Re: Maintaining Documentation

Subject: Re: Maintaining Documentation
From: Susan W. Gallagher <sgallagher5 -at- cox -dot- net>
To: Kimberly McClintock <kimberlymcc -at- yahoo -dot- com>,<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 15:26:33 -0500

You're smart to start thinking about maintenance before it
becomes too much of a problem. Here are my thoughts...

>From what I understand, you now have 2 manuals that share
about 90% of their content. It's that 90% that's going to
come back to bite you later. Any time you have information
in more than one place, you run the risk of getting that
information out of sync. One file will get updated, but the
other won't. You'll mean to do it later, but... <g>

So, what you need to do is develop a single-sourcing strategy
for your documents -- and yes, you can do it in just-plain-
old-Word. Some of the things you can do to single-source
in Word include:

1. Maintaining large chunks of text in separate documents
and calling them into your main document using the
IncludeText field.

2. Using Set with an If...Then construction to include
variable text based on the set value.

You'll find the most information about Word's fields if you
search for Mail Merge in the help.

Best of luck!
-Sue Gallagher

> From: Kimberly McClintock <kimberlymcc -at- yahoo -dot- com>

> I'm a relative newbie and I've just completed the
> first version of documents for 2 products with about
> 90% overlap in content. I need to come up with a
> maintenance strategy. I don't know what the plans are
> for product development; trying to prepare for that
> conversation. I'm using Word. Yes, just Word. We do
> our help manually.


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