Re: What products to use?

Subject: Re: What products to use?
From: John Posada <john -at- TDANDW -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 11:28:24 -0400

Linda Moseff wrote:
> I am wondering if anyone else out there gets as confused about all the
> tools available as I do. I work for a state agency and our CIO wants to
> move all documents online to our intranet. He wants the intranet to be
> the baseline of current info for all our materials (user doc, brochures,
> manuals for the public, etc.). We are moving to NT next month so the Doc

Alot of companies are using an intranet to be the central source for all
information within the corporation. I'm even seeing the telephone
receptionists sitting infront of a PC and using a browser to lookup
employee phone numbers and to use then browser to leave phone messages
for the person.

> group is evaluating software to accomplish this goal. We are considering
> RoboHelp and FrameMaker. The CIO doesn't think online help is necessary;
> however, he likes the indexing and other features of on-line help. My
> concern is that I really don't want to create the hardcopy manuals in
> Word. We also have an outside consultant who is suggesting the

I've only spent a few hours with RoboHTML, the product used for creating
online hlp using HTML. It will inport the files used to create the help
application and I'd assume that you could place the help application on
an intranet...though don't quote me.

> possibility of MS Frontpage. I am wondering what kind of tools other
> companies are using especially those that are happy with their choices.

I use FrontPage alot...infact, I've created a web site you may want to
take a look at oriented toward the technical writing contractor This site was created in FrontPage98beta.

> I am sure the future for us is HTML help but I must admit I could sure
> use some advice. I'm not sure which products are competing against each
> other (RoboHelp & FrameMaker, RoboHelp & Frontpage, etc) What I am
> trying to do at this point is be prepared and stay one step ahead of the
> game. Currently we are in Windows 3.1 and we were using PageMaker
> (primarily) and WordPerfect. When we go to NT we will become a Word

Win3.1, PageMaker and WordPerfect to Win95 and Word. That's going to be
quite a conversion project. If you are going to be putting the material
on the net, maybe you should consider using WordPerfect to convert the
files directly to HTML, then bring them into an HTML product (and I do
recommend FP) to clean the material up instead of going through Word
first, though Word97 does a half-way decent job of converting to HTML.
The trick is to go from WP to Word first.

> shop. We also produce a large variety of documents both small and large.
> I thought a stand-alone online help system would be for our Phone
> Center. Any and all responses would be appreciated. You can either reply

See the first part of this response on phone users.

John Posada
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com

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