Re: Windows Help questions

Subject: Re: Windows Help questions
From: Matthew Wong <wong -at- ACEC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 1994 10:29:15 PST

> Frank Ripp writes
> I'm using the Microsoft help compiler (version 3.1) and Microsoft Word
> 2.0 to create Windows help systems. I have some questions that I hope >
some kind soul out there can answer for me.

> My idea is to treat this material as "online paper" and then tell the
> user to PRINT out the information.

> Has anyone out there used this method? Is it OK to have a "mixed"
> online help system containing true online information AND information
> designed to be printed out? What do you think?

> Any help (no pun intended!) would be greatly appreciated.


We are presently developing Windows help. These are some conclusions
we have made:

It is not possible to have one file serving as Windows Help and on-line
documentation. Differences in the formatting and in the content, as well as
how you print with Windows Help, require two different files. For example,
Windows Help require your topics to be structured differently from on-line
documentation. In addition, Windows help usually does not have the depth
of on-line documentation. The reason for this is that you usually would not
have more than one page for a topic.

Initially, our managers required us to be develop one file which could be
used for both help and on-line documentation. But I believe we have
successfully argued that this won't be possible.

We have decided to use RoboHelp to develop our Windows help.

Consider getting Developing Online Help for Windows (Sams Publishing,
1993) by Scogtt Boggan, David Farkas, and Joe Welinske. It lists for 39.95
and should be available in a good bookstore.

Matthew (wong -at- acec -dot- com)

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