Lots of Forms

Subject: Lots of Forms
From: "Kelly Williamson" <kwcwtech -at- iwaynet -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 16:23:16 -0500

Hi group,

I converted a very large, unorganized, paper manual to a searchable,
indexed, online manual (WebHelp) a few months ago adding as much
organization/structure as time allowed. The resulting manual is to be viewed
on CD by approximately 100 employees and is to be updated quarterly.

There were about 75 or so forms--before the online manual came out, it was
one of those deals where everyone had a different version floating around.
Some people had copies named ExpenseReportForm.doc, while others had copies
named MyExpenseReport.doc, while some people didn't even have a soft copy
(to make matters worse, everyone seemed to call each form something
different, e.g., Case Activity List vs. Case Management Form).

I made a nice, clean version of each form, gave each one a standard title
that is used throughout the manual now, and put a revision date at the
bottom of each form. I was under the gun and didn't have time to implement a
sophisticated naming convention (though I did propose a pretty decent one,
my boss told me to let it go since we were out of time), but my instinct
told me to at least get away from descriptive file names such as
MyExpenseReport.doc and use formA.doc, formB, etc. with a cross reference
sheet detailing what is what.

Now the users are asking if they can copy the forms (just the forms) from
the CDs to their hard drives since they are the most frequently used portion
of the manual and it would be quicker for them. However, they would like the
forms to thus have descriptive names and I'm sure would like to go back to
the MyExpenseReport.doc file naming system. I am leery of doing this as I'm
sure we'll have millions of different versions floating around again, people
will probably start calling them different things again, and users will
"forget" to overwrite the old forms on their hard drives when the new CDs
come out, etc.

(BTW, these are VERY novice computer users we're talking about.)

Suggestions? Ideas? Can this work? I would like to grant them quicker access
to the forms, but not at the expense of losing version control.

(I'm way behind on digests, so direct replies are appreciated!)

Thanks for any ideas,
Kelly Williamson
kwcwtech -at- iwaynet -dot- net



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