RE: Digital delivery of documentation?

Subject: RE: Digital delivery of documentation?
From: "Jessica Weissman" <Jessica -dot- Weissman -at- hillcrestlabs -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L Writing" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 07:47:39 -0400

We printed a fancy manual for the first release of our quasi-consumer
product, with a gorgeous cover and everything. For later releases they
had me create two PDFs, one optimized for screen viewing and another for
printing. We changed the page layout from one that looked good in
double spread on a monitor to regular 8.5 x 11 sheets, for example. We
also altered certain text styles to make better use of color in the
screen version.

When I had the first release of the product as a home tester, I watched
my housemates use the printed manual and made some improvements as a
result. Sure it was an n of 2, but that beats an n of 0.

For our developer documentation, I produce three versions that go on the
CD: an ebook that looks a lot like updated Winhelp, a PDF optimized for
the screen, and a PDF optimized for printing. The latter two are
similar but the for-printing one has an index rather than thumbnails and
search. For internal use only I build an HTML help version, because one
of our developers likes it that way. No customer has ever reported
printing the developer doc. Our marketing guys print it occasionally so
they can wave it around at sales calls to show how much documentation we
have and how professional it looks.

We have printed quickstart guides in the package for both products, too.

The tool I use for development makes it easy to produce several forms of
output from a single base of topics.

- Jessica

ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 2009 is your all-in-one authoring and publishing
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Digital delivery of documentation.: From: Anne Woolson
Digital delivery of documentation?: From: Geoff Hart

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