FWD: Online help advice needed

Subject: FWD: Online help advice needed
From: anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2000 14:33:22 -0700 (MST)

I have spent the day researching the archives and have found scant
information on what I need. In my career I have done mostly hard copy
manuals. Occasional PDFs. No online help projects, though I know the tools
that can create them. In my present job, I have two programs, one web
based, the other a 32-bit application, that needs online help. I have a
beta version of the user's guide completed for the 32-bit program and now
I am being asked to get some online help started. The advice I need is
this: I do not want to regurgitate my hardcopy user manuals into online
help. Not the thing to do I would imagine. Many companies do this though,
and I wonder why?

However, I have no idea how to approach online help, figuring out what
should go into it, how online help is different than user guides, etc. Can
anyone point me in the right direction for books (I have JoAnn Hackos book
- Standards for Online Communication), or classes that discuss theory
instead of tools? Is William Horton's book really that good? Big mixed
reviews on Amazon.com. Finally, would anyone out there that would like to
mentor me in this? I need to know the theory and design, not the tools.
Any and all constructive advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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