Win 95 Help

Subject: Win 95 Help
From: Carol Elkins <celkins -at- CSN -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 1996 23:05:12 -0700

This is a major break with Microsoft's philosophy in the
>past, which balanced steps and explanation. Apparently the user should now
>open the manual if he wants a longer discussion. <end snip>

Unless the company who assembled my new PC forgot to include something, the
manual I received with my new Windows 95 software is this little 95-page
booklet. Every time I reference it, all it says is to refer to online help
for more information. My already dismal opinion of most online help sinks a
little lower. I have the same problem with Netscape.

I'm a tech writer and a tech reader. I read manuals; I need manuals;
manuals need tech writers; software needs manuals. Online help, IMHO, has
its place in the documentation library, but it should not try to replace
hardcopy. Perhaps a company could include a certificate with its software
that entitles the user to hardcopy documentationwhen the certificate is
mailed in. That way, expenses are lowered and tech writers get to write to
an audience that actually reads what they write. Predicting how many copies
of a manual to publish might get a little tricky, but I'm sure the business
execs can figure it out.
Carol Elkins A Written Word
Technical writing & editing
celkins -at- csn -dot- net

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