Re: PDF v paper

Subject: Re: PDF v paper
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 10:38:03 -0500

Why does it have to be either/or?

Where I work, we produce a suite of documentation.

There is a "Getting Results With ..." guide, usually around 30-40 pages,
that is suitable for reading at, or away from, the computer. The old books
were about 300 pages, and very rarely read. The new ones are short enough to
read, so users often find out about features they hadn't considered looking
up. As an unintended side effect, the short books are effective sales tools.

There is a comprehensive help system to answer immediate questions while
using the software.

And there are PDF versions of the fat manuals we used to publish, so the
small minority of our customers who need that level of detail can print out
the parts they need.

No, it's not single-sourced, except for the "Getting Results" being provided
both on paper and in PDF. The documents address different needs in different
ways, and very little of the material is duplicated.

We have managed to reduce the cost, both monetary and ecological, of
publishing documentation, and our customers like the results.

mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com
nax -at- execpc -dot- com

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