Online Documentation

Subject: Online Documentation
From: Barb Ostapina <Barb -dot- Ostapina -at- METROMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 10:54:07 -0500

Hi! This is my first ever list message, so I hope I get it right!

I am a one-man (woman) tech writing dept and how I got here I'm not sure.
To date, all of my work has been produced in Word for print distribution
(software user guide stuff mostly). Now I want to put internal system and
requirements documentation online (with an option to print). My primary
concerns are ease of maintenance, multiple output options (online with
hypertext links, possible future WWW or CD-ROM distribution for user docs,
print -- and online help may be a factor as well down the road), and
preservation of typeface and layout (especially pagination).

We have an intranet here (though not used, I think because no one knows
what to do with it). We also have Lotus Notes. And, of course, a bunch of
Microsoft stuff. I've identified Adobe (FrameMaker/Acrobat/PDF) as one
solution and am exploring that. Do you know of others? Does Lotus offer
something? Microsoft? If you've made this leap yourself, how did you decide
which route to take? What roadblocks, potholes, etc. did you hit? I feel
like I'm wandering in the dark here on this issue and don't even know which
routes are available, let alone which is the best. Help!

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