Can Acrobat replace WinHlp32.exe?

Subject: Can Acrobat replace WinHlp32.exe?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- AXIONET -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 20:57:20 -0500

"Branchaud, Paul" <pbranchaud -at- UTSOFT -dot- COM> wrote:

>Another solution that has been proposed (by the developers, >not me) is to use the PDF files we will be creating for the >user guides.

I believe that there's an Acrobat Developer's Kit available from Adobe.

I checked into this possibility very briefly a couple of months ago, and
my understanding is that, if you want to call Acrobat directly from a
program, you have to pay Adobe a licensing fee. If I remember correctly,
a one time use was $100, and you could purchase a multi-use license.

>I am not keen on this idea primarily because user guides and >online help use different writing styles.

This is the conventional wisdom. However, with single-sourcing becoming
such a buzzword, I think we'll have to rethink this idea, even if it's

Personally, I'm starting to question it. I suspect that people are just
more forgiving of paper manuals than on-line manuals. Since I started
writing paper manuals with the thought that, like the on-line stuff, it
was meant primarily to be scanned rather than read, I've had nothing but
very enthusiastic feedback from both customers and companies.

>Pointing to the .PDF files would be messy and not that
>helpful, IMHO.

I don't know - maybe it's time to start moving past the DOS paradigm
that everything has to be opened from a centralized window. So long as
users know to look for the help file, and how to start it, maybe there
isn't much of a problem.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
(bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com) (604) 421-7189 (Updated 23 November, 1997)
Job Bank Team, STC Canada West Coast Chapter

"To the Lords of Convention, 'twas Clavers who spoke,
'Ere the king's crown go down, there are crowns to be broke,
'So each cavalier who loves honour and me,
Let him follow the bonnets of Bonnie Dundee!'"

--"Bonnie Dundee", or

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