RE: Making manuals, using Word

Subject: RE: Making manuals, using Word
From: Emru Townsend <etownsen -at- Softimage -dot- com>
To: "'techwrl'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2000 11:26:57 -0400


Although folks have mentioned Woody Leonhard's book, none have mentioned his
weekly newsletters like WOW (Woody's Office Watch), which are invaluable
resources. Every regular Word user who reads this newsletter owes him their
first-born child. Find out more at

As for working with Word to create large manuals: I've created manuals that
were hundreds of pages long and laden with tables and cross-references with
only Word 97, Doc-to-Help, spit, chewing gum, and a paperclip (although I
wanted to kill the paperclip). It is possible, and can even be relatively
painless. But if you can break things up into smaller documents, do so --
when (not if) you encounter a corrupt file, or when (not if) Word crashes,
you won't lose as much. Your stress level won't go as high, and you'll live
a longer, fuller life where you can eventually tell your grandkids about the
days when you created printed manuals using QWERTY keyboards and computers
in large beige boxes, rather than using computer-aided telepathy. Oh, how
they'll laugh.

But I digress.

I spent years teaching people how to make the transition from WordPerfect to
Word -- secretaries, executives, tall people, short people, people in plaid,
people in stripes, people of questionable taste, and people who agreed with
me. FrameMaker people, like WordPerfect people, can be fiercely loyal (I'm
a closet WordPerfect fan; I even know the secret handshake) and sometimes
stubborn. The key to adapting to Word is to learn the way it does things.
It may seem screwy, but it does make some kind of sense. Make sure to learn
about sections. And don't use Word intensively within a half hour of

Good luck.

Emru Townsend, Information Developer | etownsen -at- softimage -dot- com
Softimage, Inc.
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