what do you do?

Subject: what do you do?
From: Kevin Feeman <Kevin -dot- Feeman -at- micromass -dot- com>
To: "'Tech Writer's List'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 14:33:28 -0400

Hey List!!!

I have another question. I have searched the archives in vain, and haven't
been able to find anything regarding my question. We all know how important
on-line help is in an application and that there are a multitude of tools
out there. I have read threads on this list about using Microsoft Word
because it meshes well with RoboHelp. FrameMaker uses WebWorks. So I don't
want to get into that thread again. I have done a few on-line help projects
myself, especially in my last job, but I don't know if what I did was
appropriate. What I mean by this is I basically regurgitated the manual in
the on-line help tool. I believe that this was a bad thing to do, but in the
environment that I was in, I was not given the time and training to do a
better job on the on-line help. Everything that I have read about on-line
help, along with my understanding of the purpose of on-line help, leads me
to believe that on-line help should be strictly task based, and most
manuals, even user guides, have a lot of fluff and information that is not
applicable to effective help systems. How are most help systems created? Do
you keep separate help files and separate document files? What are some good
books on documenting online help, including what belongs, what doesn't
belong, strategies, and so on? Feel free to respond to me off list.

Kevin Feeman
Technical Publications Manager
MicroMass Communications Inc.
www.micromass.com <http://www.micromass.com/>
(919) 851-3182 Ext. 3105
kevin -dot- feeman -at- micromass -dot- com

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