Re: designing help and online complimetary manuals

Subject: Re: designing help and online complimetary manuals
From: Scott Miller <smiller -at- CORP -dot- PORTAL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 09:17:23 -0700

I had the identical situation at my last job, but I quit before I
implemented it. Most of the info was in the help. The online guide was
more conceptual. The plan was to create the help with a help authoring
tool, and use PDF for the online doc, shipping the Acrobat viewer with
the product.

The two projects were to be completely separate; no single-sourcing, no
links between them. The online guide was mostly to satisfy marketing
requirements. It was very short, and contained mostly overviews, and a
lot of tips and guidelines, the stuff that gets lost in task-oriented
online help.

- Scott Miller
smiller -at- portal -dot- com
If you were posed with a need to create an online help file as well as a
slim online manual, with the help file containing all the user
and the online manual containing strictly concepts, and reference, what
would you do?

Would you create the Help file using RoboHelp, let's say, and then the
online manual in HTML or PDF format? Would you consider putting the
portion also in a separate .hlp file?

I'd be interested to hear if you've been asked to create to separate
vehicles, and whether you merged them, created them using the same
and if you did create one in HTML and the other as a .hlp file, did you
make cross-links so a user could jump from one to the other?


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