Re: User Manuals

Subject: Re: User Manuals
From: Rick Stone <rstone75 -at- kc -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: LML <lleduc -at- designnettech -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2009 11:05:06 -0500

Hi there

Word to Frame? I'm not a Frame user, I use RoboHelp. And I can advise
that from my own experience and perspective, don't expect to open Frame
and become immediately productive. I have Frame and opened it only to
say WHAT? You should probably seek a class to learn Frame if that's the
way you want to go. There is no information that ships with Frame that
provides an overview of what it's all about. All I found was the help
file. The help file says stuff like "This control does this" and "That
control does that". And I found nothing that says stuff like "First, you
create a project. A Frame project consists of...".

Before deciding on Frame, you need to decide what it is you want to
accomplish and see if Frame fits that bill. You may find it would just
be overkill. Like many folks flocking to the DITA standard. Do you
really NEED it?

So look at your needs first. Then decide on the tool. Fellow Microsoft
MVP Char James-Tanny offers a site that allows you to compare tools. I
think it's at You might spend some time there
before settling on a tool.

Cheers... Rick :)

LML wrote:
> Hi All,
> I've been researching around and looking at different types of user manuals
> and I'm wondering what you all think is the best approach for a useable
> manual. Can anyone point me toward any examples of great manuals, although
> such greatness may not be out there freely on the internet. I have found
> many bad examples and they are generally bad because even though the
> information is there, they are difficult to maneuver through.
> I'm working with Word right now and want to learn how to use Frame Maker,
> but I am not sure how quick of a learning process that will be (any input on
> that would also be appreciated).
> The manuals are distributed as PDFs or Flash documents and I know they are
> often printed out by the users, so that definitely has to be factored in.
> Thanks in advance! (Where is advance anyway? I'm in Missouri and am still looking for it)

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

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User Manuals: From: LML

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