Re: Why not just use Frame? (Was RE: Robohelp vs. Doc-to-Help)

Subject: Re: Why not just use Frame? (Was RE: Robohelp vs. Doc-to-Help)
From: "Bergen, Jane" <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 17:05:45 -0600

On Wednesday, February 25, 1998 4:13 PM, Alexia Prendergast
[SMTP:alexiap -at- SEAGATESOFTWARE -dot- COM] wrote:
> Why don't you just author WinHelp directly in Frame?
> You can convert Frame directly to WinHelp-compatible RTF using the
> MIF2RTF tool from Omni Systems (meaning no clean-up in Word -- in fact
> you don't even need Word for this), then create/compile your Help
> project file in HCW (available for free from Microsoft). You can do

One reason most people don't use it is the price...$295!!! That's pretty
stiff for such a limited use. And I've never seen an acceptable online
help file yet that was simply compiled from an rtf doc. You can, of
course, do some tweaking but that takes a stiff learning curve if you've
never done it before, not to mention lots of time. It's a little like
building a covered wagon to go across country when an affordable auto is
sitting in your driveway. Some people enjoy the challenge, I suppose.

If you're like most of us, though, you are going to need Word with a
help authoring tool (Robo-Help or Doc-to-Help) or a Wordless help
authoring tool such as Forehelp, etc. As for the difference between RH
and D2H, it's really a matter of personal preference. They are both
excellent tools and both offer (unless changed recently) a money-back
policy if you decide you don't like the program. I used D2H for a couple
of years, then switched to RH (my personal preference) about two years
ago. And for a little over a year, when I first started, I DID create
RTF files from TXT files and compiled them to get WinHelp. It's a lot of
unnecessary work.

Jane Bergen, Technical Writer,
AnswerSoft, Inc. Richardson, TX
(972) 997-8355
janeb -at- answersoft -dot- com

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Kim Wallace [SMTP:kwallac -at- ECT -dot- ENRON -dot- COM]
> > Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 1998 5:04 PM
> > To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> > Subject: Robohelp vs. Doc-to-Help
> >
> > Techwhirlers:
> >
> > The shop I'm working in is evaluating whether we should use
> > Doc-to-Help
> > (the currently used software) or move to Robohelp. I'd appreciate
> > hearing
> > your thoughts on these packages. Which did you find easier to use
> > why)? How much time did it take you to learn it? How long to final
> > product?
> > Can you take a project written in one and use it in the other app?
> > Tips and
> > bug alerts also warmly appreciated. Thanks!
> >
> > BTW we are authoring all documentation in FrameMaker, so a
> > to
> > Word will be required.

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