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Legacy Resources

Scanning printed materials?

.It is common for people to have a collection of printed materials that they want to make available to others who cannot access the printed forms. Take the case of a university lecturer who has a 'reading set' that constitutes some material from books, journals, a few website pages, a few digital documents, etc.

It is common for such a lecturer to have to work on the printed materials (including printed copies of the originally digital materials) to:

Typically, this process

The following procedure is recommended instead:

Creating New Printed Resources

When creating new resources, most people use computers and so the materials are created in digital form. The product of the work may be a printed object, so the digital files are often used to produce the printed form and discarded. If they are kept, it is not always possible to use the materials after a fairly short time because the computers have changed, the operating systems or disk systems have changed, or the software has disappeared.

For this reason, it is recommended that authors think of putting resources on the web, where they will be moved from one system to the next as time passes. To do this, the author needs only to save the resource in some standard web format. Currently, the format recommended is XHTML (HTML that is readable as XML).

To do this, the author should export the content from whatever production software was used, converting it into standard, accessible HTML or XHTML. Once this is done, it can be placed on a supported web server with some confidence that it will be transferred from one platform to another as changes in technology come about. If the material is not to be made publicly available, this can be assured by the imposition of security and authority protocols.

Materials in HTML, or XHTML format, can be read back into MS Word or other application packages at a later time for further working.

Last updated: 8 March 2002