TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Help or User Manual First? From:Gurudutt Kamath/Technical Writing Centre <guruk -at- GIASBM01 -dot- VSNL -dot- NET -dot- IN> Date:Wed, 30 Apr 1997 07:35:44 +0530
Greetings from India!
I have been asked to write a user manual and help for a banking
application (PowerBuilder). Normally, I feel the user manual
should be written first and then the Help can be created by using
the stuff from the user manual. I am interested in knowing what
is the best way to handle this situation. I am not familiar with
RoboHelp or any such tool. Here are some questions for which I
1. Can one create the Help first in RoboHelp and then turn it
into a user manual? I would appreciate some broad guidelines and
tips on how to do this. Specially, how to avoid any pitfalls.
2. Or should I write the user manual first in Word and then turn
that into Help files? Here too, any tips and suggestions would
I do feel that this is a chicken and egg question. But as one
Indian actor had responded: "To me at least the egg came first
and then the chicken. I had egg for breakfast and then had
chicken for lunch."
(I did search the archives but was not able to get the answer.)
Thanks to all of you for being a part of this wonderful mailing
list. I look forward to any suggestions/tips that you can offer.
I love being on this list!