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: Printing multiple HTML pages at once? From:jgarison -at- ide -dot- com To:"TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Thu, 4 Oct 2001 14:26:19 -0400
Dan et. al.,
Often it's not just a simple case of educating your users ... it's meeting
their legitimate needs.
In my situation, we have a web-based application with all online help in
HTML. Our users get page-level context sensitive help when they are sitting
in front of the application. However, our application is also pretty
complicated, and people who want to learn about the basics of what it does
and how to use it need access to something. In order to access the help,
they have to be connected to the server in order to read anything. That's
tough to do on an airplane or any other place where connectivity is an
We provide a zipped version of the help which they can use anywhere - the
search engine still works in this version. But they want more, so we are
providing some PDF files that they can print out and take with them. We're
gathering groups of related HTML files, PDF-ing them so that they only have
to print one thing to get 50 or so pages worth of relevant info on the
topic of their choice. This may be inelegant, and is certainly a poor-man's
version of single sourcing, but it works, has virtually no overhead, and
lets them know that the info they really need is available with the product.
They really need access to the info in the help, so we need to find a way to
give it to them. I remember back about 27 years ago in my first TW job - we
had an IBM 360 mainframe. It can with extensive documentation - about 50
shelf-feet worth. Everything you ever wanted to know about the system was
there, but you probably couldn't find it. The result was the same as if it
wasn't there at all. From the user's point of view "If I can't find it, it
150 Baker Avenue Extension
Concord, MA 01742
From: Dan Hall [mailto:dhall -at- san-carlos -dot- rms -dot- slb -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2001 10:05 AM
Subject: RE: Printing multiple HTML pages at once?
Educate your users! Why would they print HTML? Ugh!
Point to a pdf for those who "need" a printed copy.
<quietly grumbling> Printed HTML? who _are_ those people?
No page breaks, fixed margins, no page numbering
Use the most appropriate.., grumble, mumble, mmfmm.
Sr. Technical Writer
Planning to attend IPCC 01, October 24-27 in Santa Fe? Sign up by
October 3 and get a substantial discount! Program information,
online registration, and more on http://ieeepcs.org/2001/
Your monthly sponsorship message here reaches more than
5000 technical writers, providing 2,500,000+ monthly impressions.
Contact Eric (ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com) for details and availability.
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.