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Subject:How to make online help unhelpful From:Matt Hicks <matt -at- UNIDATA -dot- UCAR -dot- EDU> Date:Mon, 26 Sep 1994 09:56:01 -0600
I was using Word5.1 on my Mac this weekend and had a quick question about
a feature that I rarely use. All the talk on this list about online help
made me think I would give it a try again, rather than reaching for the
paper docs. I found what I was looking for fairly quickly (although I
felt one step was more a lucky guess than following an obvious link). I
found that the unfamiliar feature required me to do a couple of
unfamiliar steps. Well, no problem, I'll read the first step and do what
it says and . . . *beep*. Huh? I click in the Word application window
again. *Beep* *Beep* Damn! You can't keep the Help window open and work
in the application!? I read the procedure and *write it down* so that I
won't forget what I'm doing and that's the end of my little foray into
Word's Help feature. I don't think I'll be going back again.
BTW, I have plenty of memory and had no other applications open. I think
I probably discovered this feature [humph!] a long time ago and it helped
to develop my dislike of online "help" systems. I know they aren't all
like this one, but I've yet to find one I like. I've tried browsing
through online help and I don't find it a comfortable activity, whereas
I'll gladly (sometimes gleefully) thumb through a paper manual, grazing
for hidden features and power tips. I think FrameMaker's online help is
thorough and useful, but I only use it when I need the the answer to a
question--but I'll sit and read the paper docs when I'm not even using
Matt Hicks, Tech. Writer, Unidata * I may not agree with what you
Boulder, CO, (303)497-8676, ******* say, but I'll defend to the
matt -at- unidata -dot- ucar -dot- edu ************* death my right to mock you.