Re: Results of "Tool" survey

Subject: Re: Results of "Tool" survey
From: Deborah Meltzer <deborah -at- STARQUEST -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 13:23:46 PST

>Although the advoates for RoboHelp are pretty convincing, I was
>surprised by the number of comments that using Winhelp, or no 3rd party
>tool, is a good foundation for the online Help author. The consensus
>seems to be that tools are useful only after you have mastered the
>fundamentals, or underpinnings of the basic coding.

I have to take exception to this statement regarding Forehelp. I had a major
deadline within four days of being hired at the company I currently work
for, and besides extensive new writing and rewriting/reorganizing of
existing material in the first help file, I had to learn to use Forehelp to
accomplish these tasks within the same four days. The tool was useful within
a couple of hours, and I would not say that I had yet mastered the
fundamentals, or underpinnings of basic coding. My impression is that
Forehelp's major strength is its very short learning curve. (No, I don't get
any commission for saying these things :^) )

But I also have the impression that if you want to end up with both print
documentation and online help systems, a tool such as RoboHelp may be a
better way to go. Forehelp can accomplish this as well, but the print
documentation may require more format tweaking using Forehelp than it would
using RoboHelp. Because RoboHelp is designed as a single sourcing tool for
both print and online documentation and Forehelp is designed primarily as a
help authoring tool, I would actually hope that this was the case.


"If your present is tense, you are probably not living in the present tense."
Deborah Meltzer
StarQuest Software, Inc.
email: deborah -at- starquest -dot- com
voice: 510/704-2554

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