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The Office Letter
Blink Section - Product Reviews

From Volume 3, Number 18
(October 20, 2003)


WordToWeb 2.5

Solutionsoft's WordToWeb 2.5 ($299) takes up where Word's "Save as HTML" feature leaves off. You create a project and specify the files you want to turn into a Web site (or collection of Web pages), choose from among the dozens of options (though the defaults will probably suffice), and W2W takes it from there.

W2W does more than just turn .DOC text into HTML code. It can break long documents into linked pages, add navigation buttons, create a collapsible table of contents and an index, and turn cross-references into hyperlinks. By using a template, you can even generate HTML code that conforms to your existing site's look and feel.

W2W inspects your Word document and makes a variety of conversions. For example, it can take an e-mail address and turn it into a mail-to link, convert Word index entries into an online index (including secondary index entries -- the entries that are indented from the main index entry), and put the table of contents and index into a frame for easy navigation. The program will convert Word graphics into GIF files and footnotes and end notes into hyperlinks. You can also set up a list of words or phrases that W2W will translate into a hyperlink or e-mail address.

For simple documents, you can use the “Convert Document to HTML” command W2W installation adds to Word's File menu. The dialog box lets you choose the layout template (the product ships with four different "looks," -- samples are on the company's Web site) and specify which Heading level triggers a separate HTML file (the default is Heading 1, referring to the built-in Word style). If you choose Heading 1, for instance, W2W divides your document into separate HTML files every time it encounters Heading-1-tagged text. For longer documents, you might want individual HTML files created for every section of text underneath a Heading 1 or Heading 2 designation.

If your document is more complicated than, say, a two-page company news announcement, you'll want to use the seven-step wizard. The level of control W2W provides is quite overwhelming -- in a good way -- and the wizard has logically organized these options. There are too many options to describe here, but suffice it to say, you can control all the import features, from the background color or graphic to the font size and format (bold, italic) of table of content entries. You can convert Word styles into different formats, such as turning Heading 1 text into bold 18-point Arial. You can set the link display properties (color and font for active links, for example), specify custom graphics for horizontal rules, and override the text on the navigation buttons (or create a navigation bar instead). If your document has tables, you can specify border colors and thickness, cell spacing and padding, and set the format of text within table cells.

W2W supports frames, cascading style sheets, and JavaScript, too, and can convert documents from Word 95 (yes, that far back) through 2002. Since Word 2003's file format remains compatible with Word 2002, the program should have no trouble with Word 2003 documents.

HTML files aren't all W2W can produce. You can build a Microsoft HTML Help system, too. For industrial-strength projects, W2W lets you convert multiple projects and documents in batch mode.

W2W does a yeoman's job of taking your Word document's formatting and turning it into smart-looking Web pages. With excellent, granular control and remarkable speed, even your most complicated documents should look good once W2W has done its job. You'll never look at "Save as HTML" the same way again.

For more information, or to download a trial copy, visit http://www.solutionsoft.com/w2w.htm.

-- James E. Powell

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