Response 'Indexing User Manuals and Online Help'

Subject: Response 'Indexing User Manuals and Online Help'
From: Ruth Haines CSC <rhaines -at- JCALS -dot- CSC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 11:36:00 -0400

I realize you specifically asked for a figure per hour for each topic..but you did not describe what a topic means = a widget on a window, a subject, a portion of a window and all of the widgets on it???? Also, will you be linking the online windows (window buttons, F1s)? These would all be factors in the conversion time.
I write both documentation for online Help (HTML) and hardcopy manuals (SGML). We are also converting the UNIX Help to PC Help.
We find that converting one version (UNIX) to the other (PC) is fairly simple since the data remains the same. However, to convert this data to my hardcopy documentation is time consuming because it becomes scenario driven and a different format...and conversly the change from hardcopy scenario driven data to single item, online, context-sensitive data is a format change and time-consuming.
If you have to go into the software program and link the individual helps to the particular window widgets -- you also need to allow for this in your estimate.
All these factors are important to the evaluation of your time. STC states that a document page takes 5 1/2 hours to company uses that as a guideline. You could evaluate the amount of info on the existing pages and translate that to the online work and figure from there. Hope this helps. Good luck!

----- Original message follows -----

> Hi everyone! I need some advice.
> I recently delivered an estimate to convert an existing manual to Windows

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