Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 26 Feb 1994 to 27 Feb 1994

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 26 Feb 1994 to 27 Feb 1994
From: David Farkas <farkas -at- U -dot- WASHINGTON -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 1994 14:06:49 -0800

Brad Mehlenbacher asked if people could suggest good help systems that he
could use in his teaching. I like the help system in Microsoft Publisher
2.0, and I demo it often.

Publisher Help is straightforward and cleanly designed. Publisher itself
is a relatively small and straightforward application, which is one
reason for the straightforward design of the help system.

Because Publisher is an entry-level product, the explanations in the help
topics are rather lengthy, and people can legitimately object to this.
On the other hand, the writers work hard to explain computer and
publications concepts to novices, and this writing is worth looking at.

Also, Publisher comes with Microsoft's Wizards and Cue Cards. Wizards
are an alternative user interface that steps users through tasks, sort of
like an automated teller but with lots of graphics. Cue Cards are an
attempt to provide tutorial-type instruction while permitting users to
get actual work done, rather than following "canned" examples.

Dave Farkas
Dept. of Technical Communication
University of Washington

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