Tool for dynamic, customized documentation

Subject: Tool for dynamic, customized documentation
From: dthomps -at- foundationsoft -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 11:01:27 -0400

Hi all,
Recently, I had a request to create a "flowchart" of steps for our users
that can be customized by the user and/or their trainer. I'm wondering if
there's a tool out there that can let me (relatively) easily accomplish

Here's the situation. I'd like to create documentation based on the suite of
tools that a user has purchased. For example, they can purchase anywhere
from zero to five tools that allow them to import different types of data
into our software. So, if they've purchased Tool 1, their first steps would
be to install it and use it to transfer data. If not, their first step would
be to manually enter that type of data. (And so on for each tool.) I'd like
to present the user some sort of screen where they can check the boxes of
each tool they've purchased. That would either "build" the documentation or
at least point them to the document/page/screen/etc that has the correct
order of steps. (I don't mind having to manually build each possibility and
then have them just taken to the correct one.)

In addition, I would like them to be able to type in custom information such
as their "live date" and have that populate various spots in the docs.

I have Office 2000, Framemaker 7, Robohelp 2000 and DemoShield at my
disposal. Anyone think of a good way to accomplish this in any one of these
tools (or in another, economical and easy to learn tool)?


Dannette Thompson
Senior Technical Writer
dthompson -at- foundationsoft -dot- com <mailto:dthomps -at- foundationsoft -dot- com>

Foundation Software, Inc. <>
800-246-0800 ext. 213
The #1 Accounting Software for Labor-Intensive Contractors


sourcing tool for FrameMaker that lets you easily publish your content
online. No macro language required!

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