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Subject:Summary: Estimating Windows Help From:Leslie McKendry-Smith <McKendrySmith -at- MBNET -dot- MB -dot- CA> Date:Mon, 14 Oct 1996 09:38:37 -0500
Thanks to everyone who replied. Although the answers varied quite a bit,
they were all helpful.
I received one reference to JoAnn Hackos' book 'Managing Your Documentation
Projects.' On page 170, she says to plan for 4 hours per topic (total time
including project tracking, development, etc.)
Another person referred me to 'Creating A Hypertext Help System For A
GUI-Based Client/Server' in the 1994 STC Proceedings.
"Total pages = (total # of topics)(average pages/topic)
Total hours = (total pages)(3 hours/page)
Add one hour/page for creating jumps, popups, keywords, etc."
Two people recommended ForeHelp as a good authoring tool for converting
existing manuals to Windows Help. Both writers seemed to be able to convert
to Winhelp much faster than me although neither gave a figure in minutes per
topic. Perhaps I'm using the wrong tool.
Another person had written a manual with the intention of converting it to
Windows Help and hired a contractor to perform the conversion. The
contractor worked at a rate of 45 minutes per topic.
Everyone who responded pointed out the difference between 'slapping' a
manual online and designing and building a useful help system. I'll
summarize those comments by saying that quality takes time.
I would also like to thank everyone for their moral support.