Re: What are the pros and cons of the winhelp tool you use?

Subject: Re: What are the pros and cons of the winhelp tool you use?
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 14:41:23 -0800

Mitch Berg did an excellent job of listing the pros and cons of
the most popular help authoring tools. I'll just add my two cents
worth here and there
>
>RoboHelp

>Mitch's Evaluation:
> For my money, the best there is for context sensitive WinHelp.

Sue says:
Yup, I agree. Suits my work style because it allows you to "get
under the hood and tinker", but this advantage for me isn't an
advantage for everybody. If you're intimidated by the appearance
of naked code, stear clear.

Mitch says that RH produces
>Absolutely wretched print and online documentation.
I've never tried to produce printed doc from RH files, but I
routinely import print docs into RH for online docs. It's a
breeze! I can convert a 300 page manual in to online docs in
3 or 4 days.


>
>ForeHelp
>Pros:
* Definitely WYSIWYG, so you're sheltered from the bare-
bones structure of the help file.
>Cons:
* Definitely WYSIWYG, so you're sheltered from the bare-
bones structure of the help file. <g> This also means
that you can't edit the help file footnotes directly, so
you have to go thru the dialog boxes for even the most
repetitive of operations. Can get *rilly rilly* time
consuming!
* It's been almost 2 years since I've used this product, too,
but the one thing that bothered me most is the lack of an
implicit save. The program saved on exit only, so there was
no abandoning changes either. They may have fixed this.
* The user interface could have used a little more thought.
Insert Picture was on the Text menu (I think) and I could
*never* find it!
* I found I got lost in ForeHelp because you can only see a
single topic at a time.
* I missed the extensive editing capabilities of MS Word.
FH is stand-alone and its editing and style capabilities
are relatively primitive.
* Long topics and large files tended to break the version I
used (this may be a good thing -- I inherited those long
topics and hated them!)
>Mitch's Evaluation:
> Great for beginners, or for staff for whom WinHelp is a casual
> or subsidiary duty.
Sue's two cents:
Also good if you just plain want a WYSIWYG environment and comes
with some nifty navigation tools.
>
>DocToHelp
>Pros:
* Although I agree with Mitch that online help, particularly the
context-sensitive stuff, doesn't bear much relation to printed
docs, this program is great when online and paper docs must match,
like for a programming reference manual.
>Cons:
* Last time I tried to help someone who was using D2H, it broke
every time you looked at it crosseyed (maybe a year ago).
>Mitch's Evaluation:
How 'bout them Timberwolves?
Sue's two cents:
Go Chargers! ;-)

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

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