Conversion helps you share documents when not all members of your workspace can use the same programs. Conversion translates a document from one (typically application specific) file format into another that you and your colleagues may be able to read and edit more easily than the original format. The original document remains unchanged.
Note: Like conversion programs on your local computer system, the conversion routines in BSCW typically cannot translate all features of specific file formats into other formats without losing information. As far as possible, BSCW will advise you of changes or losses to be expected from a specific conversion.
Converted documents may also be encoded – usually with the aim of reducing the document size, thus reducing the storage space requirements and the download time. When you use encoding, you need a matching decoding program on your local computer in order to make encoded documents readable again. Please make sure that all members of your workspace have the necessary programs installed on their machines and have configured their Web browser to start these programs when they encounter the MIME type of an encoded document.
In order to convert a document, you proceed as follows:
• Select Send to Converter from the action menu of the respective document in the folder listing.
• The ‘Convert’ form shows a list of those formats into which BSCW can convert your document. Arrows in this list indicate the path of conversion: if an arrow, e.g., points from format A to format B, conversion to format B will be effected by first converting a document to format A and from there to format B. The list also briefly indicates the major types of potential information loss during conversion into the different formats.
• Enter the name of the converted document, select the destination format and/or the encoding to be applied and confirm your selection.
• BSCW will write the converted file into your clipboard, from where you may paste it to the location requested, and then displays a form which lets you immediately download the document and also summarizes the loss of information during conversion.
Note: Conversion programs are not part of the BSCW server software. They have to be installed separately by the BSCW administrator. Thus, the selection of conversion programs available on your BSCW server is determined by your administrator.