of GIF files, one for each paragraph of text. The files are line art (black and white only) transparent 1-bit GIF files. It is good that they are only black and white, because they take the least memory. Transparent means that you can put a Background image on a web page, and the background will show through the white area, making the image appear to a reader as if it is true text, rather than a graphic image. The file size appears to be further minimized by making the resolution appropriate for display on a one-to-one dot/pixel ratio on the screen.
The trade-off is that text in GIF files does not print as sharply as one would like on a printer. Thats because most printers use 300-600 dots per inch, and most screen displays average only 100 pixels or so per viewable inch. Thats why its always a little rough on the eyes to read from a monitor for a long time. If you compare carefully, the printout from one of these GIF-based web pages is not really any worse than what you see on the screen, even within QText or any Word Processor (even MS Word). Naturally, you get the best printout by printing from within QText because it can render an image with DPI to match your printer. Im sure it is possible to manipulate the GIF images in a graphics program to make higher resolution images for printing, but these files would be too large (in terms of bytes) to be feasible for people to download from the web. Thats the tradeoff. We dont have this problem with English text because its real text, not a graphic image of text, which the computer can render at a resolution to match a printer. QText states on their web page that theyre working to create a downloadable font which anyone could use on a normal (non-Israeli) browser to read Yiddish in a text mode on the web. This is something to look forward to. In the meantime, I feel that the GIF option is reasonably good, and is far better than nothing.
1. There is a bug in the program which can cause the GIF files to cut off text at the edge. You may not see this problem right away because it only occurs in instances where the word wrapping happens very close to the edge of a margin. For example, if word-wrap causes a long word to wrap, you might have a nice chunk of empty space at the end of the line, so there is no problem, but if word-wrap happens to fall differently, there could be a problem. This problem has been reported to Dvir, so hopefully theyll fix it someday. Meanwhile, you can work around it by always following these simple steps:
a. If you have already created your text, go Edit/Select All. (If you are starting a new document, the following step may be sufficient.)
b. Look at the Ruler at the top of the screen. The red lines are supposed to indicate the page width, but they actually indicate the usable (printable) page width; i.e., the actual page width minus the margins which are defined for the document in Document/Page Layout/PageSize. In any case, although one would reasonably expect this usable page size to be usable, it is not so when it comes to the HTML/BitMap Version generator. So, after selecting all the text, you must drag all the Black Triangle/Arrows (paragraph markers) on the ruler so that they are inside of the Red Lines by say 1/4 inch, on both sides.
c. If any text sneaks outside the Black Triangles, just go Edit/Select All and then Document/Reformat Document.
2. It is recommended, at least at the beginning, to create a separate directory for each HTML file, because this routine will actually create many files for each document the HTML document itself, plus a GIF file for every paragraph, etc. Actually, each of the GIF files is labeled with the first four letters of your html document file name, so as long as the first four characters of your HTML file name are unique, you can save more than one within a directory. Obviously, four characters is pretty limiting, which is why its safer and easier to just make a new folder on your hard drive every time you want to generate a new HTML document. (Hey, folders are cheap.)
Heres how it works. You create a *.QTW document. You can print it, edit it, whatever you want. You can save your *.QTW documents anywhere you want, with no special file management considerations, just like a *.DOC file from Word. Note: You should always save a regular *.QTW document in addition to the HTML file because all subsequent editing of Yiddish text must be done within the QTW document. You update the HTML document by recreating it from within QText and overwriting the old one. (BTW, if you edit the HTML document later, outside of QText, be sure to use Save As so that when/if you do edit the Yiddish text later, your rewrite of the HTML document from within QText won't eliminate your subsequent HTML editing. You can just copy over the text paragraphs that changed into the new edited HTML document.)
Now, you want to generate an HTML document. Ill tell you how in a minute, but first you should understand the file structure, so please read this through first. QText, although it "runs under" Windows-95, is not a Windows-95 program. ( Its a Windows-3.x program, as far as I can tell. So, it lacks a few features you might be otherwise used to. Not terrible, but FYI )
a. Now, just hit the cute little blue and white HTML button at the top. This gives you a drop down menu. Select Create HTML file.
b. By the way, if youre looking for the QText Help file for HTML, you wont find it under Help. Its hiding under Tools/HTML/Help, and it also appears as the last menu item in the drop down menu from the HTML button. You can print it out if you like. Heres what I figured out:
c. File Name is the name you want for your HTML document. Remember you are limited to old DOS file naming conventions maximum 8 characters, no spaces, etc.
d. HTM Directory is the folder on your hard drive where your HTML document and all the GIF files (for the Yiddish paragraphs) will be stored upon creation. I suggest (and Dvir suggests) considering naming a folder with the same name as your *.QTW file, your original QText document. Don't worry if this folder does not yet exist on your hard drive. Just type in the path and folder name that you want, and QText will ask you if you want it created for you, in case it does not already exist.
e. IMG Directory I just leave it blank. The default is as described under (e), above. If you want to separate your GIF files from your HTML document, you can specify the folder to put the image files in here. Remember that QText is automatically naming the GIF files for you (by using first 4 letters of your HTML document name plus sequential numbers) so you might get confused later if you dont keep them together. Just a friendly thought.
f. Select Bitmap under HTML Type.
g. Basically not much else is relevant. Most of the other options apply only to the other types of HTML documents (the kinds that require special browsers). You can spend a lot of time, like I did, trying to figure this out because nothing gets grayed out merely because its not relevant. So, now you know.
There are some exceptions:
1) The word Tapestry actually means HTML Background. You can add a web page background from here if you like (although I personally prefer to do my tweaking outside of QText).
2) Title allows you to put in the HTML Title; i.e., a title that will display at the top of the browser window when people view your web page. If you leave it blank, it creates a standard title that says: "HTML Page Created by QText." Of course, you can always change the title later.
3) Credit adds a little QText button with a link to their site which will appear on your web page. The button is animated and is pretty nifty. Personally, I dont mind leaving it checked, to include it on my pages, because I feel that the more people who purchase QText to use for Yiddish, the more Dvir will support its Yiddish usage. However, because Dvir does not supply the above basic instructions, Im reluctant to send people directly to their site. So, Ive been editing the HTML on my pages to target the QText GIF advertisement to The Yiddish Voice web site (where people can purchase the program from our own Mark David) instead of to Dvirs site. The Yiddish Voice web page does have links to Dvirs site anyway. I found Mark Davids assistance vital when I was first getting started with the program, floundering as I was. Now, Im a happy user.
4) Update Date adds an automatically updating update-date on the web page. I leave this checked, because this is something I routinely add to all my pages anyway,
5) Apply means to save the settings for use next time. (Note to Dvir It would be more clear if it said Save Settings instead of "Apply.") Okay is the button that actually creates the HTML. You wont believe how fast it is.
3. FYI, I had no trouble importing the QText HTML files into Microsoft FrontPage for further editing. I just imported the entire folder.
4. Adding links to HTML files in Bitmap mode - To add Hyper Text links do the following:
a. Select (highlight) the text of the link.
b. Now just hit that cute little blue and white HTML button and select "Add Link".
c. Enter the target URL and press enter. This can be either:
1) a URL to another page; eg., http://www.nnnnn, or
2) a link to a bookmark (anchor) on the same page (Just type #name-of-anchor), or
3) a mail-to email link, so visitors to your page can easily send you email. (Type mailto:youremailaddress.)
Try it. The results are very impressive and easy to create. There is no need to use outside software to make these links. The way it works is that QText creates hotspots within the GIF file for the applicable paragraph, changes the selected text to blue and underlines it so that it looks just like a text hyperlink. (I personally think this is very cool.) While any paragraphs which do not contain hyperlinks are converted into Black-&-White 1-bit GIF files, the paragraphs which do contain hyperlinks are converted into 16-color indexed 4-bit GIF files, which I would consider to be a wise choice in file type, as it minimizes the download time on your web page, yet provides for the blue color when needed for recognizable links.
5. To create a bookmark (anchor) on your page, follow the same procedure as in item 4, above, but when you click the blue and white HTML button, select Add Anchor and just give it a name. By the way, this has nothing to do with QText, but if you want the anchor to be accessed from a different web page, don't put any spaces in the name that you give the anchor.
6. This may seem obvious, but you can make Yiddish hyperlinks another way, as follows. This is more of a hassle and is usually not necessary because of the functionality within QText itself, as described above.
a. Make sure the text is underlined in QText, before generating the HTML, if you want it to appear the same as a standard text link (like in English).
b. Open the GIF file in an image editing program.
c. Crop the text to make into a hyperlink.
d. Save it as a color image the lowest number of colors available.
e. In the image editing program, change black to blue. (exact procedure depends on the program, of course.)
7. If you have inserted some English paragraphs into your document, you may wish to have these paragraphs remain as text (instead of converting to GIF images) when you create the HTML file. To do this:
a. Place you cursor amywhere in the English paragraph.
b. Hit the cute HTML button (or click on Tools/HTML)
c. Select HTML Type - Regular
Later, when you create the Bitmap Type HTML file, the above "Regular" setting will be applied only to that one paragraph. Note that this only works for a complete English paragraph. If you have a paragraph or a table which includes both English and Yiddish, you will get a GIF image for the entire paragraph or table, including the English text within.
8. Here's a discussion about point size, and how your Yiddish text will appear on a GIF (Bitmap) web page.
Background: It seems that everyone viewing web pages has their monitors set at different resolutions. If you want to see the effect, go to your Windows-95 Start button, and hit Settings, Display, Appearance, Settings, Desktop Area. Depending on how much memory you have in your video card, you may be able to increase the number of visable pixels on your monitor. (You have to reboot each time you change these settings to see the effect.) Unfortunately, when most people buy new PC systems, they arrive with the default setting at only 640 X 480. I like to keep my monitor set at 1024 X 768 so that I can see more data on the screen at a time (although I set the same Settings dialog to "Large Fonts" so that the text isn't too terribly tiny). This is the bane of web developers' work. They always say you should design a web page for only 640 X 480 so that material won't scroll off the screen horizontally, and so that people can see everything you want them to see at a glance. However, I can't seem to control my urge to utilize all, or most, of the 1024 X 768 size, and I rationalize that most new systems can be set to handle it. In any case, the point (no pun intended) is that the point size which you see in QText might appear to be a different size in someone's web browser,and even your own, unless you are aware of the following simple instructions:
The short answer: When creating a document in QText which you plan to convert into a GIF (bitmap) web page, you should set QText to display the text at the same screen size that you (or others) will be using to view the web page. If you set the screen size correctly within QText, what you will see in QText will correspond to what you will see in your web browser later:
Adjusting the screen for Bitmap
Dvir says: "The suggested width of the page when creating HTML Bitmap is 6.25 Inch or less, and of course the Paragraph margins must be the same or smaller." Please see notes above. You will need to move the black triangles (paragraph markers) to within 1/4 inch of the page margins before creating the HTML. You can indeed use wider than 6.25 inches, but the text might scroll off the viewer's screen when someone visits your web page with a computer monitor set to a low (eg., 640 X 480) resolution.
The important thing is to properly adjust the screen size:
If you are using a screen resolution of 640x480 select: View/Screen Size/14 Inch.
If you are using a screen resolution of 800x600 select: View/Screen Size/17 Inch.
If you are using a screen resolution of 1024x768 select: View/Screen Size/21 Inch.
Normally under Win95 you can easily set the screen resolution to anything you like. For producing HTML Bitmap, Dvir suggests 800x600 or 640x470.
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Last updated: February 17, 2002 11:06 PM