Re: Help for Windows

Subject: Re: Help for Windows
From: Charles Good <good -at- AUR -dot- ALCATEL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 22:31:37 GMT

There are a variety of products available to develop help for Windows-based
applications. Some of the products are designed for writers who are familiar
with Microsoft Word 6.0 and do not want to work on a raw test/programming level.
Other products support an RTF screen editor environment that programmers
are more comfortable with (especially if they are already using Microsoft Access
and trying to take advantage of the full capabilities of Microsoft SourceSafe).

The more popular products are:

* RoboHelp by Blue Horizons

* Doc-To-Help by WexTech Systems

* ForeHelp by ForeFront, Inc.

All three of the above outfits offer "demo" disks, if you want to test drive.

However, for the purest, there is no substitute for the Microsoft Windows Help
Authoring Tool Kit and a 495 page authoring guide which comes on CD-ROM, only.

NOTE: Blue Horizons has started introducing some very popular spinoff products
that allows the writer to go beyond conventional presentation help by
incorporating video and animation. However, these tools are sort of pricy
($500 each) and for good performance, your PC needs to be a Pentium/100Mhz
with 32 MB of RAM and a 1-2 gigabyte hard drive.

Good luck.


P.S. -- Most of the above products are designed to run under Windows 3.1
which means they are susceptible to general processor faults and
limited filename structures. In addition, the parsing (help build)
can be time consuming, especially if you desired file compression.
Future offerings will support Windows NT and Windows 95 which should
eliminate these productivity limitations.


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