Tool Impressions

Subject: Tool Impressions
From: Monica Petersen <MONICA -dot- PETERSEN -at- EY -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 13:17:07 -0500

I'd like to know about the Help authoring tools that folk here are using.
The only tools I have heard about so far are ForeHelp, Doc-to-Help,
RoboHelp, Help Writer's Assistant. I know more are out there, and even
regarding these tools, my knowledge is fairly skimpy on all but one.

I'm not looking for a marketing kit's idea of evaluation. Rather, I need to
hear an in-the-trenches perspective. Please let me know your list of pros
and cons about these tools, and any others you have worked with. If you're
using several tools, I'd LOVE to know how and why, at what costs and with
what benefits.

Here are some basic areas I'd especially like to know about:

1) Ease of use for users who are new to the product AND to the process of
authoring Help files

2) Ease of use for experienced Help authors and people experienced with that

3) Availability of technical support (how long to get an answer)

4) Quality of technical support (how helpful the people you talk with are;
how fast and effective their solutions are)

5) Scope of technical support (how helpful the TS is when the problem turns
out to be "not their bug" -- something about how you've set things up,
something about WinHelp itself, whatever)

6) Upgrade quality and policy -- usefulness and quality of upgrades; cost of
upgrades; value of upgrades even if free (whatever the cost, was it worth
it? and will you gladly pay for future upgrades?)

I look forward to whatever you care to share. I need all the info I can get
to support future purchase requests!

I'm hoping for direct responses to me, if that's okay: I receive the list in
Digest form, which hampers my ability to catch anything not addressed TO me.
If others in the list are interested, I'll be happy to post a summary of
comments to the list if people who reply don't mind.

Many thanks,

monica -dot- petersen -at- ey -dot- com

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