RE: Framemaker, Word and Robohelp

Subject: RE: Framemaker, Word and Robohelp
From: "Humphries, Ola" <Ola -dot- Humphries -at- Caminus -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 11:15:36 -0600

I notice that we got off the subject originally posed by the person who
started this string.
Since I use FrameMaker to make a UG, make a PDF of it, then make a RoboHelp
help file for context-sensitive help, I'd like to offer my 2 cents.
Like the original writer, my company was using Word with Doc2Help and with
RoboHelp. I could order one large package.The company would not purchase a
third HAT but they would purchase a second Word processor if I wanted it.
I chose to have them order FrameMaker, since my UG is "huge," like the
application it documents.
FM makes great PDF files. It works without crashing in an NT environment
with 128 RAM. No problems there.
To make a RoboHelp project from an FM document, you have to go through an
.rtf version. This can be a bit tricky until you get the hang of it. I don't
mind, however. In fact, I prefer it this way, since in the transition, the
"single source" restrictions on my project are removed. I can make true
online help, using the UG base files but making them more suitable to the
different medium. (Tables of definitions, for example, can be best displayed
online with popups.) The WinHelp2000 option is especially good, since it
produces a help file that has the best of HTML and WinHelp interfaces.
As a hint, if you have smallish bits of stuff that you want to move from FM
to Word (in the RoboHelp user interface), you can just copy them in FM and
paste them directly into Word. You can also use NotePad as a copy and paste
go-between.
So long as your SMEs and users like the end result, the extra time required
for the project is ok by them, at least that is my experience.
I have never used WebWorks Publisher, but if it produces a Doc2Help-like
result (when D2H is used with a Word document), I prefer the
RoboHelp-FrameMaker combination, rather than the WebWorks-FrameMaker
combination.

Ola Humphries
CAMINUS
Technical Writer for GasMaster
Phone: 832-200-7243 (work)
713-864-1553 (home)
http://worsdshop.pair.com/



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