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Bronze

Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

I like to keep an offline PDF of my configuration/installation/adminGuides/etc.. but started noticing a few that were only available in HTML. In particular recently with Meeting Place 7.0. This makes it difficult to search for a keyword because I dont know which chapter it might be in. Plus I cant read about it offline :(

Anyone no why some groups have chosen not to publish the PDF?

26 REPLIES
Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Hi there. I am one of the technical writers who works on MeetingPlace. Starting with Release 7.0, we decided to no longer provide whole book PDFs of the admin guides. The information that is posted on Cisco.com was current when we posted it last summer, but it is slowly becoming out of date. Instead of updating the Framemaker files and regenerating PDFs (which takes a long time), we are updating the DocWiki. Therefore, the most recent information about MeetingPlace 7 can be found on the DocWiki here: http://docwiki.cisco.com/wiki/Cisco_Unified_MeetingPlace%2C_Release_7.0

If you want to search within the DocWiki, you can either use the internal DocWiki search (which isn't very good and we don't recommend) or you can go to Google and enter this: " site:docwiki.cisco.com" . You can also go here: http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=007771824002417948961:y9zykg3hd1w to use a custom Google search that searches just the MP 7 sections of the DocWiki.

We are also investigating a tool that lets you print multiple DocWiki pages at once, so you could print a PDF of all the pages you want at once. You could then save this PDF, although it will become obsolete as soon as you print it. This tool may be available in the next few months.

If you must have a PDF, PDFs are available on Cisco.com for each chapter of the various admin guides.

I hope this answers your question. If you would like more information, please contact me at jmcmulle@cisco.com

Sincerely,

Julie McMullen

Bronze

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Thank you for your honest and informative answer. I like the Google search options. Much appreciated.

On a related note does anyone know if the cisco netpro forums have any google tricks. I know they arent indexed by default but thought maybe there was a similar google search syntax like stated above?

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Hi all,

The same path and strategy is now in place for Cisco Unified Presence  documentation (only wiki pages available)

If desired we can use on option in order to get a conversion into pdf from the wiki to a global file.

So, if I correctly understand, we can not change this part.

But, is that possible to improve the look and feel of the generated pdf ?(old pdf structure and look was really great)

Thx

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

I actually dislike the .PDF only documentation because it does not format well on my Kindle.  I like to carry all my technical docs with me on my Kindle 2 so they are always available for my reference - with all bookmarks & highlighting intact.  Unfortunately Kindle does not handle .PDF files well.  I would actually like to see Cisco keep all its documentation is a web-like format which makes it easier to convert to any ebook reader.


-Andy

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Hi Andy,

The Cisco tech doc standard is to publish in both HTML and PDF formats.  However, sometimes docs from newer Cisco divisions haven’t yet adopted HTML publishing.  In that case, the docs are provided as is so the docs are delivered in time for product releases (until the publishing process is updated).

If you can give me a URL, I can pass along your comment to the group responsible for the doc.

Linda

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Can we just cut to the chase and get Cisco docs available in Kindle format?  I don't have a Kindle, yet, but am very interested in the WiFI only K3.  The only reason I'm not pre-ordering one yet is because of my concern for getting the technical documentation in an easily readable format on the device.  If this isn't possible, or it is just too difficult, then it's not worth it to me.  The K3 is supposed to have a much improved support for PDF's, but still may not handle all PDF formatting correctly.

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Excellent question!  It’s one that we in tech docs have been asking too.

There are Cisco Press books on Kindle, and we are doing some digging about getting tech docs on Kindle.  We’ll update this thread when we have more info.  Thanks very much for your interest in having docs on e-readers.

FYI - Some doc groups are beginning to do docs for mobile devices.  These are not whole config guides or command refs but short docs such as lists of new features, written to be viewed on small mobile devices.  There is a new site, m.cisco.com, that is in its infancy so expect changes.

Other doc groups are doing videos that are iPhone compatible, for example these 2 videos about Cisco Mobile:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfuo6L5xFxA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcwcT5dkCvQ

Linda

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Hi,

Any update to this or anyone care to post their experiences of using Cisco PDF's on the new Kindle 3?

I have one on order and hope to be able to use it to read SRND's in PDF format - has anyone done this yet? - if so how well does it work?

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

My Kindle 3 shipped out on Friday so I should have an answer to this question pretty soon.  I will post an update once I've had some time to tinker around with it.  I really hope it works out because I returned my IPAD because it was to heavy for continous reading - the Kindle is the perfect form factor.

-Andy

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes


Just got my Kindle 3 and I love it.


Now here is what you need to know about reading Cisco PDF files on your Kindle.


#1 - If you just copy the PDF file to your Kindle you will be disappointed big time.


#2 - To really appreciate the PDF viewer on the new Kindle you need to convert your PDF using your Kindle provided email address (something like username@free.kindle.com).  If you have WIFI enabled then your converted document will be delivered to your Kindle for FREE.


Only been playing an hour with my new Kindle so far but if I come across anything else I'll update it here.


-Andy

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the update. What type of PDFs have you tested so far? - I would really like to know if the Kindle 3 can handle 1000+ page documents such as the CallManager 7.x SRND.

I am still waiting for my Kindle 3 - order was placed 9 days ago so I am hoping it appears soon.

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

I converted the SRND for 8.x CUCM and it worked.

Mostly PDF documents converted to Kindle read OK, not 100% but OK.  The biggest annoyance are TABLES which do not convert well at all but everything else is manageable.

Here are the three(3) ways I tested to get PDF docs on my Kindle 3:

1. Connect it to your PC and drag and drop the PDF to the Kindle.

  • This method preserves the original PDF document the best but you can not change text size (only ZOOM the entire document which then won't fit in the screen anymore)
  • No Notes or Highlights

2. Use Amazon's email conversion service.  Email your document to YOURUSERNAME@free.kindle.com.

  • This converts your document to native format which now gives you the ability to save Notes & Highlights.
  • Tables in your documents (I have only tried Cisco PDFs) will not format well.
  • Another annoyance is that the CONTENTS page at the beginning of most Cisco PDFs is not clickable.  The hyperlinks do not work so you can;t just click on one and be brought to the proper section.

3. Download Mobipocket Creator (it is free) and install it on your PC.

  • This gives you the same options as #2 above but not your CONTENTS page is clickable.  This is a benefit especially for large PDFs.

Take it for what it is, its a portable reading device and for what I want it for it does an adequate job - I am hopeful that it will only continue to improve overtime.  I had an iPad and returned it - while it is an awesome device try laying in bed at night and holding the iPad for more than 20 minutes without your arm cramping up.  The Kindle (while not 100% perfect yet) works for me in a form factor & price point that I can live with.

Later!

-Andy

Cisco Employee

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Hi Andy,

Great insight and information below about your experience and preference on ereaders. It's also very interesting to hear about the testing and issues you are encountering with PDFs (especially regarding tables).

We are compiling and collaborating with an internal supporting team that is looking into ereaders and PDFs. All of the details and information that you have been kindly sharing w/ us will be brought to them. We realize how important it is to have PDFs available, please keep us (and others following this thread) updated as to your experience.

We hope to have an update on this issue soon!

Thanks!
Janel Kratky

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Thanks for the response Andy. My Kindle is due at the end of the month so I will post about my experiences using it to read Cisco PDFs.

Janet it would be great if Cisco PDFs could be designed to be able to be viewed/indexed on e-readers.

One idea I think may be worth looking at is developing an App for tablets (iPad, Cius etc.) in which the user can select documentation topics and have the tablet automatically download the content from Cisco and periodically update the content.

For instance you could select Voice > CallManager > Version 7.x > Design Guides to get the SRNDs and so on.

I think an app like this should be fairly simple to create - I would be happy to assist with testing if Cisco can send me a Cius for that purpose

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Well, I did end up getting a new Kindle, and it works fine for me.  I don't have any general problems with tables.  It formats all of the PDFs I've tried acceptably.  The ability to use bookmarks within the PDFs would be great, but that is more of a support issue on the Kindle than the contents of the PDFs available from Cisco.  I've already requested this feature with Amazon, and if you have a Kindle and would like that also I'd encourage you to create a case with them and request it also.

Thanks,

Fred Reimer, CCIE 23812, CISSP 107125

Senior Systems Architect

Presidio Networked Solutions

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

You can use your Kindle to "Add a Bookmark" & "Add a Note or Highlight" but only if you run your PDF through the PDF convert process.  The downside is converted PDFs tend to screw up the formatting a bit - especially tables.  If you just copy the PDF directly to your kindle it looks 100% but you can't search, highlight, add notes, or bookmark.

Read my previous post.

-Andy

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Are you sure you are using the new Kindle, with the enhanced PDF reader?  Because I just double-checked to make sure I didn't dream it, but I do have bookmarks, that I created, in my Kindle for PDFs.  It will not use the embedded bookmarks in the PDF itself, such as in the table of contents available in most PDFs, but you can certainly add your own.  I can also use the search function on my Kindle in PDFs.  And this is not with any sort of converted PDF, this is with original PDFs dragged and dropped to the Kindle when it is hooked up to the computer.  Note that the process of adding a bookmark for a PDF that is thousands of pages in size may take a while, but it does work.

Maybe you should call Amazon and open a case.

Fred Reimer, CCIE 23812, CISSP 107125

Senior Systems Architect

Presidio Networked Solutions

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

I just re-tested with the famous CUCM 8.X SRND, and the original PDF looks great, I can search, I can add bookmarks, and I can add notes.  Perhaps Andy has a defective unit...

You still can't use the embedded bookmarks within the PDF, so if you want that, complain to Amazon.  Open a case, and send feedback to kindle-feedback@amazon.com.

HTH,

Fred Reimer, CCIE 23812, CISSP 107125

Senior Systems Architect

Presidio Networked Solutions

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

If you convert the document then the embedded bookmarks DO work.

-andy

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Let me clarify myself a bit:


First of all - you are correct -  just dragging a PDF to your Kindle is all you need to do to be able to set "Bookmarks" & "add Notes".


I have a Kindle 3 - the newest Kindle.  The problem is that if you just drag the PDF to your Kindle the font size is not changeable.  Yes you can ZOOM in on certain sections of your document but thats not reading - thats image viewing.  The Aa key on your Kindle will ZOOM your entire document but not change the text/font size and reflow the document.  If you convert the document to a native PDF it functions like a 100% Kindle ebook - the downside being the formatting gets a bit screwed up.  I'm sure on the Kindle DX with its big screen this is not an issue but on my Kindle 3 with its 6" screen if I don't convert the document I'll go blind trying to read the really small tiny print.  I had an iPad and brought it back because it was too heavy - the Kindle DX has the same problem for me.

Thanks!

-Andy

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

If you rotate the text to view in landscape mode it is readable, at least for me.  Holding it like a book, about a foot from your face, it is not that bad, IMO.

As far as the zoom, I already sent feedback and opened a case with Amazon on the inability to zoom to a particular percentage, instead of fixed levels.  It would also help if they allowed "reflow" in PDF's.  However, given the current capabilities of the Kindle, I believe the format of the PDFs is fine coming from Cisco.  One interesting idea would be to format the PDFs with a smaller page size.  Then, they should show up on the Kindle a little larger.  Some of the tables may not fit with a smaller page size though, so it may be a more work than Cisco is willing to go through...

Thanks,

Fred Reimer, CCIE 23812, CISSP 107125

Senior Systems Architect

Presidio Networked Solutions

Cisco Employee

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

You can convert PDFs to Kindle format as you email them to your Kindle. From the Amazon documentation:

To have your PDF documents converted to Kindle format so you can take advantage of functionality such as variable font size, annotation, Text-to-Speech, etc., type "Convert" in the subject of the e-mail when you submit your personal document to "name"@free.kindle.com. Image-heavy PDF files are presented in landscape orientation and don't work with devices that have auto-rotation, so those will be delivered in the Kindle format.

Cisco Employee

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

We appreciate the time you have taken to provide feedback on ways that we can facilitate your access of Cisco technical documentation on Amazon Kindle devices.

We have native Kindle support on our list as a goal, along with support for the ePub format (used in the Apple iPad, Barnes and Noble Nook Reader, and the Sony Reader, as well as others). However, because of the ubiquity of mobile devices, the first of our new outputs is expected to be WebKit (mobile web-optimized) HTML.

I hope you will remain engaged in the community, and that when we are ready to pilot some Kindle-optimized PDF content and Kindle-native content, you will be willing to take a look at it and give us some feedback.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Jordan Jones

Sr. Manager, Software Development Engineering

Product Development Services, Content Management Services

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

I can tell you that I took my Kindle DX especially for Cisco PDFs and cisco press PDF books.

And is ok, only with one condition: I have to use "briss" software to remove extra white space from margins. If I do this, is amazing. Otherwise, the font can be too small. I do not recommand to anyone to try to transform the PDF file to a mobile format, it will not look to good. And yes, Kindle DX can support books with 1000+ pages, without any problems. The only problem is when the page too rich in information, like Quick Sheet Reference Guides, and the page can load in 20-30 seconds.

I just hope that Cisco will add one day in the future the option to download the documents directly in a mobile format also, not only in PDF.

Cisco Employee

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

I'm assuming you mean this, Daniel: http://sourceforge.net/projects/briss/. Is that correct? I'd be interested to know what you think of this product.

Community Member

Re: Document's in PDF Format not available sometimes

Yes, this is the software. It is a good software, updated often, will crop the files quite fast.

We (I'm seen a lot of people using this at work) are using this for:

cropping before putting the files on Kindle (font will become bigger)

cropping before printing as booklet. a normal Cisco document is ok, but for A4, but usually we are printing as booklet, and font is too small in the booklet format. Maybe Cisco will realize this in the future and will allow more formats, I'm quite sure this formats are generated on the fly, and they have the HTML format.

Only one think I don't like at this software: when you crop, you click, drag, and release, is not possible to modify this area, by resizing, if you don't like the area, you have to make a new full action: click, drag, release. Except this, is perfect for Kindle and booklets.

Hope it helps.

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