Online help

Subject: Online help
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 1996 09:39:11 EST

Friends, Romans, countrymen,

Up to now, I've written only hardcopy docs. Now it looks as if I may be
making the transition to online docs. (Hurray! Fun stuff!) My department
will be meeting with representative users to determine the format that they
need for doc. To prepare for that meeting, I am asking for comments from
those of you who are experienced in writing online doc.

1. From what I understand, there are two major tools that can be used to
produce online help: RoboHelp and Doc-to-Help. Is the resulting online help
product the same from each tool? If not, what are the differences? Which is
easier for users to work with? How hard is it to learn and apply RoboHelp and
Doc-to-Help?

2. Is there some other tool that works well for developing online help? We
may be putting our hardcopy doc (in progress) on Lotus Notes to serve as
online help. I'm not terribly happy about this, because it seems to me like
turning a Greek tragedy into a movie with no changes to the script. However,
it may be the best transition we can make. Does anybody have any experience
with Lotus Notes as online help?

3. Has anybody taken an online doc course that was absolutely wonderful? I
see that William Horton is offering a course called _Online Documentation:
Designing and Writing Effective Electronic Documents_ in September in my
area (Washington, DC). I've heard terrific things about him. What other
ideas for courses do y'all have?

Please send feedback to me at mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com as well as to the list. I
get the list in digest form, several days after the fact, and I need this
information as soon as possible. Thanks very much!

BTW, I got tons of wonderful help from loads of people on this list when I
asked about intranets. I've been swamped and haven't been able to send a
thank-you note to each person. I do still hope to do that . . . :-/

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
(I don't speak for BNA and it doesn't speak for me. We're all happy about
this.)

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