Summary: Reviews of help-authoring tools

Subject: Summary: Reviews of help-authoring tools
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 11:10:26 -0400

A while back, I wrote to techwr-l asking whether anyone was aware of some
reasonably objective hands-on reviews of the various help-authoring tools
that were available. Nobody came up with a good third-party review article,
but I did collect the following information that should prove interesting to
techwhirlers: has a useful series of reviews:

Weisner Associates is a strong advocate of using a tool such as Dreamweaver
to develop help systems, and in fact is ready to release (in May) a set of
tools that turn Dreamweaver into :

Paul Hanson has graciously agreed to provide a PDF of the white paper he
produced ca. 1999 on this topic; it's slightly out of date with respect to
the current versions, but provides a useful collection of data on the
subject and a good example of the thought process behind making a
recommendation. Contact Paul directly to obtain a copy: phanson -at- quintrex -dot- com

John Garison reports: "I'm doing a 30-minute session on my groups'
experience [with using Dreamweaver to generate help] in the process at STC -
a Wednesday 11:30 - Noon Bleeding Edge session." (The actual session begins
at 10:30, and it's in the TT stream of sessions.)

Thanks to Scott DeLoach, John Garison, Deidre Guy, Paul Hanson, Michele
Marques, and Ben Weisner for their input.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"I vowed [that] if I complained about things more than three times, I had to
do something about it."--Jon Shear


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