Help Authoring Tools

Subject: Help Authoring Tools
From: Lyn Ryan <lyn -dot- ryan -at- towersperrin -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 12:48:11 +1000


I am newly subscribed to this list after an absence of several years. I
remember it being a very useful source of information, so I hope you can
help me with this. I am looking for advice on which help authoring tool to
purchase/use for development of context sensitive online help to support a
piece of software developed inhouse. The final help output needs to be a
.chm file.

The online help application I need to update and maintain was originally
written in HDK. However HDK has subsequently been broken up into several
products and the flagship product is now XDK.

Does anyone have any opinions about how XDK compares to other products such
as Doc-To-Help or RoboHelp? I hear a rumour that Robohelp is likely to be
withdrawn from the market I don't really want to recommend
purchasing it. My concerns with XDK is that indexing and hyperlinking is
basically a manual process. When the online help is likely to exceed 1500
topics, this is a huge task. I realise that indexing and linking will
always have a manual element, but I understand, for example, Doc-To-Help
has tools that can automate indexing.

If anyone has a strong preference for a help authoring tool, I'd be
interested to hear why.

Lyn Ryan
Tillinghast Software Solutions
Level 13, 135 King Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: +61 2 8198 9135
FAX: +61 2 8198 9009

Email: lyn -dot- ryan -at- towersperrin -dot- com

Tillinghast is a business of Towers Perrin

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Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today!

Doc-To-Help 2005 now has RoboHelp Converter and HTML Source: Author
content and configure Help in MS Word or any HTML editor. No
proprietary editor! *August release.

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