The Doc-To-Help team is fond of mentioning that you can take virtually any Word document -- user guides, training materials, policy and procedure manuals -- add them to a Doc-To-Help project, publish, and be up-and-running with whatever outputs you need in a matter of minutes.

This post is an example of how I did just that.

There are samples that install with the software that give you examples of how to structure your project and documents and we also have a blog post that shows you how to learn from the samples and model your projects after them.  But, those samples were created by us specifically to show specific things and it would stand to reason that they would work perfectly in the software.  For this post, I did a Google search for "sample word document" and downloaded the first search hit to my Desktop.

I opened Doc-To-Help, used the Getting Started Wizard to Start a New Project, went through the wizard, imported my sample Word document, and clicked Rebuild.  That's it.

My sample Word document was published to a searchable, web-based output that we call NetHelp.  The end result was this:

I also created a CHM file:

I also created a PDF and could have created WinHelp, Help 2.0, JavaHelp, and Microsoft Help Viewer 1.x.  Follow the links to view screen shots of those outputs.  I attached the sample project to this post and I didn't want to make the zip file too big, so I didn't build all of those.

The document was already structured so that Doc-To-Help could easily read it, so I didn't have to do anything there.  I did remove the table of contents and cover page from the original document, since Doc-To-Help adds those in automatically when you build a Manual and that content tends to get in the way when you build any other output.

Feel free to download and check out the sample project. You can download the sample here.

Here's a movie that I made with DemoWorks that shows how I started the project, added the Word document, and published:

Take Any Word Document and Publish it in Minutes from ComponentOne on Vimeo.

You can also view the NetHelp target here, just to get a sense of what it looks like here.

Note that the NetHelp sample for this project is NetHelp 2.0, the next generation of NetHelp.  It will be available in Doc-To-Help 2011 V2, which will be released on 8/30/11.