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Compose/Edit Locally then publish to SharePoint Site

    Question

  • Sorry for the cross-posting ... This applies to both/either SP 2010 or 2013

    Here is our current process.  

    1. Our Technical Writer creates MSWord-document job-aids with headings, tables, lists and screenshots to show the steps to complete common procedures (e.g. How to fill out an expense report).  Screenshots are captured and altered using desktop software, then pasted into the Word file.
    2. The document is saved locally, converted to PDF and the PDF saved to a SharePoint Document Library
    3. Either:
    • Users visit our internal company SharePoint site Document Library and download the PDF Documents, or
    • We send out links to documents in newsletters, personal emails or Lync chats

    In the past, these documents would have also been printed, bound together and used as part of training.  We are quickly progressing past that paradigm.  Our users are much more comfortable with accessing documentation online.  I want to get out of the "PDF" and printing business all together.

    We have looked into re-creating all of these job-aids in SharePoint's KnowledgeBase template but due to the significant number of screenshots that we employ having to save each screenshot separately, upload to a folder, then to embed in the Knowledgebase template article is a significant increase in total effort.

    Ultimately what I want is a solution where:

    1. Our Technical Writer can create a procedure locally including cut/paste images
    2. The procedure can be saved/published to our SharePoint site with images being named/saved/uploaded automatically
    3. Users can search/browse/link to the procedure
    4. If changes need to be made, the Technical writer can open it in the local application (return to Step 1).

    Having some workflow (such as copy editing or manager approval stages), user ratings/comments, metadata/keywords, etc. would be icing on the cake.

    In the "old days" I would be able to crack open Adobe Dreamweaver or MSFrontPage, set up a site template and do almost all of this except the images still had to be saved first -- but that was when there were a million variables in terms of the webserver.  With a fully integrated Microsoft set of tools, I am hoping there is some combination of Sharepoint, Word, Sharepoint Designer and/or InfoPath that can meet my needs.

    BTW, we are currently using SharePoint 2007, but will be upgrading to 2013 soon (OR I can migrate to SP2010 if it will work, too) -- which if I can find a workable solution, I can start budgeting my team's time for the migration to a new paradigm.  Thanks

    Thursday, August 14, 2014 8:23 PM

Answers

  • lots of options here.  first, you could just use publishing and then the only thing standard users can view are published documents, whereas site owners can edit pages/documents and work with the unpublished draft and publish when wanted.

    also, if you want to automate the word-pdf process, 2010/2013 have word automation service app.  the demo and code sample for using automation services is a snippet that does word-pdf conversions: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/ff181518(v=office.14).aspx

    ideally, in 2013, you have cross site publishing abilities.  you could basically allow your writer to edit the list items in the source site and when published, they are presented in any way you like using display templates on the destination: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj635883(v=office.15).aspx

    ...realistically, for your current process, I think just enabling publishing would work for what you want.  sharepoint only indexes fully published content and users only see published content (unless they have perms ot edit it), so it should work great.  combined with word automation(requires 2010+, but the same code/config either way), you could keep the docs as pdfs for archival purposes if desired.  although sharepoint will keep previous versions if you want, so keeping the pdfs for archive isn't as necessary.


    Christopher Webb | Microsoft Certified Master: SharePoint 2010 | Microsoft Certified Solutions Master: SharePoint Charter | Microsoft Certified Trainer| http://christophermichaelwebb.com

    Thursday, August 14, 2014 9:59 PM