Re: Forehelp

Subject: Re: Forehelp
From: Bonni Graham <bonnig -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 16:14:55 -0700

Sara Mutton asked:

>I'm looking at Robohelp and thinking Forehelp would be better.
>Anyone out there use Forehelp? How do you like it and why?

I'm using it and love it, love it, love it.


The editing area looks like a help topic window, which keeps you really
focused on the kind of display you're working towards.

The interface is friendly and easy-to-use.

The tool set is strong; besides the 'regular' features of the standard
installation, ForeFront offers two nifty add-on tools: a button editor
(so you can make your own custom buttons)and a help browser that
presents topics in a tree hierarchy, allows you to print one or more
topics (as selected in the hierarchy), and enables you to perform
full-text searches (e.g., if you wanted to find all the topics that use
the word "user").

The build and compile window offers a quick-jump to the topic
generating the error (double-click on the error). If it's a build error
(one generated while translating the file from the internal ForeFront
database to an RTF file), the cursor will usually even appear at the
item causing the error.

The macro editor is the easiest I've worked with yet.

You can export one or more topics to a separate help file or .RTF file
(and import them into another project...).

You can make global changes to keywords.

Their tech support is prompt, courteous, and genuinely helpful (and
I've called them with a couple of "loose nut behind the keyboard"


The style capabilities are only a couple of evolutionary steps above
primitive (which for me is a plus, since it means I'm not tempted to do
more than a help file can easily display).

The menu structure is simply awful (Edit Picture is on the Text menu,
for example), but once you're famliliar with the interface, it's not as
big a deal.

Overall, I think ForeHelp is pretty spiffy. I've gotten my assistant
and subcontractors up and running on it very quickly. Its add-on
features have enable me to turn around a couple of clients,
attitude-wise (especailly since the new features in their help didn't
cost THEM anything extra...<g>).

Bonni Graham
Manual Labour
bonnig -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com

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