Re: [Query] Your Experience(s) with AuthorIT

Subject: Re: [Query] Your Experience(s) with AuthorIT
From: "Char James-Tanny" <charjtf -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2006 18:57:18 -0400

Hi, Will :-)

> On another list I mentioned I was looking at AuthorIT as a transition
> option from FM for Mac, thinking that if I need to move to PC, why
> not re-evaluate our tools. One list member replied that 6 months ago
> they tried a 4 license pilot project in AuthorIT, to check out the
> app. They found that AuthorIT performed poorly in a network
> environment but was fine for small projects with a single author,
> which I found very surprising considering this is supposedly one of
> AuthorIT's strengths.

It seems to depend on how the user is connected to the network. For
one of my contracts, I have to VPN into the server, and so my
connection runs slower than if I could connect directly. (They've also
found a problem with my VPN connection that was causing the problem,
so once that gets fixed, I should be able to work a bit quicker.)

For those folks who can connect directly to the server, there's no
performance hit.

> Also, they found that AuthorIT's PDFs are text
> & graphics only, it cannot produce hyperlinked PDFs under any
> condition. This makes it totally unsuitable for cross-references.

Right now, AIT uses Distiller, not PDF Maker, when publishing directly
to PDF. (This should change.) However, it is possible to publish to
Word and then to PDF, in which case all links and bookmarks are
preserved. (This is how I produce PDFs.)

> LAstly, the support was poor. They had some suspected bugs and
> AuthorIT could not reproduce the bugs because they did not have a
> networked testing setup. Once they made a networked environment they
> found and fixed the bug. This also really surprised me considering it
> is sold as a networked product. The poster on the other list
> suggested I wait a few years until they had a more stable and usable
> product.

That sounds wrong, but I don't work for their support department ;-) I
know they haven't documented using SQL well, but most folks get
answers right away. They've had a network testbed for awhile now,
although I can't tell you exactly how long...I didn't use a network
for the first several years.

And the tool was originally released 10 years ago. Many folks consider
it quite stable and usable. (I have clients who routinely produce
large Word documents, Web sites, and HTML-based Help with few or no

This doesn't mean that it's perfect, but I'm still looking for
software that is ;-)

David, to answer your original question, my Web site
( is published from an AIT database (JET).
Other samples are listed at

Char James-Tanny ~ JTF Associates, Inc. ~
Please send follow-up questions to the list.
Contact me directly (CharJT at helpstuff dot com) with business inquiries.
2005-2006 Microsoft Help MVP ~ MSHelpWiki
AuthorIT Certified Consultant, Development, and Training
Moderator, HATT and MSHelp2
STC Candidate for Secretary
STC Online Information SIG: Online Help Lead
Web site Hosting and Design ~

WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help
format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content
delivery. Try it today!.

Doc-To-Help includes a one-click RoboHelp project converter. It's that easy. Watch the demo at

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Re: [Query] Your Experience(s) with AuthorIT: From: William Gaffga

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