RE: Anyone using CaliberRM to create end-user documentation?

Subject: RE: Anyone using CaliberRM to create end-user documentation?
From: "Giordano, Connie" <Connie -dot- Giordano -at- FMR -dot- COM>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 10:04:49 -0400


I haven't used this product, but I have experimented with one that sounds
very similar to what you describe. It doesn't sound as though you'll be
able to automate it completely, since these products generally handle
procedural info, but not conceptual. However, you may be able to cobble
together a process that will assist you in tracking and keeping up with the
changes, sort of a compromise if the boss decides to do battle :)

What I was thinking was having the ability to generate a new doc each time
you have an update, then do a compare and merge with you're the main
document in Word to create a rough draft of the updated piece. I find this
feature works fairly well in Word XP. Then you could just accept or reject
changes as you go through. I have an RFP response I'm working on now with
17 different internal authors, and it's the only way I can keep track!

Someone who knows macros better than I, might be able to suggest an approach
for attaching/inserting the graphics you would then need to update.

Hardly elegant solution, but might bear some additional thought. Hope this
helps, at least a little.

Good luck!

Connie P. Giordano
Senior Technical Writer
Advisor Technology Services
A Fidelity Investments Company
704-330-2069 (w)
704-330-2350 (f)
704-957-8450 (c)
connie -dot- giordano -at- fmr -dot- com

"Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space, 'cause I'm afraid
that we've been cheated here on Earth" - Clint Black "Galaxy Song"

-----Original Message-----
From: dina m. [mailto:dinalm -at- hotmail -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 4:07 PM
Subject: Anyone using CaliberRM to create end-user documentation?


The problem I'm having is my boss (lead BA/PM) seems to think that this tool

would be useful for writing/generating our end-user documentation (user
guides, references, possibly training). His idea is that because the project

requirements will be changing so often, it would be a good way for us to
keep track of updates for the end-user documentation because we can "easily"

regenerate documents whenever something has changed. At first, I thought he
was nuts (and now I'm back at that thought), but figured I'd try and check
it out to see if maybe he was on to something. I mean, it is interesting in
theory. ;-) I have played around with the document processing features and
templates to try and see if this is a viable solution, but so far, I am not
all that convinced that it's the right solution for us. And it seems to me
that this is definitely beyond the intent/scope of the product. For example,

attaching graphic files is possible, but having the system know where to
insert them is going to be problematic. Paragraph styles exist within the
Word template, but designating certain portions of text to a particular
style (not to mention bold or italic) within Caliber is not possible. I see
plenty of rework after doing a general dump from the system and I shudder to

think about manipulating a document to update with only certain sections (so

that we won't have to reapply styles and such) every time there is a change,

or even dealing with indexing!

I'm wondering if anyone out there has worked with CaliberRM to create
end-user documentation, what you think/thought of the process, and if you
have any recommendations for either a) making it a viable solution, or b)
informing my boss that his head is up his...I mean, that it's not a good
solution for us. :) I've shared some of my concerns with him but he's the
type of person that has an answer for everything, and being relatively new,
I'm still testing my boundaries. While I don't think he'll force us to use
the tool to create end-user documentation, I would like to be prepared when
he's ready to spar.

Thanks for the help.
Dina M.

PS: I'm on digest, so I may be slow to respond...but I will respond


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