Documentation for the AscToHTM conversion utility

This documentation can be downloaded as part of the documentation set in .zip format (370k)

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The HTML version of this document has - of course - been produced using AscToHTM itself. No post-processing has been done to the HTML pages produced. The contents list, the navigation bar and all the hyperlinks have been generated from a single source file a2hdoco.txt and a number of small configuration files.

The source text file for this manual is over 5,000 lines and still growing having spawned the 6,500 line Policy manual and a 3,800 line Tag manual. See section 6.1 of this document to see a list of the actual files involved.

Any RTF version has been generated by the new text-to-RTF program AscToRTF which uses the same analysis engine as AscToHTM.

This document describes AscToHTM version 4.1, which is available from August 2001 onwards.

  1 Introduction
1.1 AscToHTM's design objectives
1.1.1 Intelligent analysis.
1.1.2 Human-readable HTML
1.1.3 Simple user input
1.1.4 Standards compliance.
1.2 Expected uses of AscToHTM
1.3 Other uses of AscToHTM
  2 Installation
2.1 VMS installation
2.2 Windows installation
2.2.1 Install/uninstall version
2.2.2 Simple .ZIP file version
2.2.3 Console application
  3 How AscToHTM works
3.1 The big assumption
3.2 The analysis pass
3.3 The collating pass
3.4 The output pass
3.4.1 Generating HTML
3.4.2 Generating a contents list
3.4.3 Splitting the document into many HTML pages
3.4.4 Generating a set of FRAMES
3.4.5 Generating HTML for the Windows clipboard
  4 Running AscToHTM
4.1 Windows version
4.1.1 Launching the program Normal activation Execution from a command line Drag'n'Drop execution Output to the Windows clipboard
4.1.2 Using the Windows Interface Doing a straightforward conversion The File menu The Conversion options menu The Settings menu The Language menu The View menu The Help menu
4.1.3 Program settings Documentation Diagnostics Drag and drop execution Results viewers Use of policy files
4.1.4 Language support Existing translations Adding translations using "Language skins"
4.2 VMS and console application versions
4.2.1 Command line arguments
4.2.2 Command line qualifiers The /COMMA qualifier The /CONSOLE qualifier The /CONTENTS qualifier The /DEBUG and /LIST qualifiers The /DOS qualifier The /INDEX qualifier The /LOG[=filespec] qualifier The /OUT=filespec qualifier The /POLICY qualifier The /SILENT qualifier The /SIMPLE qualifier The /TABBED qualifier The /TABLE qualifier
4.3 Getting the most from AscToHTM
4.3.1 Making your first attempt From the command line From Windows
4.3.2 Refining your results Using a policy file Using a link dictionary Using multiple policy files Creating DOS-compatible files Use the pre-processor and in-line tags
4.3.3 Processing several files at once Using wildcards Using a steering command file
4.3.4 Generating log files
4.4 Other tips and tricks
4.4.1 General
4.4.2 Link dictionary
4.4.3 Contents List detection
4.4.4 Using "Send to" in Windows 95/NT
4.4.5 Tables
4.4.6 Using desktop icons and policy files
  5 HTML markup produced
5.1 Text layout
5.1.1 Indentation
5.1.2 Hanging paragraph indents
5.1.3 Bullets Bullet chars Numbered bullets Alphabetic bullets Roman Numeral bullets
5.1.4 Centred text
5.1.5 Definitions Definition lines Definition paragraphs
5.2 Text formatting
5.2.1 Quoted lines
5.2.2 Emphasis
5.2.3 Fonts
5.2.4 Special characters
5.3 Added hyperlinks
5.3.1 Contents List lines
5.3.2 Cross-references
5.3.3 URLs
5.3.4 Usenet Newsgroups
5.3.5 E-mail addresses
5.3.6 User-specified keywords
5.3.7 Other sections and URLs
5.4 Section headings
5.4.1 Numbered headings
5.4.2 Capitalised headings
5.4.3 Underlined headings
5.4.4 Embedded headings
5.4.5 Key phrase headings
5.4.6 Numbered paragraphs
5.4.7 Mail and USENET headers
5.5 Pre-formatted text
5.5.1 Lines and form feeds
5.5.2 User defined pre-formatted text
5.5.3 Automatically detected pre-formatted text Tables Code samples Ascii art and diagrams Text blocks Other formatted text
5.6 Added value markup
5.6.1 Document Title
5.6.2 Contents lists Contents lists in default conversions Contents lists in conversions to a single HTML file Contents lists in conversions to multiple HTML files Contents lists in conversions to frames
5.6.3 Directory page
5.6.4 Headers, footers and JavaScript
5.6.5 HTML fragments
  6 Using Document Policy files
6.1 An example conversion
6.2 Analysis policies
6.2.1 Overview ("look for") policies
6.2.2 General Layout policies
6.2.3 Bullet policies
6.2.4 Contents analysis policies
6.2.5 File Structure policies
6.2.6 Heading policies
6.2.7 Pre-formatted text policies
6.2.8 Table analysis policies
6.3 Output policies
6.3.1 Added HTML policies
6.3.2 Cascading Style sheet policies (CSS)
6.3.3 Contents generation policies
6.3.4 Document Colour policies
6.3.5 Directory Page policies
6.3.6 File generation policies
6.3.7 Font policies
6.3.8 Frames policies
6.3.9 Hyperlink policies
6.3.10 Link Dictionary policies
6.3.11 Preprocessor policies
6.3.12 HTML styling policies
6.3.13 Table Generation policies
6.3.14 Miscellaneous policies
6.4 Settings policies
6.4.1 Error reporting
6.5 Saving and loading policy files
6.5.1 Overview
6.5.2 Generating policy files for your document Partial policy files Full policy files
6.5.3 Naming policy files
  7 Using the preprocessor
7.1 Directives
7.1.1 Marking up sections of text
7.1.2 Commands that influence the <HEAD>..</HEAD> of a file
7.1.3 One line pre-processor commands
7.1.4 The TABLE commands
7.1.5 The CHANGE_POLICY command
7.1.6 Block definition
7.1.7 HTML Fragments
7.2 In-line tags
7.2.1 Format of in-line tags
7.2.2 Summary of in-line tags
  8 Frames
8.1 Overview
8.2 The frames generated
8.2.1 The master <FRAMESET> document
8.2.2 The "main" frame
8.2.3 The "contents" frame
8.2.4 The "header" and "footer" frames Non-frames use of HTML headers "main" frame header "header" frame
8.3 Using policies to control the frame structure
8.4 Using HTML fragments to override frame contents
8.5 NOFRAMES tag and NOFRAMES link
8.5.1 The "NOFRAMES" hyperlink
8.5.2 The <NOFRAMES> tag
8.5.3 Generating frames and non-frames versions
8.6 Hyperlink targets
8.7 Splitting large files
8.8 Selecting "Output HTML as a set of FRAMES" in the Windows version
  9 Purchasing AscToHTM, and contacts on the web
9.1 Purchasing AscToHTM
9.1.1 Why should I purchase AscToHTM?
9.1.2 What happens if I don't register the shareware version of AscToHTM?
9.1.3 Can't I get something for nothing?
9.1.4 I'm convinced. How to I purchase AscToHTM?
9.2 Contacts on the Web
9.2.1 The home page
9.2.2 E-mail
9.2.3 Support
  10 Known problems
10.1 Bug reports
10.2 Features
10.3 Coming soon... or not.
  11 Change History
11.1 Version 4.1 (August 2001)
11.1.1 New functions
11.1.2 Other Changes
11.2 Version 4 (May 2001)
11.2.1 New functions
11.2.2 Other changes
11.3 Version 3.3 (June 2000)
11.3.1 New functions
11.3.2 Other changes
11.4 Version 3.2 (October '99)
11.4.1 New functions
11.4.2 Other changes
11.5 Version 3.0 (August '98)
11.5.1 New functions
11.5.2 Other changes
11.6 Version 2.3 (late April '98)
11.6.1 New functions
11.6.2 Other changes
11.7 Version 2.20 (Feb '98)
11.7.1 New functions
11.7.2 Other changes
11.8 Version 2.10 (never officially released)
11.8.1 New functions
11.8.2 Other changes
11.9 Version 2.00 (October '97)
11.9.1 New functions
11.9.2 Other changes
11.10 Version 1.1 (August '97)
11.10.1 New functions
11.10.2 Other changes
11.11 Version 1.05 (late July '97)
11.11.1 New functions
11.11.2 Other changes
11.12 Version 1.04 (early July '97)
11.12.1 New functions
11.12.2 Other changes
11.13 Version 1.01 (April '97)

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Valid HTML 4.0! Converted from a single text file by AscToHTM
© 1997-2001 John A Fotheringham
Converted by AscToHTM