Re: Printed & Online Manual, and Help

Subject: Re: Printed & Online Manual, and Help
From: "Robin M. Allen" <robin -dot- m -dot- allen -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 15:03:07 -0600

Jane Bergen wrote:
>
> 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
> (HTML/Acrobat)?
>
> 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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Jane:

Thanks for the advice. I don't know FrameMaker so that is definitely
out, but I'm familiar with Word and have a passing familiarity with
Doc-to-Help. And as I mentioned in my original message, I use Forehelp
to create online help files.

Your key advice is to turn a Word document into an HTML document or
Acrobat document. I guess that's what I'm really looking for -- what to
do with the docs once I've created them, and what is the best way to use
present them to the user.

I believe we will just need to have the manual available online in a
printable format and the online help in HTML format.

:Robin Allen
robin -dot- m -dot- allen -at- worldnet -dot- att -dot- net

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF TECHWR-L).
Search the archives at http://www.documentation.com/ or search and
browse the archives at http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html


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