Re: PDF v paper

Subject: Re: PDF v paper
From: "Smith, Don" <dasmith -at- HAYES -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 09:15:05 -0500

On Wed, 16 Dec 1998 12:58:22 +0100, David Thompson wrote:

>Why is there a need for paper doc. to be shipped with a software product?
>For example: I write the doc. in Word, I convert it to PDF and put it on a
>CD. The final user can then view the doc. or print the doc. if need be.
>Production costs are reduced. No printing and lighter packages to ship.
>Am I over simplifying the situation?

No, but.....
I have heard things like what you are saying from those in our company who
see the dollar value of not having to print, handle, package, etc., printed
manuals. And I must admit, there are those who *prefer* to have there
manuals in Help Files or as PDF documents with their software. These people,
however, are far in the minority.

The classic example I can think of on this subject (for me anyway), is
Corel's release of Version 7 of Ventura Publisher. The vice present of
marketing (I think it was marketing) choose to supply *only* an online
manual! No hard copy! Wow, you should have heard the results of that.
Particularly when you consider that this is a program for writers!. He has
since admitted publicly, that he made a big mistake by thinking the public
is ready for no hard copy.

On the other hand, we have been supplying certain modems with no printed
manual, except a few pages of "Quick Start".

For me, I want to have my manual in my hand. Be able to take it home (if it
is a work program I have to learn) to study. Or to read in the
doctor/dentist office, while I am waiting for my appointment, etc. (Or as
Matt says, "to the bathroom".)

No, I think the time is not yet!


Don Smith

Donald A. Smith
"I must be coming or going, because I'm moving."
Sr. Tech Writer
Technical Publications
Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc.
Gaithersburg, Maryland USA

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