Re: Editing Online Help

Subject: Re: Editing Online Help
From: "Poorni Aravindan Kumar" <poorani_kumar -at- rediffmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: 27 Jun 2002 09:20:58 -0000

smithelizabeth -at- hotmail -dot- com wrote :

I am writing a paper on editing online help. I would like to get
information on what special methods, procedures, or considerations is
specific to editing online help (for applications, standalone, and webhelp,
etc.) An example would be checking for links and jumps.

What other issues and considerations should a help editor take into
consideration when comprehensively editing help? Also, can anyone suggest
any books/web sites/ articles relating to this topic (editing online

You can check for the following:

Grammar and spelling errors.
If all topics appear in the TOC (make sure topics are not orphaned).
cross-reference and hotspots.
Help navigation.
Make sure a relevant dialog-level help topic and field-level help is linked to each dialog and field through F1
Does the topic contain all the information the reader needs at that point?
Does the topic contain relevant information about the screen or the field?
Does any information in the topic or the help window distracts user's attention?
Check if the text links are self-explanatory. Do readers get a good idea of what they will find if they click on the link?
Jargon, unfamiliar words, and inconsistent use of terms.
Topic titles unclear, misleading, too long, or not in approved style.
Inconsistent style and presentation of procedures.
Steps out of order in procedures.
Missing information.
Look for legal problems and misused trademarks. Is copyright statement correct?
Check to see whether the writer has enabled the various tools (Bookmarks, Favorites, History list) that readers might use.

This book provides information on editing online help:

Poorani Kumar
Technical Writer
Sun Microsystems India Private Limited
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