Re: RoboHELP vs. Acrobat

Subject: Re: RoboHELP vs. Acrobat
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 16:50:21 -0700

At 06:09 PM 8/19/96 -0500, Bill Bledsoe wrote:

>You have neglected to mention several items that could answer your
>question. Who will view these documents? Will they all be Windows PC's?
> (If no, then they can't read WinHelp documents like RoboHelp will produce)
> Are hypertext linking and popups something you'd like to have... or are
>they a need to have?

Acrobat is certainly a more-cost effective cross-platform solution
than is WinHelp. You can go from WinHelp to a single UNIX platform
(using Bristol's HyperHelp) for an initial investment of about $6k.
I don't know about going from Windows to the Mac.

>All in all, if your company is looking to slam documents online to fill a
>check box, you don't want to mess with building WinHelp documents. Acrobat
>will provide an image of your printed manuals online, with minimal
>conversion problems. [snip]

Well, you *can* shove about 500 pages through a tool like RoboHelp in
about 2 weeks. Finesse is not included in this time frame, however. You
will probably have time to do some a-links for related topics, and if
your paper index is good, it'll translate to online pretty well. Using
WinHelp, you'll probably have better on-screen readability, but forget
it if you expect users to be able to print this stuff. Acrobat is
better for printing.

>Now, ask me how effective I feel your company's efforts at online
>publishing are going to be, given that your questions have indicated a
>small interest in online design, and a large interest in schedule (
>:-0hhhh nooo!!!! )

Ohhh noooo! Mister Bill is right!
"Ohhh noooo, Mister Bill" is right!
Ohhhh noooo, Mister! Bill is right!
Choose your own inflection, but I too would recommend you assess your
goals in converting documents to online before you take the plunge.
No matter which solution you choose, you're about to invest in software
and spend at least a little time in training. You'd be wise to step back
and consider your users' needs as well as your corporate/departmental
goals first. At least then you'll have made a decision you can defend
should someone ask you "why?"

Sue Gallagher
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com
-- The _Guide_ is definitive.
Reality is frequently inaccurate.

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