- Paperback: 158 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596004753
- ISBN-13: 978-0596004750
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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RTF Pocket Guide 1st Edition
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About the Author
Sean M. Burke is an active member in the Perl community and one of CPAN's most prolific module authors. He has been a columnist for The Perl Journal since 1998, and is an authority on markup languages. Trained as a linguist, he also develops tools for software internationalization and native language preservation. Sean is also the author of O'Reilly's Perl & LWP.
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Top customer reviews
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(Parenthetically, I like topic-specific computer books, O'Reilly's Pocket Guides and Wrox's Handbooks).
The book's stated intent is to offer an introduction to Rich Text Format, and is a valuable preface to Microsoft's Rich Text Format (RTF) Specification. It does a good job of that, offering both analysis and caveats.
Now, if I don't offer a criticism or two this post will sound like it was done by the Marketing Department.
1. I'd like to see the Perl code in the addendums translated into C# or VB. That probably would make it more accessible to more users.
2. I wish the chapter on section breaks were fuller than it is. (Probably not a big deal for most programmers.)
I'd strongly recommend this book for any programmer needing to work with RTF files.
In my case, I needed to produce neat, printable reports from an Excel application written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). (It is not commonly known that many Visual Basic features are not supported in VBA, including the ones I required for my output.) After some research, I concluded that adding an RTF writer to my application would produce a quality product with limited additional programming.
Microsoft's RTF Specification version 1.9 is NOT the place to learn RTF. It is very complete, but anything but a text book. Sean M Burke's writings brought me from the stage of RTF novice to an adequate programmer of complicated financial tables in short order. Thank you, Sean.
Robert J Lambird
As mentioned in other reviews, however, the editing for the July 2003 first edition is simply awful. A number of obvious errors exist in the initial sections. The overall content is so good that these errors are all the more glaring: How could an editor read the text and not catch them? If you treat these errors as opportunities to test your own growing knowledge of RTF syntax, they are actually kind of fun to find... but not what you would expect in a reference text. I have not found any obtuse errors; most are obvious as soon as you read them.
Overall: well worth the money, but also an imperfect tool at best.