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: Matthew Stern <MAStern -at- PLATSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 10:34:00 -0800

I currently use ForeHelp (2.11 and 2.96), so I have some updates to the
information previously posted about this product.

>* 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.

ForeHelp has a Save Project command so that you can update the original
database while you are editing. There is also a Revert Project command
that loads the last saved version of the database.

All changes you make in ForeHelp are saved in a temporary database,
which can be recovered if the system fails. When you close the file,
ForeHelp automatically updates the original database and then deletes
the temporary database.

>* 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!)

The newer versions of ForeHelp are more stable and reliable than earlier
ones I've seen. (They're certainly more reliable with longer documents
than Word. :) )

>>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.

We've produced some large and sophisticated help files with ForeHelp.
ForeHelp has been updated to support all of the capabilities available
in WinHelp. ForeHelp also makes it easy to create macros: You select
commands and parameters from a dialog box, and ForeHelp creates the
command with the correct syntax.

So, ForeHelp is also worth a look if you want to produce large help
files, or if you are an experienced help user. You can get more
information about ForeHelp and download a demo copy at the ForeFront web
site (

Matthew Stern
Sr. Technical Writer
Platinum Software Corporation

E-mail: mastern -at- platsoft -dot- com

The opinions here are solely my own.

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