Book length doc with lots of graphics -- recommendations?

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Book length doc with lots of graphics -- recommendations?

Post by rwallx »

I have a book length technical document (~300 pages, 70,000 words, 220 MB) with hundreds of embedded graphics (mostly pdf format), text boxes, and mathType equations that was created in Pages. Some of the graphics are in-line but the vast majority, for formatting sake, are set up to move with text but cause word wrap around the graphics. Pages is actually remarkably snappy in opening, displaying, scrolling, etc. in page layout view. It would, however, be nice to use some of NWP's long document creation tools for this document.

I am well aware that converting the document and reformatting will be a huge amount of work; my question, however, is if I do all that work will it have been worth it? Or, will the document created be so incredibly slow to open, crash-prone, or unusable that the effort will have been completely wasted ? Are there successful strategies for breaking such a project up into smaller, chapter-sized chunks while still realizing the benefits of a book length document such as a single index for the entire work, table of contents for the entire work, cross-referencing to different chapters etc.

Thanks for any advice from the collective wisdom of the forum!

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Re: Book length doc with lots of graphics -- recommendations

Post by mycroft »

I, too, am interested in this long-document topic, although I am in the creating-in-NWP stage, not importing from elsewhere.

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Joined: 2013-05-03 07:06:31

Re: Book length doc with lots of graphics -- recommendations

Post by Vanceone »

So I don't have experience with truly long documents, but I do have experience with documents loaded down with embedded full page PDF images. Nisus handles those fine. RTF is a robust document format, and a properly formatted RTF document has no issues with what you are describing.

On your 16 Gig RAM macbook pro Nisus shouldn't have any problem with a 220 MB file. Heck, Nisus 6.5 from the classic Mac OS days was renowned for being able to handle documents like this.

That said, your document will be pushing the limits of any word processor. I have heard of documents in the thousands of pages that have been kept running for years with edits that start having problems. Think of a running diary. Sometimes the best solution is to just copy everything and paste it into a new document to clean up the cruft.

My recommendation, honestly, is to work on a large, complex document like these in stages. Write the text in chapters, insert your figures/graphics, but forget about numbering and so forth. Once the text is written. then copy everything into one document, and then use the index or table commands; essentially on a clean slate.

I write large complicated documents with tables, sections, and indexes all the time, and I always wait until the main text is done to start messing with the book tools; just so I don't waste time creating something i have to delete later; and also so I don't introduce unnecessary complexity too early. Better safe than sorry! Of course, Nisus is better than most other word processors in this area, but for long complex technical documents any word processor is more at risk of corruption.

There's a reason LaTex is popular among the scientific literature crowd, after all. But that's a higher order of complexity and its own can of worms.

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Re: Book length doc with lots of graphics -- recommendations

Post by ptram »

I've not tried (and can't try at the moment), but I would explore with the RTFD file format on Nisus. Its structure is similar to the one of Pages, that is, an RTF file and a directory containing the illustrations as external files. This should be at the same time faster and more reliable.

Again, I've not tried it.


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