Re: Any online help developers willing to share their insights for an action plan?

Subject: Re: Any online help developers willing to share their insights for an action plan?
From: Michele Marques <mmarques -at- CMS400 -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 09:35:27 -0400

Gabrielle Piper <GPIPHER -at- RMGAUGES -dot- COM> mentioned her HAT requirements and asked if ForeHelp could do the job.

I recently started using ForeHelp Premiere and can answer some questions.

> create printable help files for screens (evaluating ForeHelp as
> stand-alone tool), preferably using one master to create end-
> user versions.

Do you mean help files or printed manuals? ForeHelp can be used to create Windows Help Files (and individual topics are always printable in Windows Help). If you are trying to create a printed manual from the same document, you can have ForeHelp generate a manual. This manual is an RTF document with page breaks between each of your topics. As you probably write differently for on-screen help files and printed manuals, there may still be clean- up needed.

I believe you can have conditional text, but I have not tried this feature yet.

>hyperlinked troubleshooting/maintenance tools to guide users?
> If ... try X. Else try Y.

What do you mean? Windows Help supports hyperlink "jumps" (to different topics) and "popups." It is very easy to create these links in ForeHelp.

>online manual for topics other than screens (to be put either on a
> web site or on a CD shipped with the system)

There are several ForeHelp products. You probably want ForeHelp Premiere, which includes ForeHelp (the HAT itself, which creates WinHelp and RTF manuals) as well as tools (which are integrated into the HAT) to create HTML Help, HTML web pages (e.g. to do the above-mentioned web site), Java Help and some additional capabilities I have left out.

I can't really tell you "How to Get There", as this depends on your company, department, available resources, etc. etc. There is no one answer. I believe that ForeHelp Premiere will meet most of your requirements, but you will still need to work on the printed manual (even if you use what you get out of ForeHelp as a basis).

Good luck.

Michele Marques
Technical Writer, CMS Manufacturing Systems
mmarques -at- cms400 -dot- com
905-477-4499 x280

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