Online Help Headings Question

Subject: Online Help Headings Question
From: Debbie Hemstreet <deborah -dot- hemstreet -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 06 Jul 2009 16:21:27 -0400

Hi All,

I have a question regarding online Help headings.

When there are a lot of books in a Help file, and many subbooks as
well... if you work according to strict printed documentation logic,
headings can go as deep as 5 levels.

I know this is not idea, but here is the scenario:

A large Internet Software package (The whole big book)
Seven main modules (Seven sub-books)
Up to 10 main functions and procedures, with their own sets of
requirements, etc, as well as how to for a screen (up to 10 subbooks)

The documentation will NEVER be provided as printed manual, nor as a
PDF, only and ever as web-based Help (please no arguments here... this
is what the client wants).

Is it reasonable to have up to 5 different types of headings?

Alternatively, I was thinking of the following:

One heading style first topic of each main module
One heading style for all topics that are purely theoretical in content
One heading style for all topics that provide step-by-step instructions
One heading style for any subheading within any of the above topics

Does this seem like a reasonable approach? If not, based on the above
information, do you have any additional thoughts on the matter?
(I sure do miss working on a team where we can discuss all the different
options and play with ideas before making a design decision....)

Thanks in advance!


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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