Summary of responses on HATs

Subject: Summary of responses on HATs
From: upeethambaran -at- hss -dot- hns -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 10:40:37 +0530

Edwin Skau, Paul Hanson, Anne Halsey, Kari Gulbrandsen Andres, Debbie Riley,
Michele Marques, Michelle Parcell and Betsy Shoolbred. I thank you all for
responding in great detail to my queries on Help Authoring Tools. Some of you
wanted me to post a summary of the repsonses I received. Please note that this
summary is not based on my experience but on that of those who responded to my

1. Widest user base, hence more support in dealing with problems.
2. Word-based (uses Microsoft Word as the editor and you enjoy all the features
of Word. Doc-to-Help may only read Word 95 rtfs, but Robohelp works equally well
with Word 97 rtfs. Thus, you can write and edit rtf files without opening
RoboHelp projects, in case there are multiple writers working on the project and
you have limited copies of RoboHelp.
3. Single-source documentation (manuals and online help can be generated from
the same source)
4. A lot more powerful: RoboHelp comes with lots of useful tools, especially for
use of graphics, the most important one being that it reduces graphic size by
adjusting pixels proportionately thus saving the graphic quality. Content file
creation, keyword management, and browsing sequence management is much easier in
1. Word-based
2. Single-source
3. Interface is not very user-friendly
1. Not Word-based
2. ForeHelp uses its own editor. One has to use Word to edit rtfs generated from
ForeHelp. ForeHelp inserts a number of hidden fields and you have to take care
of protecting them.
3. Template and style management is a bit cumbersome. Print documentation is
possible but problematic and the features of Word for print cannot be used.
4. Excellent technical support
5. WYSIWIG environment

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