RE: Best Practices in Context-Sensitive Online Help

Subject: RE: Best Practices in Context-Sensitive Online Help
From: Heidi Colonna <twins398 -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <smckinn2001 -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 13:31:55 -0500


When I've done context sensitive help the context sensitivity is dialog based. When they press whatever button is designated for that given dialog I provide an overview of this dialog box, what they can do, along with related topics. In the dialog box itself include pop-up help for the given fields to tell the audience what to do in XYZ text-box, or what drop-down to chose for what.
Hope that helps.

> Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 10:19:51 -0700
> From: smckinn2001 -at- yahoo -dot- com
> Subject: Best Practices in Context-Sensitive Online Help
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
> All,
> I've been asked to present information on the best way to redesign our online help, currently NOT context-sensitive, to be context sensitive. In the past I've written help topics describing each dialog and linking to the associated tasks that can be performed. That way the procedures aren't cluttered with all the field explanations, and the procedural topics also link back to the associated dialog topics. Make sense?
>
> Or is there another way? The reason I might not just link to a procedure from each dialog is that a) there may be more than one task that can be performed from a certain dialog or b) an individual dialog may be only 1 step in a larger procedure.
>
> Thanks, and please respond to me directly as well as to techwr-l as I'm on digest.
>
> Sue McKinney
>
>
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> 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.
> http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/
>
> 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! http://www.helpandmanual.com/
>
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

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! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
Best Practices in Context-Sensitive Online Help: From: Sue McKinney

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