Document Conversion

Document Conversion the Easy Way

There are lots of benefits to be had from moving your content to a modern authoring or publishing system. But there is a downside too – it usually requires a fair amount of effort to convert legacy documents, even when the tools have import features.

Over the years, I have worked on many document conversion projects and they are never as simple as you’d expect. I’ve yet to see one that hasn’t needed some form of manual editing to produce ‘clean’ results.

Craig Wright

Craig Wright

Technical Writer

The good news is that you don’t have to convert content and tidy up your pages and topics yourself – I can do it for you, as part of my document conversion service.

Document Conversion for Different Budgets

With conversions, it would be silly of me to offer a single ‘one size fits all’ service, as your requirements may differ to that of other clients. You might just want me to get your content into a new system and you will tidy it up later, whereas others might want me to provide a more in-depth conversion. To cater for that, I provide two different conversion services:

Document Conversion – Light

If you’re only concerned with getting your content from one system and into another, my light conversion service is probably your best bet. With this service, I will recreate the content in your new system and get it to match your original content as closely as possible.
A light conversion includes:
  • Transferring your content to a new system
  • Formatting your content in your new system
  • Recreating links and re-inserting images if needed
  • Manually stripping out ‘junk’ code.

It does not include:

  • Editing your content to make use of any content reuse features
  • Restructuring or rewriting any parts of your content. 

Document Conversion – Full

With my full conversion service, I’ll convert and set up your documents so that they take advantage of the features available in your new system.

Working from your original documentation, I will:

  • Edit your content so that it is suitable for topic based systems (if needed)
  • Add links for better navigation
  • Restructure your content, if needed
  • Make sure your content is coded correctly and uses the correct styles
  • Apply a content reuse strategy (if needed)
  • Set up Flare master pages and page layouts (if needed)
  • Apply Paligo PDF and HTML5 settings (plus minor CSS changes to Paligo output).


The Full Service can include an edit/rewrite if you want it to. That’s entirely up to you. Rewrites will take longer, and so will cost you more, but may be worth it if your content is lacking quality or quantity. The biggest problem I run into is content that is describing a product rather than explaining how to use it (software documentation is often the worst culprit).

How Much Does Document Conversion Cost?

The price of the conversion service varies, depending on how much content you have, what level of service you want, and what products you are using. For example, converting from Word to Flare will cost a little less than converting from Word to Paligo, as Paligo is structured text and pure XML, so takes more time and effort.

As with all of my services, the prices I quote are based on my day rate and the time it will take me to complete. I’m happy to work per day, per half-day, or on a fixed price agreement, whatever suits you best.

What Types of Document Conversion?

During my (20 years and counting) career as a technical writer, I’ve carried out a lot of conversion work, including:

  • FrameMaker to Word
  • Word to FrameMaker
  • FrameMaker to Flare
  • InDesign to Flare
  • Word to Confluence
  • Confluence to Flare
  • Flare to Paligo
  • Flare to Zendesk
  • Word to Paligo
  • Paligo to Zendesk
  • Zendesk to Paligo

I can handle all of those, although complex layouts in InDesign documents may be a problem. If you need any of those conversions or have a different requirement, let me know what you need and I’ll take a look.

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