Re: Why manuals?

Subject: Re: Why manuals?
From: Claudia Allen <Claudia -at- CPC -dot- ORG>
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 1994 11:30:00 PDT

Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG> writes:

"The paper software manual is dead...

"Nobody has ever learned FrameMaker4 or Word6 or Photoshop3 or any other
major package by reading the paper documentation supplied with it...

"Paper manuals will continue to appeal to users' nostalgia but won't
satisfy their expectations..."

Some of the very literate computer users in my office pull out a book to
problem solve rather than use online help. Me? I'd much rather use the book
unless it's a quickie thing or a reminder of what I already know but have
temporarily forgotten. I don't think it has anything to do with nostalgia.
It's easier to open a book to the right page and work through step-by-step
directions rather than read the help, maybe take notes (on paper!), and then
try to perform the task.

And PS, I learned pagemaker with just the manual. I had to promise I could
do DTP to get a job I wanted, so I opened the book and worked my way through
it. The first day on the job my boss had me do some dtp. I was relieved to
find out that what I had self-taught worked in the real world. Online help,
in that case, would have been of little or no use...

Claudia Allen
claudia -at- cpc -dot- org

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