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The ANT_USER Toolbar
Includes 14 special "User-Defined HTML Tag" Tools. These tools store whatever HTML tags you like. When clicked, the tools surround whatever text you've selected with your own HTML tag preferences. Customize each of the tools via the "CREATE ANT TOOL", described below.


The ANT_SUP Toolbar

If your browser supports JavaScript, you can click on any of the tools on the ANT_SUP Toolbar above to move to the section which describes the tool. Regardless of whether your browser supports JavaScript or not, clicking any of the icons below will transport you back to the top of this page.

Insert Any Document Tool

Opens a dialog box listing all your drives and directories. Select any document, .DOC, .HTM or any other file extension. The tool will insert the file, check to see if it has been inserted properly and if you have selected an HTML file, will replace the standard HTML paragraph marks with Word's paragraph marks. It will then place the cursor back at the original cursor location so that you can begin editing at that point. You may insert multiple files into one Ant document if you like.

Standard Numbered and Unnumbered List Tools
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Auto HTML Start Tool

1. Presents a short series of dialog boxes which take you step by step through the creation of a basic HTML document by inserting the necessary beginning and ending codes, as well as the...

Title
Heading
Body
Background Color / Background Graphic
Text, Link, Visited Link, Active Link Colors and
Optional "Return to top" anchor tags
2. You're then invited to choose to

Type or copy and paste some text or
Insert a previously created file
If you choose the second option, the selected .DOC, .TXT or other file
will be automatically inserted between the beginning and ending codes.
3. You can, if you like, then

Add whatever text, graphics or anything else you like or
Just click the Convert and Save Tool to produce a completed HTML document.

The Convert and Save Tool checks the document and inserts the appropriate HTML tags around all entries - unless the tags have been previously been inserted (or unless the entry contains special Word formatting which Web browsers cannot display).

Backgrounds and Colors Tool

This tool offers a wide selection of colors and also offers the option to enter your own. There are options for background colors or background graphics, as well as:

  • text color
  • link color
  • visited link color and
  • active link color
(This tool does not produce WYSIWYG results in the Word .DOC file. This is because Word cannot display the range of colors that Web browsers can display.)

NEW AND IMPROVED VERSION 3.0. If you choose to enter your own custom colors and/or a background graphic, these custom settings will be stored and reappear in the custom selection sections of the toolís dialog box, so that you donít have to remember them or reenter them. The custom settings can be changed at any time and they take precedence over the 100 color options that are offered in each of the five dropdown boxes.

Color Tip: Keep in mind that some monitors only display a very limited number or colors. If your monitor displays 16 million colors, it's probably a good idea to view your page in a monitor which displays 256 colors (or less) before you install your Web page on a server for all the world to see. The graphics cards in an individual's computer can also dramatically affect the color tones he actually sees.

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Format List Entry Tool

This tool inserts your choice of "Numbered" or "Unnumbered" list tags around whatever text you select and places the <LI> tag at the beginning of each paragraph in your selection.

Beginning Table Tag and Caption Tool

This tool offers options including table border, width, height, cellpadding and cellspacing. You may enter your own tag preferences instead, if you wish. Top and Bottom Caption options are included. (Note: As mentioned above, standard <TABLE> tags are automatically inserted around each table in your document during the final conversion process. If you have created an entry directly above a table with the BEGINNING TABLE TAG AND CAPTION TOOL, your customized entry will take precedence and the standard beginning <TABLE> tag will be omitted.) Either the custom table tag or the optional custom caption tag should be in the paragraph directly above your table, if you want the CONVERT AND SAVE macro to omit placing standard table tags around your table.

<TABLE BORDER=2 CELLPADDING=2>
<CAPTION ALIGN=TOP This is my caption</CAPTION>
Raflag Agjdfg Bdfasfd Dfgsdgf Wefg Muchness
kdjglsdjfg sdfg dfg sdfgsdjhdfgsfgsdfgdfgsdfg 7
nmfghnsdfg asldj 956,893

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Two Word .DOC to HTML Table Tools

The Ant provides two toolbar tools and three ways to convert non-nested Word tables of any length to HTML. Like Word itself, the Ant starts the conversion with the assumption that the tables have an equal number of columns in each row. Cell alignments are automatically calculated and the appropriate alignment tags are inserted. Table Headers are accommodated, too.

  1. THE 'HEY, LET IT ALL JUST HAPPEN' WAY

    Don't use either of the two table tools at all. The Ant automatically enters the beginning <TABLE> and ending </TABLE> tags required when you click the CONVERT AND SAVE TOOL. (Please note that the table tools will not convert every Word formatting feature or every tag configuration. You may wish to experiment and add to the tags and make your own adjustments to tables either before or after the final conversion process.)


    NEW IN VERSION 3.0...

    THE TWO OPTIONAL WAYS
    You may use either of the two tools described below in advance of the conversion of the entire document so that you can add unusual formatting preferences. (As always, you can add anything you like after the conversion of the entire document, too.)

    Either table tool, when clicked, will first present the BEGINNING TABLE TAG AND CAPTION Tool's dialog box so that you can choose any special beginning table tag options you like. If you just want a standard <TABLE> tag, just click OK.

    Each of the two table tools, offers two options. You can choose either:
    * Insert Table Tags Only or
    * Insert Style Tags and Table Tags

    If you choose the "Insert Table Tags Only" option, the standard table tags will be inserted. (Details about the standard table tags are below.)

    If you choose the "Insert Style Tags and Table Tags" option, paragraphs within table cells which are formatted with the Styles: Heading 1 - 6, Title, Pre, Numbered Lists 1 - 4 and/or UnNumbered (Bulleted) Lists 1 - 4, will be checked (to see if the appropriate HTML tags have already been inserted around the entries, and, if not, the tags will be inserted. (Note: For reasons unknown, Word refuses to recognize the Horizontal Rule Style when it's used within table cells.)

  2. This tool converts ALL the tables within the .DOC to HTML. If you choose the "Insert Style Tags and Table Tags" option, ALL the Styles in the document will be checked and the Style Tags inserted, if they're not already there.

  3. This tool will convert the particular table your cursor is in. You can select the entire table or just place your cursor anywhere inside the table to convert that table to HTML.

    If you choose the "Insert Style Tags and Table Tags" option, a new (temporary) .DOC, based on the Ant template will be opened and used to isolate the table so that the Styles tags can be inserted without formatting the Styles in the remainder of the original document.

    Remember, if you want the tables in your document to be converted for you during the final conversion to HTML, you needn't select these tools at all. The CONVERT AND SAVE TOOL, when selected will, as described above in the "Hey, Let It All Just Happen" Way, automatically convert all the tables in the document for you.

You can also use the BEGINNING TABLE TAG AND CAPTION Tool separately if you like.

DOC TO HTML TABLE CONVERSION: SOME OF THE PARTICULARS...

The Word .DOC to HTML TABLE TOOL checks to see whether you have entered any Word Table Headings in the first row of each table. If so it places <TH> and </TH> tags around the text in each table cell containing a Table Heading. The tool checks the alignment of each row. If each cell in the row is identically aligned, the tool inserts the tag, <TR ALIGN="left"> or <TR ALIGN="center"> or <TR ALIGN="right"> at the beginning of the row, then inserts the table data tags, <TD> and </TD> around the text in each cell in the row and enters the end of row tag, </TR>, at the end of the row.

If all the cells in the row were left aligned, the row would look like this:

<TR ALIGN=left><TD>text in first cell</TD> <TD>text in 2nd cell</TD> <TD>text in 3rd cell</TD></TR>

If the cells in the row are aligned differently, the tool enters tags that look like this:

<TR><TD ALIGN="left">text in first cell</TD> <TD ALIGN="center">text in 2nd cell</TD> <TD ALIGN="right">text in 3rd cell</TD></TR>

As mentioned previously, the Word .DOC to HTML TABLE TOOL will not convert every possible configuration, but you can use the tool to create the basic structure and then add whatever combinations of tags you like (either before or after the final conversion process. For more information about creating unusual table configurations, you can find a good guide at http://www.netscape.com/assist/net_sites/tables.html.

You might also like to try the BEGINNING TABLE TAG AND CAPTION tool described just below.

HTML to .DOC Table Conversion

Provides basic conversion of non-nested HTML table tags and is optional when you click the HTML to WYSIWYG Tool.

Pre Tool
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Create Ant Tool

Store and change your own HTML tag preferences via the CREATE ANT TOOL. Each time you select this tool, the 14 tools on the ANT_USER toolbar are updated to store and hold each of the 14 tag preferences you've entered in the CREATE ANT TOOL dialog box.

If you don't wish to use the ANT_USER toolbar to insert your HTML tag preferences, you may enter any of the 14 tags you've chosen from the CREATE ANT TOOL tool, itself.

This tool also invites you to change the toolbar button faces of the 14 Ant-User Toolbar tools quickly and whenever you wish.

IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT ALTER THE POSITIONS OR CHANGE THE NAMES OF THE TOOLS ON THE ANT_USER TOOLBAR. The position and the name of the tool must not be changed if the Create Ant Tool and the 14 customizable tools on the ANT_USER toolbar are to operate properly.

(In the ANT_HTML toolbar and the ANT_SUP toolbar, the tools can be transferred from one toolbar to the other, deleted entirely or changed in any way.)

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Fancy HR Tool

This tool offers Size, Width, Alignment and Shading options. You can enter whatever values you like. The values described below are WYSIWYG in the .DOC file:

  • Sizes 1 - 6
  • All alignments - None, Left, Center and Right
  • Width, if expressed as a percentage, above 5%
HR Tool<
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MAKE HIDDEN and MAKE UNHIDDEN.
The names are not clever, but the macros may come in handy.

There are now MAKE HIDDEN and MAKE UNHIDDEN tools on the ANT_SUP toolbar.

MAKE HIDDEN TOOL and MAKE UNHIDDEN TOOL


Centered, Bold and Italic Text

Two optional methods are available.

Insert HTML tags during the final conversion

Use the standard Word CENTER, BOLD and ITALIC TOOLS in any combination.. HTML codes (<B> </BR> and <I> </I>) will be inserted during conversion with the CONVERT AND SAVE TOOL. if the tags are not already there. Tip: When using bold and italic formatting in combination with headings and other styles, use the toolbar tools to apply the headings and styles first.

Three new tools, one for CENTER, one for BOLD and one for ITALIC which each immediately insert the tags around any selection, have been added to the new Ant_Sup Toolbar. The tools are depicted immediately below.

Insert HTML tags immediately around any selection

Centers whatever text you select and inserts the <CENTER> tags.
Bolds whatever text you select and inserts the <B> tags.
Italicizes whatever text you select and inserts the <I> tags.

(The normal underline feature is not displayed in Web browsers so it's not supported in the template.)

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Font Sizes Tool

Enters the appropriate tags and modifies the font sizes character by character.

CONVERT SPECIAL CHARACTERS TOOL

This tool converts the ISO Latin 1 Entities from .DOC to HTML. (The conversion of special characters from HTML to .DOC is offered as one of the options when you click the HTML to WYSIWYG TOOL.) Not all Web browsers support these characters.

Word for Windows supports some special characters that Word for Macintosh does not. (A table with the entries is provided in the ANT.DOC file.)

Four special characters are NOT converted when you select the CONVERT SPECIAL CHARACTERS TOOL. They are the left angle bracket, &lt; ( < ), the right angle bracket, &gt; ( > ), the ampersand, &amp; ( & ) and the double quote character, &quot; ( " ). You may convert these four characters during the Convert and Save process or during the HTML to WYSIWYG process, if you choose.

Conversion of Special Characters from HTML to .DOC is offered as an option when the HTML to WYSIWYG Tool is selected.

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More Tools

Removing Hidden Codes

While working on your document you might wish to add or delete some HTML tags.
Two tools facilitate the removal of HTML codes.

Toolbar tools for each of the Zap macros have been included in the ANT_SUP toolbar.

ZAP CODES FROM DOCUMENT, when selected, deletes all the HTML tags from the entire document. When you select this menu item, a message will ask you if you're sure you wish to continue (The tool deletes all brackets and all text in between the beginning and the ending bracket, whether the text is hidden or unhidden, to simplify removing the tags from non-WYSIWYG as well as WYSIWYG HTML documents.) The tool depends on the presence of the HTML tags.

ZAP CODES FROM THE SELECTION, when selected, deletes the HTML tags from whatever text you have selected. (Like the other Zap macro, the tool deletes all brackets and all text in between the beginning and the ending bracket, whether the text is hidden or unhidden, to simplify removing the tags from non-WYSIWYG as well as WYSIWYG HTML documents.)

Remove Extraneous Paragraph Marks

This tool provides a quick way to delete any empty paragraph marks which might have been imported with an HTML document or inserted during the HTML to WYSIWYG conversion.

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Tips and Notes

If an ANT toolbar you want to use is not displayed, click anywhere on the toolbar with the right mouse button and select the ANT_HTML, ANT_SUP or ANT_USER toolbar (any or all) from the Toolbars Menu, then click OK... or:

Any of the three toolbars can easily be displayed by clicking the ANT TOOLS MENU. At the bottom of the menu, click View ANT_HTML, ANT_SUP or ANT_USER Toolbar.

Three characters are special characters and are used to specify HTML tags

        • left angle bracket ( < ) = &lt;
        • right angle bracket ( > ) = &gt;
        • ampersand ( & ) = &amp;
None of the three may be used "as is" within an HTML document. You may use these characters in your document. The CONVERT AND SAVE tool will, (if they do not appear as red or as hidden text in your document) display a dialog box asking you whether or not you wish to convert brackets and ampersands into code that Web browsers can read.
See Resources for specific code information and for information regarding foreign characters.

An easy way to select the text in an entire document is to triple click the left margin of the document with the left mouse button.

Although there are a variety of ways (and personal styles used) to create an HTML document, and although the template is designed to accommodate most of them, you might discover an exception. If for any reason, during the Convert and Save process, the macro continues to run in an endless loop condition, you may stop it by pressing the ESC key.

CTRL+Spacebar easily changes hidden characters into normal text. The tool called MAKE UNHIDDEN will do it, too.

CTRL+Q is handy for restoring the default paragraph formatting.

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO READ THIS... Just so you don't puzzle over it, Web browsers ignore extraneous spaces, tabs and Word indents. Among other things, this means that tabs and other special formatting features possible in Word but not supported by the HTML language, must be created in some work-around manner. You can create the appearance of tabs with "<UL> " tags and "<TABLE> " tags. Please remember not all browsers support tables or many of the same features Netscape supports. It's best to check your work in different Web browsers at different screen resolutions (at least in 640 x 480, 800 x 600 AND 1024 x 768). The appearance of an HTML document can vary dramatically on the browser and the screen resolutions. As noted in the section on Graphics above, the capacity of various monitors and the kind of graphics card installed in a computer can make an enormous difference in how an individual will view the colors and graphics you display in your HTML documents.


Word .DOCs and HTML documents are very different beasts.
HTML documents are simple ASCII text files. The ASCII character set is simple and basic and is used in the body of email messages, for example, to enable rapid electronic transport of information from one place to another. HTML documents, like basic email messages, cannot display formatting like bold, italic or underlined text and cannot display graphics. (Web browsers read the HTML "tags" in HTML documents to know where to find any particular graphic file and where to display the graphic file on the browser screen.)

Word documents permit all sorts of razzledazzle formatting. Word stores the formatting information in the paragraph marks. The paragraph marks are *always* assigned a Style. (The Word manual has much information about Styles and how Word uses them.) To try and abbreviate... the Ant program (and all other templates that work in Word) also make use of Word Styles. The Ant comes with 20+ HTML-browser-friendly styles built into it. These are the Styles that HTML browsers can display. (To view them in the Ant, open a new, blank .doc file based on the Ant template and click the Word StyleBox (usually on the same toolbar as the font choices - far left).

The Ant, as it should, leaves it up to the HTML author to determine which of the HTML-browser-friendly styles he wishes to use on any particular paragraph or series of paragraphs.

Word is capable of all sorts of formatting and user-defined styles that Web browsers cannot display and Web browsers are capable of a variety of formatting Word cannot display. The Ant program provides the means to make the transition, and it was designed to provide an HTML author with as many options and as much freedom as possible, so it will do an HTML authors bidding, but it won't guess or decide for him or her what HTML-browser-displayable styles to substitute for any user-defined non-browser-supported-styles.

Back to Headings and Styles
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The macros are locked, as in other programs, for several reasons. One of them (but only one) is that it encourages some users to provide valuable feedback about the program.

Please note that the Ant sometimes adds extra paragraphs at the end of a document because of the way Microsoft Word reacts when it encounters the last paragraph mark in documents. If, after saving or converting your document, you find that additional paragraph marks have been inserted at the end of your document, you may delete them if you wish, but they will have no affect on the appearance of your HTML document.

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My document fried and I don't know why.

The answer might be that you imported a text file which contained ANSI characters not supported by Microsoft Windows or Word. If you are importing an ASCII file which contains characters (like ANSI character #127 which generally looks like  , for example), you can easily remove them before pasting into Word with an editor like Q Edit. (To remove them in Q Edit, open the file, press CTRL-K, then press X, then ESC to quit. Save the file. The offending characters will have been removed.). Paste the remaining text into a Word document.

Hidden codes (in Tools Options View) should be turned on during the Save process. The template tools are designed to turn hidden codes on, if they were off, and to restore your preferred settings afterward. If this procedure goes bananas for any reason (and special pains were taken so it should not go bananas), your document won't convert properly. Turn Hidden Text ON and try again.

Perhaps you've had GIF grief?
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Resources

More Information is available through the following hyperlinks:

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The name "ANT" was selected for several reasons. One was to name it so that it was conveniently located near the top of alphabetically arranged lists of filenames. It had to be an acronym and appropriate for the endeavor. (The acronym is a secret.) Also, it had to be short. It had to be unpretentious. It had to be lively. The result is the Ant, a program designed to do any hypertext preparation drudgery for you. Let me know how you like it.


Special Thanks

Special thanks to Eileen Wharmby of Pincliffe International (the WOPR folks) for helping to make the programs international and cross-platform.
Many thanks also to Brian Moura and Woody Leonhard for introducing me to Eileen.

( What is the likelihood that it is not mere coincidence that, conjointly, each of your first initials spell "WEB" ?!?)

Much gratefulness to Phil Davis, who helped test the MAC maneuvers.
Phil's help made the cross-platform idea fly.
(Although it completely ruined the "coincidental" WEB acronym when he refused to change his first name to W. Wally, William, Wilbur or even Wonderguy.)
Many thanks, too, to Mike and Kathy Youngblood of Montgomery County Internet Access for providing not only encouragement and a home Web site for the Ant but for providing the means for the very first flying Ant. :-)

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Copyright and Warranty

© Copyright 1995, Jill Swift. All Rights Reserved
You may distribute the ANT_DEMO.ZIP file in it's entirety for use in non-commercial ventures provided that it's source is acknowledged and provided that the template or the other files included in the zip file are not changed in any way. Under no circumstances may copies be sold or incorporated in other materials which are sold without prior permission from the author, Jill Swift.

None of the Ant templates, nor any ANT zip file, other than the ANT_DEMO.ZIP file may be distributed by any method, except by the author, unless written permission is obtained from the author.

This software is distributed as is and no warranty of any kind is made. Please feel free to send any email to me at jswift@ftelacommunications.com. No promises are made regarding responses, but I will try to respond to questions as promptly as possible.


Jill Swift
P. O. Box 213
Montgomery, Texas 77356
jswift@telacommunications.com

http://telacommunications.com/ant

January 2, 1997

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© Copyright 1996. All Rights Reserved.