Evaluating ePublisher Express Instead of Pro

Find out how to try out Express before moving into Pro.

by Ben Allums
December 18, 2007

Today, I would like to briefly explain a change in the process for evaluating ePublisher that began with the 9.3 release. The change was to have users download and install the component called: ePublisher Express instead of ePublisher Pro. The motivation being to more gradually introduce new users to the powerful design capabilities built into ePublisher by starting with the easiest to configure component first, and then progressing to the Pro component once it is determined that users are ready to create their own Stationery for doing production work.

So how do I use Express without my own Stationery?

Try out one of the example stationeries located at: ~My Documents\ePublisher Stationery

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install ePublisher Express.
  2. Navigate to the folder: My Documents\ePublisher Stationery and unzip the example files. This will create 3 example stationeries, each in a subfolder.
  3. Launch Express and create a new project, using any one of the example stationery files.
  4. Add your own documentation files to the project and generate all. For more information, see the tutorial here.

So then what?

First of all, note that this is a “one size shoe fits all” stationery, which has been configured to loosely work with many different types of documents and source files. However, it is not intended for production work and at a minimum will require some styling work before it will match your own requirements.

Next, experiment with creating projects using Express and your own documentation files. Take a look at the results for different output formats. Then determine the following:

  1. What format(s) are right for your needs?

    • WebWorks Help 5.0
    • Dynamic HTML
    • JavaHelp
    • PDF
    • ...
  2. What behavior does your output require:

    • Topic splitting
    • Drop down text
    • Pop up windows
    • Context-sensitive linking
    • Client-side search
    • Integrated PDF
    • ...
  3. What style changes are required?

    • Page styling
    • Graphic styling
    • Paragraph styling
    • Table styling
    • ...

Using this information, you are now ready to create your own Stationery using the ePublisher Pro component. This component works similarly to Express except that it allows you to perform a Save As Stationery operation, which creates your own Stationery for use with Express and AutoMap.

Note: Now you only have one more decision. Does your team require a completely hands-off process that integrates with your select VC/CM system?