RE: Creating Help

Subject: RE: Creating Help
From: Joel Basart <joel_basart -at- INETCO -dot- COM>
To: "TECHWR-L (E-mail)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 09:45:29 -0800

Hello everybody,

I'm looking for some advice on adding a Help system to our software.
The software is a CAM application which allows users to generate
machining toolpaths output to NC machines. For the moment we only have
paper based documentation (using MS Word 97 - and it does work pretty
well). I have been planning to integrate a Help system for some time but
it's a question of the right moment and having the time to do it
properly - we have no in-house experience of creating such a system.
I now think the right moment has come to effectively start this project.
We will be introducing a completely new graphic interface which allows
the user to visualize toolpaths, CAD geometry and carry out lots of
operations and functions through menus, sub-menus, function buttons,
etc.
The existing documentation on this part of the application can be just
thrown into the bin so this seems to be an excellent opportunity to
integrate a Help system.
So I am looking for info. on the methodology to use given that we must
also produce paper documentation. I'm seriously thinking of using
HTMLHelp. As far as tools are concerned I still have an open mind.
Doc-to-Help seems logical as we use Word. I also noticed a mail on
Author-It but there didn't seem to be any feedback on this product.
Others I'm also aware of are RoboHelp, ForeHelp, HDK.
Any advice on tools to use and how to go about the job will be greatly
appreciated.

Best regards,
Graham Bridge

Well I have just finished an exhaustive examination and tutorials for
RoboHelp Office 2000, and find that it is a fast, easy tool to use for Help
systems, you might want to take a look at it, depending on how fast you need
to get this Help system up and running, you can go to Blue Sky Software's
site and get the starter kit for free, in it, it has a nice breakdown of
HTMLHelp, and shows you what it can do. We just got the full product and I
am in the midst of making my first Helpfile now, and am very pleased with
it.

Just my 2 cents :)

Joel Basart
INETCO Systems.

"Quoting one is plagiarism. Quoting many is research."





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