Re: 'Old fashioned' Tech Writers

Subject: Re: 'Old fashioned' Tech Writers
From: TechComm Dood <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 17:21:36 -0400

> When MS introduced Win95 and WinHelp 4.0, I had the
> opportunity to attend a help kick-off seminar at the MS
> campus. At the seminar, the help authors talked about their
> delivery requirements and that their decision to exclude
> graphics in the online help was the result of their
> determining the best use of the limited space they were
> alotted on the installation CD. It was a question of space
> and space only -- but by 1996, the techwriting industry had
> determined that MS must have had a good reason to leave out
> graphics so graphics should no longer used in online help.

That's quite an assumption. I never based my "best practices" for help
content off MS stuff, and came to the conclusion second hand that
screen shots in Help were not a good idea. Users were calling tech
support saying the app stopped responding... But graphics? Yeah, I use
graphics in Help all the time. I just avoid screen shots unless they
add value (a screen shot for the sake of showing the screen adds no
value, but a screen showing something specific the user needs to do
might be a good idea).


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Re: 'Old fashioned' Tech Writers: From: Susan W . Gallagher

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