Re: Which is first: online or paper?

Subject: Re: Which is first: online or paper?
From: Susan Seifert <sseifert -at- FAIRFIELD -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 20:56:40 -0700

At 3:25 PM 3/4/96, Peter Kent wrote:
>>>Jane Bergen said:
>Just curious.... how many of you who write both online and paper docs
>for the same software start with online, then develop paper? How many
>begin with paper? I've seen some interesting messages lately that
>lead me to believe there might be a sizable split on this list for both
>directions.<<

>I've done this a few times, and I've always started with paper, for a number of
>reasons.

>-It's much easier to go through review cycles using paper--it's very difficult
>to review online docs. So get the paper document finished, reviewed, and
>"cleaned," _then_ create the online doc.

>-Once you have the finished text, you can create a good online-help system in
>one week or less by importing that text and doing the linking, etc., in the
>online-help authoring tool.

>-Tools for creating paper docs are usually far more developed than tools for
>producing online docs. They often contain features that make handling
>words much
>easier--autotext, drag-and-drop editing, thesaurus, macros, etc., etc.

>-I agree with you that online stuff is often abbreviated; it's easier to
>go from
>the full text (paper) to the abbreviated text (online).

>-Online help often has hypergraphics. If you have a help file with
>hypergraphics
>the text is split into lots of small topics, each linked to a hotspot. I
>personally think it's easier to create these small topics by picking the stuff
>you need from a finished text than to take all these topics and paste them
>together in some way to create a paper document.

[snip]

>!^NavFont02F08DC0004HODDDFF0
>==================================================================
>Peter Kent: 71601 -dot- 1266 -at- compuserve -dot- com, Coming soon, an updated and
>revised Technical Writer's Freelancing Guide. E-mail for more info
>==================================================================


I do exactly the same, for exactly the same reasons.

Susan

sseifert -at- fairfield -dot- com


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