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Regarding (not-quite) third-party manuals, here's a formula a technical
writing instructor passed on to me:
bad M'soft manuals + decent books from M'soft Press = more $$ for M'soft
Geoff Hart says he likes his WordPerfect manual. I sure as heck don't like
mine, though I'm a die-hard user of the program (version 5.1, that is --
while hugely flawed, it is far and away the best tool around for my purposes
and my equipment). I can imagine someone liking the Reference if they already
know word processing backwards and forwards, but that's about all.
I never cracked open the Workbook; the name is an insult. The first thing I
tried in the Reference, a hanging indent, didn't work, though I followed the
instructions to a T many times over. It turns out you have to set a tab stop
at the left margin to make it work, and there is no mention of that anywhere.
(I just tried the Workbook; no dice.) That and other, similar experiences
make it crystal clear to me why third-party manuals sell so well.
dski -at- cameonet -dot- cameo -dot- com -dot- tw