Re: Help with Help

Subject: Re: Help with Help
From: Todd Sieling <tsieling -at- DIRECT -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 1999 07:02:57 -0800

Hi Juley,
I have no good resources for you to look at, unfortunately, as I've learned
to do help armed only with a good computer (lots of ram and hard drive
space), my wits and robohelp, which is both a joy and a pain.
Planning is really important when starting a help system. The decisions that
come out of 'just doing it' will generally come back to haunt you. What you
need to plan for the most is the fact that online help is a different medium
than printed text. You are more responsible for the flow of information,
whereas in a book that is determined by the order of pages. Therefore,
keeping the structure of a help sys in mind while you begin to write is
critical. Keep the topics short, complete, and be sure to reference related
info in other topics. That way when you import your text into the fledgling
help system, it will be more of a natural fit than text from a completed
Best of luck.
Todd Sieling

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Technical Writers List; for all Technical Communication issues
> [mailto:TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU]On Behalf Of Juley Torkomian
> Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 1999 6:11 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Help with Help
> Hi All,
> Where do I begin? Literally where do I begin? I'm writing my first Help
> project and I'm overwhelmed. My HAT has been ordered and I will
> receive it next
> week sometime. I've begun my writing in Word so I can get
> started before my HAT
> arrives. So far I've written a "How do I?" list, a Glossary
> of Terms with
> definitions and a few help topics. I have plenty to write but I
> need to feel
> like I have some kind of a plan. How do you plan a Help Project.
> What steps do
> you take before you begin writing?
> I'm feeling grossly disorganized and without direction (two
> feeling that drive
> me up a wall). Can anyone suggest a site or some reading that
> might help? Any
> advice would be appreciated.
> Thanks
> Juley
> ==================================================================
> =========

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