Re: Advice for manuals

Subject: Re: Advice for manuals
From: John Russell <johnr -at- BRS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 1994 12:15:44 EST

> ****************************
> [Explanation of the highly-customized nature of her employer's products]

> ...Ideally, they'd like to produce manuals that are *only what the customer
> ordered*... The idea is that I will write it, and someone else will build
> the software will have a part number for the text
> associated with Z,A,M, and R...Well, what about a table of contents?
> *****************************

> Get into WordBasic, Microsoft's wonderful macro language. Also, get Word
> 6.0 as soon as humanly possible; it has extensions you will need.

(My apologies for posting this to the list, but I missed the original post.)

This is my advice exactly. One of our worst nightmares concerns installation
information for our products. Installation procedures come last, like the
day before the product ships. This does wonders for accurate information
and including it in our books--which have to be published several weeks

We solved the problem by devising a way to have last-minute accurate
procedures automatically inserted into a document via a macro. Basically,
we have it set up so that when you start Word the macro starts automatically.
The template contains title page information already, so this doesn't even
have to be edited. The macro goes to a predetermined location (bookmark in
the template) and prompts you to select the file(s) for insertion. Once
inserted, it returns to another predetermined location (another bookmark)
and builds the TOC, then goes to another location and builds the index.
It's pretty easy to use, and pretty clever. But the macro is about 300
lines of code. It took me about 4 hours, but I've been using WordBasic
for awhile. (And I have many resources to question--i.e. all my office
neighbors are programmers.)

Good luck. Just ask me if you'd like to see a copy of the macro. I'd be
willing to send it to you.


johnr -at- lurch -dot- brs -dot- com

|/ K. John Russell \|
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