TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Can help files in HTML text be easily converted to other compiled help formats?
Subject:Can help files in HTML text be easily converted to other compiled help formats? From:Yosuke Ichikawa <ichikawayosuke -at- obun -dot- co -dot- jp> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Wed, 1 Nov 2000 12:57:48 +0900
Can help files in plain HTML text be converted relatively easily to other
compiled help formats?
I've been making paper manuals, but the wave of online manuals has finally
Now, a potential project involves providing online help for a map-browsing
I have zero experience creating help files and neither does anyone else in
Unfortunately, from what the sales people in our company tells me, the
client's person in charge is worse; he doesn't know what he's doing.
They've so far failed to answer some of our basic questions, like, what
platform(s), what format do they want the help files, etc.
Sales wants the project. I'm not doing it if the client can't be clear in
what they want and the project is likely to become a mess. But if
otherwise, I'm thinking I might enjoy the new challenge.
We're going to meet this person tomorrow to find out.
From our present capabilities, I can tell them tomorrow that we can give
them help content in the form of HTML text.
(As for the structure, I'm thinking something like the PageMaker Help;
two-leveled TOC with individual pages for each secondary level topic. In
each topic page, at the top, a link to go back to the primary level header
that contains it, at the bottom, links to go to other related topic pages,
and possibly some refernce links within the body text. Finally, a
two-leveled index of key words and phrases. Minimum or no graphics, no
other fancy stuff. We'll be using FrameMaker to generate the HTML.)
If it turns out they want it in some compiled format, and if they're
willing to give us the time to work things out, we can give that a try,
too. If not, we can suggest we give them the HTML text and they take it
Hence, the question at the top; if you have structured help content in HTML
text, is it relatively easy to convert it to other compiled help formats?
If so, we can tell this to our client so that we can get a shot to do at
least the HTML text part. (I hope my question is clear, although I might be
leaving out critical conditions I'm not aware of. )
Meanwhile, I'm checking the Techwr-l site and reading summaries ("WebHelp
vs. HTML Help", "RoboHelp vs. ForeHelp"), articles ("Thoughts abou On-Line
Help") and some past threads, and just starting to learn about the type of
help formats and tools. I would also appreciate it if you have any
suggestions in this line.
I would appreciate it if you can also send me your response directly, as I
am on digest.
Thanks in advance for any help.
Obun Printing, Tokyo
ichikawayouske -at- obun -dot- co -dot- jp
Sponsored by SOLUTIONS, Conferences and Seminars for Communicators
TECH*COMM 2000 Conference, Help Technology Conference, and more http://www.SolutionsEvents.com or 800-448-4230
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.