If everyone in your department—better yet, your organization—formatted documents following all the rules (they don’t—don’t even pretend they do), document conversion would be quick and easy. It’s neither. It’s not quick because most content creators break existing rules, prefer to develop their own personal style (“I do it this way because…”) or workarounds, and it’s not easy because authors find creative ways to achieve the same goals (making a font bold instead of using a formatting style, for example). As a result, automated document conversion tools—necessary as they are—can’t alone tackle your content conversion challenges.
People don’t “always” read manuals, they take shortcuts, break your rules, and sometimes they even use software in ways never conceived by the developers. In this Finding the Hidden Trouble Spots in Your Content: Michael Gross on Content Conversion, Gross reveals the hidden traps that can ambush a conversion effort. Read the entire piece to find out how automated conversion of legacy content can help you avoid costly data re-entry expenses, and learn why setting realistic expectations for your content conversion project will lead to project success. The most successful efforts are a hybrid approach in which humans and software work together to convert legacy content.
“Expect to put in a fair amount of manual effort,” Gross says, “to check the results of your automated conversion and to address those issues that the conversion could not handle properly.”