Re: Info Wanted on Creating Help Files

Subject: Re: Info Wanted on Creating Help Files
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 1996 07:17:00 EST

At 07:37 AM 6/4/96 -0300, you wrote:
>I'm looking for a good book on writing help files, and
>suggestions you may have would be very much appreciated. I have used
>Doc2Help before and will soon be using RoboHelp. I want the product to be
>the best it can be, so I'm particularly interested in learning more about
>the different kinds of (on-line) help a user needs, and how a user looks
>for it. By the way, anybody know if there is a product that produces
>those "coaches" that I've seen in, say, WordPerfect? TIA,

>Suzanne Townsend <ac158 -at- ccn -dot- cs -dot- dal -dot- ca>

Two all-time favorites...

For design of online in general, it's hard to beat William Horton's
Designing and Writing Online Documentation, Wiley Technical Communications
Library, 1994, ISBN 0-471-30635-5. Horton isn't the last word, but he's near
the end of the bibiliography.

For help in particular, I've grown extremely fond of Designing Windows 95
Help, by Mary Deaton and Cheryl Zubak. Despite the title, it's has large
sections on designing, tracking, reviewing and developing help files in any
environment and on any base. I've been recommending it to clients, too.
That's how much I like this book.

I haven't seen many products for WordPerfect, period. And with the advent of
Windows 95 help and its augmentations, such add-ons aren't likely to be
popular, although as I've said before I haven't had any requests at all for
Win95 help.

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

Makers of DuoFrame, giving you online help and paper
documentation from a single parent FrameMaker document.

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