Re: Printed & Online Manual, and Help

Subject: Re: Printed & Online Manual, and Help
From: Jane Bergen <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 09:25:24 +0000

On 25 Mar 97 at 8:28, Robin M. Allen wrote:

> I am starting a new project in a week or so and part of the
> requirement is to have an online manual, a printed manual, and
> online help from a single source document. We are a service company
> and customers will use our web site extensively to place orders,
> maintain accounts, etc.

Robin, when you say "online document" do you mean on a disk
(several options), CD-ROM (many options), or on a web site

What authoring tools are you using now for your printed
documentation? Someone suggested FrameMaker, but unless you're
familiar with that program already, it's got a learning curve. If you
already use Word and are comfortable with that, I'd recommend
forgoing the FrameMaker solution for this project. That gives you the
options of better online tools, such as RoboHelp and Doc-to-Help.
Both have conversions for online to HTML (for your web site). You can
also turn a Word document into an Acrobat document, just as you can
any other document.

Unless there is some compelling reason to go the Frame route (such as
that's what you already use or what the customer wants), I'd stick
with Word and an online help tool (RoboHelp is my choice). My advice
is to give the user the Word document as printed copy, make an HTML
document for your web site (if that's what you mean by "online"), and
use RoboHelp for your online help (.hlp) file.

Jane Bergen, Technical Writer
janeb -at- answersoft -dot- com
AnswerSoft, Inc. Dallas, TX

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