Re: Printed & Online Manual, and Help

Subject: Re: Printed & Online Manual, and Help
From: Bill Burns <BillDB -at- ILE -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 08:33:00 -0700

Robin Allen writes:
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.

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- What tools can I use to create and maintain all of this?
- In what file format should I save the online manual?
- Should I create the manual to be used with some type of reader
Acrobat (which I'm not familiar with)?

I'm doing this very thing right now. We're creating our hardcopy in
FrameMaker. Then I'm importing the file into a Frame template designed
for online use (larger, sans serif fonts, broader kerning and leading,
custom layout with navigation graphics) and printing it to file for use
in Acrobat. So far, the result is pretty good (at least, better than
just slapping the hardcopy online).

I'm going to be trying out a filter from Omni Systems, which supposedly
generates compiler-ready RTF from FrameMaker. If the filter works well
enough, we'll have all three documents from the same source file.
Obviously, the online manual and help will be finished after the content
of the hardcopy is finalized.

You can check out the details on DCL (MIF to RTF) filters at

Bill Burns
Technical Writer
billdb -at- ile -dot- com

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