Re: Task-oriented manuals

Subject: Re: Task-oriented manuals
From: "Jane Bergen" <jbergen1 -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "Tara Bucheger" <TBucheger -at- Winnebago -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 21:40:30 -0600


Just some thoughts from the trenches: you might want to reverse
yourself about 180 degrees on the reference material online. Users
typically don't use online help (either .hlp or .htm format) to read
reference material. If delivery is the problem, could you deliver the
reference guide as a pdf on a CD? Or from your website? That would
allow the users to print it or to read it online....up to them. It
would also reduce your weight and production effort.

As for the books you mentioned, check out the John Wiley Publishers
web site (
). They publish the Technical Communication Library series and have
some excellent offerings. I remember a couple by William Horton as
well as some other well-known writers.

Jane Bergen

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tara Bucheger" <TBucheger -at- Winnebago -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2000 3:05 PM
Subject: Task-oriented manuals

> I work for a software company, and we're looking into reconstructing
> current documentation. Currently, we put the same information in our
> manual as our online Help. Our manual is basically a reference
manual with
> very little task/examples. It's quite extensive and overwhelming,
and gets
> larger with each new release. To eliminate some weight of the manual
> work effort, we're looking into creating a true "user manual" or
> task-oriented manual (with little reference), and then put the
> material in our online Help (such as description of windows,
options, and so
> on).

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