[thelist] Posting Word Documents Vs. Creating Web Pages (Intranet)

fstorr fffrancis at fstorr.demon.co.uk
Tue Oct 8 14:02:01 CDT 2002

I manage an Intranet and for a while have been thinking about the
question.   I am often provided Word or Excel documents and asked to
them to the Intranet.  Since we are in a managed environment there are
no issues of access - everyone has common operating environment (COE).
So the question is should I post the documents as Word documents or
convert them to web pages.

The benefit that I find of converting them is that they load faster and
look more webby.  The downside is that I have to convert them and
reformat them which takes time as well as the fact that I have to manage
changes to the documents whenever they are desired.



Word/Powerpoint/Excel documents on my company's intranet are the bane of
my life!  I hate them!  I would strongly suggest converting them, and
here's the reasons:

1: Word etc do not produce valid code and puts all kinds of rubbish into
the page (just look at the jargon Excel puts into any table cell in a
time or monetary value in)

Think that's not an issue?  What happens if your company decides to swap
from IE to NS?  You could well be looking at an unusable intranet.
Also, do you employ someone who is disabled?  If you don't, you may well
do in the future.  How well do you think that Word html stands up
against the rigours of the WAI?  Just because most of the high profile
legislation at the moment covers internet sites, you can bet that any
employment legislation will in some form cover intranets.  In the UK it
appears to be covered by the DDA 1995 Act which covers employment rights
for disabled for companies with more than 15 employees.  You've got all
the "normal" disabled access items such as ramps, toilets etc, but what
about your intrat.  If your guys need that to do their job and it's not
accessible, you could well be in trouble.  You're going to have to make
changes to your code to comply with the WAI, so why not strip out all
that useless code at the same time?

2: The files are vastly bigger than they need to be - you can generally
reduce a Word document by at least 50% by CSSing it.

Why have massive pages full of terrible code?  At some point they're
going to be edited from the code, unless you're never going to touch
them.  The pages will load quicker and will look better if you strip out
that terrible code that gets generated by the save as html wizard('s
sleeve (reference for Roger Mellie fans)).

Please don't just use MS generated html.  Have some pride in your



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