Organizing Task and Ref Info (Was Good Software Manuals)

Subject: Organizing Task and Ref Info (Was Good Software Manuals)
From: Gretchen Toth <glt -at- ICONOVEX -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 08:46:45 -0600

Mike Starr wrote on Mon, 22 Jan 1996 10:38:

>I firmly believe that both the online help and the manual should be as
>thorough and comprehensive as possible and that they both should contain
>essentially the same information. I also believe that both should contain
>both task-based and reference data.

I agree. And for printed documentation I have chosen to have the first part
of the manual as task-based and the second part as reference. As for the
help file, I plan to include the task-based information in the 'main'
sections of the help file, i.e., click on a hyperlink in the TOC and you
will jump to task-based information for that topic. My strict reference
information, however, will appear when the user selects a link to popup SHED
graphic (Click here to see Really Nifty Dialog) and then clicks on an item
in the popup dialog (Click on any of the items in the dialog for more info).
This method of organization makes it relatively easy to convert to help
using Doc-to-Help too.

I would like to hear how others arrange their printed and, especially,
online help when trying to incorporate task and reference info.



Gretchen L. Toth
Technical Writer
The Iconovex Corporation
gretchen -dot- toth -at- iconovex -dot- com

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