Windows Help authoring tools

Subject: Windows Help authoring tools
From: Faith Weber <weber -at- EASI -dot- ENET -dot- DEC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 1994 18:13:47 PST

Roger Tunsley writes:

>extensive hypergraphics using the hotspot editor, and so on. Since then, we
>have looked at several tools such as Robohelp but have dismissed them as
>getting in the way of the maintainability of the files. They don't stop
>maintenance, they just seem to hinder it. We have since translated these

Roger, I agree that coding help files is not at all the most difficult
part of the process. I'm curious, though: in what sense do you think
tools such as RoboHelp "hinder" the maintenance of help files?

From my limited experience, it seems useful to use a tool to generate
Help because it automates some of the more tedious aspects and probably
saves some time. As for editing in RTF format, isn't it possible to
generate the RTF file with a tool, then load it in Word to look at any
problem areas? To me, this seems like the most efficient way
to go, but I'm just starting to create help files. The maintenance
issue is something I'm very interested in because it will come up
fairly soon.

For anyone else who writes Windows Help, what (in your opinion) are
the pros and cons of using a tool as opposed to straight WinWord? I'm
especially interested in hearing from folks who've had to update their
help files one or more times.


Faith Weber
EA Systems Inc.
weber -at- easi -dot- enet -dot- dec -dot- com

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