RE: Tech Writing: The Next Generation

Subject: RE: Tech Writing: The Next Generation
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: "'David Handy'" <davidh -at- automsoft -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 09:22:22 -0500


I asked a similar question this past week about the coming thing in
technical documentation. My boss envisions adding video, animations, and
sound. I am both scared of his vision and interested in adding a tonne of
neat experience to my resume <vbg>.

Anyway, the only answers I really got were look at AuthorIT
( On my own, I figured I ought to stop by a national
conference on the industry, like the STC's annual gig ( in
Orlando, this time, or the WinWriters conference in San Diego
( Still haven't decided which . . . I really need to
know what's going to be offered at STC.

Where I am is FrameMaker. With *no* tweaks I make PDFs. I provide printed
copy and PDFs to customers. Also, with *no tweaks* I make MS HTML Help (CHM)
from the FM book, using Quadralay's WebWorks Publisher (

Okay. Video? Sound? The problem is people expect broadcast-, CD-, DVD-
quality stuff. It's what they've been used to. And. does the really neat
Shockwave sequence really, really help communicate technically? However, I
suppose I'm game to get some real learning out of this, and am open to
finding that I am wrong, and, certainly, wouldn't mind tinkering with
Macromedia Director and Authorware (

David, let us know what you find out. Did I help?

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Handy [SMTP:davidh -at- automsoft -dot- com]
> Hi all,
> What do tech-whirlers think are the ideal formats and media for
> technical documentation? Put another way, what's your idea of
> the perfect system for writing and delivering large documents?
> By any chance is that system also the most up-to-date tools-wise?
> These are broad questions, I know, but my boss has given me the
> novel brief of writing the documentation for the next release of
> our software product with the most up-to-date media available.
> To quote him, he wants "the next generation of user documentation"
> to accompany the product release.

> I did a big spend a few months back on Frame, Photoshop,
> RoboHELP Office and FullShot so I'd rather not buy any new
> tools unless they're really going to transform how I create
> the docs.
> Please mail me directly as I receive the digest version of the
> list.
> Thanks in advance,
> David Handy
> Technical Writer
> Automsoft International
> Dublin, Ireland
> davidh -at- automsoft -dot- com

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