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.
Subject:Re: Online Help for Palm Pilot From:"Elliott C. Evans" <eeyore+ -at- cmu -dot- edu> To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Thu, 15 Mar 2001 17:08:00 -0500
Hiller, Jana.Otto wrote:
> I'm writing online help for a Palm Pilot application, and I'm wondering if
> anyone has any resources or tips on how the documentation content should be
> written and presented for this format.
Typically, online help for Palm applications is limited to "tips" for using
specific screens and pop-ups. Longer documentation is usually available as
separate web pages or DOC files.
> At each "page" of the application, there is a Help link at the bottom, so
> my topics can be context-sensitive.
I'm being picky, but the "standard" for Palm apps is to have a little "i"
button in the title bar of screens that have tips associated with them.
> I'm giving the programmer HTML files, and he will format them for the Palm
> (in other words, I will compose in straight HTML and don't have to worry
> about a HAT).
Stick to plain text. You can have bullets and such, but no paragraph or
style tags are usually available.
> Is there anything else in particular I should know, or pitfalls to avoid?
Be aware that the tips window usually covers the application window, and
due to the small size of the screen, cannot be moved out of the way.
> For example, how is navigation typically handled within the help,
> and between the help and the application?
Typically, tapping on the "i" in the title bar or choosing "Help..." from
one of the menus brings up the "Tips" dialog. This dialog can contain more
than one screenful of text; it has scroll buttons if it does. The reader
pages through the tip sheet, and can return to the application at any time
by tapping the "Done" button. I have never seen a tip sheet with links to
other tips sheets.
> I've checked the archives, and although there's some info about emulators
> and other technical stuff related to the Palm, there's almost nothing about
> actual documentation content and design.
Emulators are your friend! If you can't get your hands on an actual device,
download the emulator from Palm. This will also aid you in taking screen
captures if you're also producing printed or web docs.
Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans eeyore+ -at- cmu -dot- edu
IPCC 01, the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference,
October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
CALL FOR PAPERS OPEN UNTIL MARCH 15. http://ieeepcs.org/2001/
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.