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Re: st: Re: Using -translate- to create PDF of .hlp file


From   "Michael S. Hanson" <mshanson@mac.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Re: Using -translate- to create PDF of .hlp file
Date   Wed, 9 Mar 2005 12:30:54 -0500

On Mar 6, 2005, at 4:06 AM, James Jetton wrote:

Open the help file in the viewer window, select Print Viewer..., and then click on the PDF button in the printer dialog.
... and on Mar 6, 2005, at 7:48 AM, Jeffrey Simons similarly wrote (paraphrasing):


go to "print viewer" from the file menu, then when you get to the print dialog box, select save as pdf, that will give you a formatted pdf file of the help file.
I appreciate those suggestions; the PDF produced is by them is identical to the command:

translate outreg.hlp outreg.pdf, trans(Viewer2pdf)

on Mac OS X. However, neither gives the nicely formatted file -- with a table of contents, "page n of N" page numbering, serif and sans serif font substitution, etc. -- that can be seen at, e.g., <http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/researchcomputing/docs/ outreg.pdf>. Inspecting this file in Acrobat Pro revealed that it was made with MS Word, however, suggesting that it was modified by hand instead (as I had hoped) through an automated script.

So my question now is whether it would be possible to translate the help file into another format (like LaTeX) for further post-processing? I'd appreciate any suggestions along those lines -- conceptually it seems it should be possible to go from SMCL to LaTeX, as both are markup languages, but -findit- did not turn up any tools that looked appropriate. An additional issue is that this technique, were it to work, would only accommodate recent help files written in SMCL (such as rollreg.hlp) but not older files (such as outreg.hlp) -- see below.


On Mar 6, 2005, at 2:58 PM, Roger Newson wrote:


Another way to create a .pdf version of a Stata .hlp file is to create a .ps version of a Stata .hlp file using -translate-, as in

. translate c:\ado\personal\parmest.hlp parmest.ps

and then to use whatever software is available on your system to convert the .ps file to a .pdf file.
and on Mar 7, 2005, at 6:43 AM, Kit Baum responded:

Unncessarily cumbersome, perhaps necessary in that operating system, but in Panther just do

. translate rollreg.hlp rollreg.pdf

and It Just Works.
As Kit notes, that works great for help files in SMCL format; for help files in an older format (such as the one included with -outreg-), one needs to add the option -, trans(Viewer2pdf)-. Leaving that option off for -outreg- (e.g.) results in file containing odd "control characters" that apparently are part of an older help file format. But other than that detail, the command works directly in Mac OS X without any additional software involved. (Works in the sense that it produces a PDF, albeit not as nicely formatted as the one mentioned above.)

Thanks again to all who replied.

-- Mike

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