Re: Word/HTML help

Subject: Re: Word/HTML help
From: "Christensen, Kent" <lkchris -at- sandia -dot- gov>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 08:50:40 -0700

Paula Flanders writes: A lot of the audience for my doc has Word, but some
people do not and need to use a browser to look at it.

Well, in the 21st century and unless your users work in a hostile
environment where they can't use a computer, I would concentrate on creating
help in html and consider Word a thing of the past, or as is often heard
now, "last century." Probably you're correct some people don't have Word,
but more importantly I'd wager many more have internet access (even those
that do have Word).

Now, while it takes effort for holders of paper manuals to ensure they have
the latest version, if your help is on the internet and served from your
company site, your users always have the latest version. They also have no
system management worries should your document contain hypertext, which
certainly it should. I recommend designing web pages rather than "word
processor" pages. And, Word is definitely not the tool for designing web
pages. Html is pretty easy to learn, and once you know it you'll agree
you'll never find a code generator that can do it better than you can. The
"huge resistance" in your company to pdf is well founded. I think it's just
momentum and the consequent feeling "it doesn't print pretty" that keeps
folks tied to Word, Acrobat, and the like and resisting the inevitability of
the web. BTW, my company presents all its internal policies/procedures on
its intranet, and each document contains up front the warning "IMPORTANT
NOTICE: A printed copy of this document may not be the document currently in
effect. The official version is located on the ... (intranet)."

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