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Subject:RE: Online Help question From:Melissa Nelson <melmis36 -at- hotmail -dot- com> To:<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 6 May 2010 12:53:32 -0400
Thanks to Bill, Rick and Wendy for your help!!!!
Date: Thu, 6 May 2010 11:49:56 -0400
Subject: Re: Online Help question
From: voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com
To: melmis36 -at- hotmail -dot- com
CC: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 11:24 AM, Melissa Nelson <melmis36 -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote:
I have a couple of questions and I am not quite sure how to ask them, so I hope I make sense!
Ok Here goes....
I started a job as the first technical writer at a company a few weeks ago; by the way thanks for all the tips! :)
Anyhow...they are looking at starting an Online Help system, or at least a series of FAQs that can be searched. I suggested using RoboHelp or FLARE for producing the content, I have experience with RoboHelp and Help and Manual but not FLARE. Is FLARE better than either RoboHelp or Help and Manual? I know it seems to be the most popular lately, but is it really any better?
Also, I have produced the content for Online Help and then passed it off to developers, so when they asked me in the meeting what happens with the content after I produced it, my only reply was "I do not know..I send it to developers!" I kind of need a better answer if I am actually going to get this system..and it is really needed! Does anyone on here know of a great answer for what steps Online Help goes through from producing it in an HAT to actually being able to access it when you click a Help button?
I have only used RoboHelp, so that's the workflow I know.
As others have said, it depends on what kind of Help system the software is using. Typically, if you click "help" on a main menu, you get the start page of the help system (typically the table of contents). If you have context-sensitive help, clicking the question mark on the dialog box typically opens a specific page in the help system that is tagged to that screen or field (however granular your help system is designed to be). That's done with the mapID files that have been developed either by you or by the developers and shared between you both.
When you are done writing and generating your help file(s) (either a CHM or HTML or whatever), that generated file structure is handed over to the developers who add it to their "make" file when they compile (or build) the executable software.
Hope that made a little sense..just came out of a two and a half hour meeting on it and my brain is fried! :)