Re: RoboHelp vs. ForeHelp

Subject: Re: RoboHelp vs. ForeHelp
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "Tony Adler" <Tadler -at- dmpnet -dot- com>, "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 09:53:22 -0500

It's been my Simply Written's experience that no HAT will work adequately
for single source. The reason is that the HAT isn't built for flexibility,
but for a specific purpose: online documentation. As an example, what
happens to topics that are popups? They have no built-in context, so printed
out they make no sense.

To achieve good single source, you should look at creating documents in an
upstream application such as FrameMaker or Word (not recommended). Then if
you want to create a print document, the tool is ready immediately for the
challenge. Or, if you want the online version, you can actually create it
without recourse to a HAT at all. With Frame, you can use MIF2GO or
Quadralay and just push a button to get solid WinHelp or HTML-type help. As
a bonus, Frame or Word can create pretty fair HTML, XML (from Frame), or
PDF. You'd be surprised how often you find reasons to render a file into one
of these formats, if only to make review much easier.

If you're determined to use a HAT, then I'd go with ForeHelp. In my
experience it's light years ahead of RoboHelp...easier to use, more
reliable, and more flexible. I've introduced people to FH when they've
become disillusioned with RH and they've been delighted with the

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar(TM) System
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
Check our Web site for the upcoming Clustar class info

> Our company is currently developing a new piece of software and have
> to embrace a new help authoring tool. This tool must allow us to maintain
> help file and written documentation with the same content. In the past we
> have used HelpBreeze and have found it difficult to use. We are now
> at RoboHelp and ForeHelp. I have heard good things about both of these
> products which is making it difficult to make a decision. Any comments or
> suggestions would be appreciated.
> Thanks for your help.
> Tony Adler

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