Re: Help Authoring tools for Palm Pilot

Subject: Re: Help Authoring tools for Palm Pilot
From: Jean Ostrem <jostrem -at- tdl -dot- com>
To: kalpana thakar <k_thakar -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 13:46:28 -0800

At 9:36 AM -0800 2/23/00, kalpana thakar wrote:


I am interested in knowing if there are any Help
Authoring tools that could be used for preparing
online Help for a Palm Pilot or for that matter any
hand held device?


Are you trying to document a handheld application using on-line help, or are you trying to take existing on-line help for some other app and provide it in a form that's readable on handhelds?

I'm pretty familiar with Palms, and mildly familiar with CE devices. Palm does not offer the kind of online help that we think of when hearing the term online help. (The kind with the navigation buttons and the hyperlinks.) It just sticks a little i button up in the corner of a dialog. If the user clicks that i, they get a new dialog that shows a straight text description of the panel. No help authoring tool necessary because there's nothing fancy to do. You'll have to give the application programmer the text so that he can include it in the application's resource file. The programmer's responsible for making sure that the i button displays the appropriate text.

I can't remember CE devices doing even that much, although it has been a few months since I've worked with one and I don't really remember.

If what you mean is that you have some existing documentation and you want to find a way to make it readable on the Palm, there are apps available that can read HTML, TXT, and probably Word files. See

CE devices come with a handheld version of Word, so they probably read Word files. There's an application called AvantGo that displays HTML for both CE and Palm devices. There are probably others that I don't know about.

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