RE: Perfect Bound and Three Ring Binders and PDFs, Oh My

Subject: RE: Perfect Bound and Three Ring Binders and PDFs, Oh My
From: "Deborah McNally" <dmcnally -at- windmill-intl -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 14:47:41 -0500

Hi Matt, I've been reading the digest each day and this is my first posting to anyone.

Our company has moved away from actual printed documentation. We include with our install an on-line help system and a .doc file that includes the same basic information. I am also working on getting them to include a .pdf file so users without Word installed can easily read the file.

Deb McNally
Help Desk Technician / Technical Writer


Subject: Perfect Bound and Three Ring Binders and PDFs, Oh My
From: Matt Floyd <Floyd -at- ORsoftware -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 13:54:29 -0500
X-Message-Number: 31

Hi all. My fellow TW associates and I have a question about documentation
industry standards that I'd like to pose to the list. What does your company
produce in terms of documentation deliverables? What is your primary output
for user documentation? For instance,

- perfect bound printed books
- printed 3-ring bound books
- spiral bound books
- electronic distribution (PDFs, Word, etc.) via CD
- electronic distribution via web
- Help files accessible from within the application
- CBTs accessible via CD or web
- Web support/forums/help via web

Our company produces complex hospital software. We currently produce -- as
primary documentation for User Guides -- PDFs distributed via CD and the
web. For major releases, we also print a set of (3) perfect bound books (one
set per hospital). Recently, some of our project managers have suggested
that we go back to producing three ring binders for user documentation, to
allow users to download, print, and replace the portions of the User Guide
that change with each release. Our documentation team feels that this may
represent a step backwards, as we were looking forward to soon transitioning
to distributing the User Guide only in an electronic format.

We would like to have some idea of the industry standards relating to
documentation output for end users and administrators, so we can better
inform our managers before they decide on a tack for future documentation.
What do you do at your company? Any feedback you can give would be very
helpful and much appreciated. Thank you so much!



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