Documenting installation options RE: Clippy's Demise

Subject: Documenting installation options RE: Clippy's Demise
From: Bill Burns <bburns -at- scriptorium -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 09:11:32 -0600

Yeah, but how many people received their computers with Office, including Clippy, already installed? I think if I'd called Systems and asked them to come re-install Office so I didn't have to look at Clippy I would have been put at the bottom of a veeeeery long list. :-)

Speaking of installation options, who came up with this absurd JIT method of installation that Office 2000 uses? I just tried to open a DOC file, and Word informed me that the HYPHENATION option wasn't installed and prompted me to insert the installation CD. I can understand why I might not want filters for WordStar installed by default, but hyphenation? In this respect (and in formatting and graphics handling), Word 2000 really seems like a step down the ladder of usability.

To make this relevant to TW, how many of you who write installation guides have written your way around absurd design choices like this?

I can remember a few projects in which I had to write step-by-step instructions for an installer wizard. The wizard itself wasn't that bad, but the developers insisted that each dialog box have a separate topic. (It really need a hardcopy guide.) I even had to include instructions for command-line installations. Never mind that the user had to install the software to get to those topics. I pointed out the problems with these requests as diplomatically as possible, but in the end, I had to "shut up and write" (TM)*.

* Not sure if Andrew Plato's trademark registration papers have been finalized on this one.

Bill Burns, Senior Technical Consultant, Scriptorium Publishing
FrameMaker ACE, WebWorks Publisher Certified Trainer
bburns -at- scriptorium -dot- com - 208-484-4459


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