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.
T. Word Smith wondered: <<Which is better and why, setting a CHM up to
"keep on top" or setting it not to?>>
There are good arguments for both. The advantage of setting the window
to be "always on top" is that you don't have to explain to the user
where the help window disappeared to when they click elsewhere on the
screen: yes, it's still there, but you'd be amazed at how many people
don't understand this. The advantage of not setting the window to be on
top is that power users can leave it wherever they want: above, to the
side, or below the application window.
Speaking of which, Susan Gallagher opined: <<I personally think that
"keep on top" is evil. It may be ok if you have a 47" monitor, but in
the world of 17-21", it just gets in the way... You open the help, find
the topic, read what you need to, click on the interface to perform the
action and you can't because the help topic is directly on top of the
widget you need to change.>>
Of course, you could always manually resize and reposition the help
window when it appears... <gdrlh> The ideal solution where you can't
integrate the help within the interface is, of course, to make the help
display alongside the software in such a way that both are visible
simultaneously. If you're lucky, you can define the size and position
of the help window when it first appears so that both it and the
software are visible. Realistically, that's not always possible,
particularly with cluttered interfaces or help instructions that
require (e.g., because of the presence of wide screenshots) a
significant chunk of screen real estate.
The only universal solution I've found is to teach users how to use the
help system. You'd be amazed at how many people don't know how, even
today. It sucks that we have to even think of this kind of instruction,
but them's the breaks.
--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
ROBOHELP X5 - ALL NEW VERSION. Now with Word 2003 support, Content
Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more!
Now is the best time to buy - special end of month promos, including:
$100 mail-in rebate; Free online orientation on content management
functionality; Huge savings on support and future product releases;
PLUS Great discounts on RoboHelp training. OFFER EXPIRES March 31!
Call 1-800-358-9370 or visit: http://www.ehelp.com/techwr-l
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -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.