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And I an **not** a madcap employee, but I *am* using Flare as Sharon suggested.
I used FrameMaker at my last job and loved it. There is a bit of a
learning curve, but once you get the hang of things, Frame is very
stable. I worked with it for probably five years before I ever
crashed the program (and then I only crashed it because I started
working with some of my co-workers' files, which contained all sorts
of legacy problems that I had to go in and clean out).
At my current gig we have Word. And not just Word, but the "new" Word
2007, which I am quite frustrated with. Because I wanted (nay, need)
to do single sourcing, I looked at a couple of different tools. Our
biggest need is online help, so I didn't consider FrameMaker for this
job. (And besides, I wanted to add a new tool to my skillset.) I
downloaded demos for both AuthorIT and Flare, and for my particular
needs, Flare was the better fit. I've been working with it about a
month, and so far I'm loving it.
Flare lets you create separate tables of contents for each
deliverable. And if you want, you can combine existing TOCs into a
master TOC. My current plan is to have one TOC for each application
in our suite. Which will allow me to build somewhat customized
documenation based on which applications a customer has purchased.
I've been really impressed with the Flare design and documentation,
with one exception. Because the files are stored in XHTML, the
template is built using a cascading style sheet. I've found the GUI
to be less than intuitive, and the Help is mostly task oriented for
this part of the project (and what I really needed was a CSS tutorial
so I could figure out which settings I needed to adjust to get the
effect that I wanted). But I managed to build a working template in
just two days with the help of a CSS reference book and just noodling
around. I'm adding styles when I need them, and so far, things are
Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more. http://www.DocToHelp.com/TechwrlList
True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity! http://www.helpandmanual.com
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