TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Re: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 13, Issue 22 RE: Help question and acronyms in help
Subject:Re: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 13, Issue 22 RE: Help question and acronyms in help From:wsfn <WSFN -at- rocketmail -dot- com> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com Date:Wed, 22 Nov 2006 02:40:25 -0800 (PST)
I was going to reference the appropriate previous
emails, but the list was so long, I gave up
searching for the snippets.
Issue 1 -- What help tool do you use and how
would you approach multiple customers who need to
append information to your help system.? -- I use
RoboHelp and I think I would recommend (based on
your brief description) that you provide a link
to an external html file opening in a new window
(with appropriate exit information in the tag).
The customers are then responsible for creating
and maintaining this first file as you define
(naming especially) and they deal with the fact
that they either must have a second help system
created by them using a template from you, or
non-pretty files that aren't truly help files,
but just linked html pages. It really depends on
how extensive the addendum is. If it is one
page, you are golden. Otherwise, it can get ugly
quick... but at least your help system won't be
Issue 2 -- using the logic of first occurrence
acronym spell outs to a help system -- I would
not, and I am a full-blown Fed/DoD type document
producer. For help (my specialty), I use a
glossary function that is always available. In
very rare cases, I will explain a term in context
if I KNOW it is unique or foreign to my audience
AND critical to their understanding. Otherwise,
I reference the glossary tab periodically.
"Remember to review unfamiliar terms in the
glossary before proceeding"
Hope this helps!
Rates near 39yr lows. $420,000 Loan for $1399/mo.
Calcuate new payment. www.LowerMyBills.com/lre