Re: help! ways to convert files to RTF for windows help?

Subject: Re: help! ways to convert files to RTF for windows help?
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 11:27:00 EST

At 11:58 AM 3/18/96 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi Sarah

>Are you writing the content for the help files? If so, I can't stress
>enough, that you should also learn how to create the help file yourself.
>The way you write in strongly influenced by the format. As well, the way
>you organize the information online is very different than on paper, and
>you need to be thinking about that organization while you are writing. If
>you're writing text and getting someone else to put in the codes, it's
>very hard to organize your information. You can either learn the WinHelp
>codes yourself, or you can buy a third party package like RoboHelp,
>ForeHelp, or Doc-To-Help which enable you to create topics, jumps, and pop
>ups without actually knowing the codes.

>Help authoring is about creating an entire help system, not just writing
>the text of the topics. Also, it's quite fun to create the whole system.


Ditto, ditto, ditto. And I'd add that, first, your co-workers need training,
not Web sites. Hypertext ain't chopped liver. The basic problem with all
hypertext problems isn't coding, it's planning. Just about every beginner
tries to "grow" a project, rather than plan it out. It's a catch-22; you
don't know how to plan 'cause you ain't done it before, but you can't do it
right if you don't plan it right up front. You have to have done it to do it.

I'd highly suggest that you immediately create forms to show topics, their
jumps, and the types of jumps you'll be using. Note down EVERY jump. Don't
leave a bunch "till later." Then create a form to identify all keywords.
This organization will save your keister.

Software isn't the answer, although it looks from the outside as though it
is. I'm with Anne. Learn the codes first, so you know what's going on. Don't
succumb to the apparent ease of tools that hide everything before you learn
what they're hiding.

Tim Altom
Vice President
Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice)
317.899.5987 (fax)

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