Including .avi files in online help

Subject: Including .avi files in online help
From: "Cathy Arthur" <carthur -at- ndigital -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 10:02:04 -0500

Hi All,

We have a rather large online help system that documents a fairly complex
program. The first iteration included both procedural instructions and
tutorials and had to be put together on a fairly tight deadline, so while it
is technically accurate and complete it is mostly bare bones. We are using
HTML based help. The product is released on CD and the help is also
available from our FTP site. Management gave us a mandate that specified no
printed documentation, so the tutorials have to remain online. We are now
going back into the help to enhance it for the next release, which may occur
sometime in the summer.

I am looking at using Camtasia to capture some of the procedures and include
them in the help. My intent is that if they want to see how to set up
functions they can click on a link that will launch the file, probably in
avi format.

Have any of you used avi files in help with any success? Did your users like
this and find it useful? Is there a better alternative to the avi format,
given that our users may choose to update from the FTP site and may be on
non-Windows platforms? Our users typically have a university education and
are fairly computer friendly but are rarely experts. About half are located
in Europe or the far East.

Thanks,

Cathy Arthur
Technical Writer
Northern Digital Inc.



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