Help for Web sites

Subject: Help for Web sites
From: William Swallow <WSWALLOW -at- commsoft -dot- net>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 13:06:52 -0500

I'm just getting back into my mail, so forgive me if this has already been
addressed. Back on November 5, a post was sent to the list concerning online
Help development for the Web. The list member was wondering about using Word
for this task and commented that RoboHelp was right out of the equation.
Please see my comments below.

Using Word for Web content development may be beneficial if you have
something to help you convert it to HTML. I don't like its Save as HTML
feature at all. You need the correct tools for the correct job... you
(hopefully) wouldn't try driving a nail with a wrench or patching electrical
wires with Scotch tape. As far as content development goes, sure, use Word.
As far as HTML goes, get an editor of some sort. I'm partial to Notepad
myself, but I'm hearing good things about HomeSite, FrontPage, HotMetal pro
(wrote Santa for that one this year), and Dreamweaver (which is overkill for
your immediate needs).

RoboHelp is also a decent HTML editor (provided you have HTML edition).
Sure, it's hidden markup ain't much better than MS's (which I hear is
omitted in FP2000) but it gets the job done. The same goes for any of the
other HATs that produce portable HTML output.

Just out of curiosity, what are your developers using, and have they allowed
for Help in the interface design? If so, you could easily get away with
providing bare-bones text in Notepad or Word and hand that over to them. I
recommend you get your hands dirty for experience's sake, though.

I'd be more than happy to go over this project of yours in more detail
off-list if you'd like. In any case, good luck! I wish I had your project
right now!

Bill Swallow
Technical Writer
Aptis Inc.
a subsidiary of Billing Concepts
phone: 518.433.7698
fax: 518.433.7680
<mailto:william -dot- swallow -at- aptissoftware -dot- com>
<http://www.aptissoftware.com>

"...painting murals with metaphors..."





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