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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    I am looking for software that I can use for documenting proceedures and thought it would be nice to put it in a format similar to what I have seen with "help topics". I have attached a screenshot of what I am after. I'm not sure is something is availabe within the Office XP suite of products.

    Thanks,
    John
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    The Office XP Developer Edition probably came with a so-called help authoring tool, other versions didn't.

    If you do a Google or Bing search for "help authoring" you'll find many tools, some of them free.


  3. #3
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    Hans,

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    John

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Microsoft has an excellent help authoring tool: HTMLhelp, and it's free.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en

    Doug


    Quote Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
    Hans,

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    John

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon37 View Post
    Microsoft has an excellent help authoring tool: HTMLhelp, and it's free.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en

    Doug
    Actually, "HTML Help" is the file format--it's a form of compressed HTML, actually. The Microsoft tool is called the "HTML Help Workshop."

    Among the free tools, perhaps the easiest to learn and use would be Shalom Help Maker, which is its own editor that creates the compiled .chm files directly. See, for example, shalom-help-maker-shm.en.softonic.com/ to download it and try it out. I have heard some good things about it from others.

    I worked in technical documentation for some time. Most shops used tools like RoboHelp (expensive) or the newer and probably better MadCap Flare. These are more powerful and more flexible in many ways, but for straightforward needs as you describe the Shalom Help Maker would probably be easier to use than HTML Help Workshop. I admit I have not used Microsoft's tool in some time, but if I recall correctly when I did use it you had to create the original file in Word or some such, then use the Workshop to compile it.

    Of course, if the file is for distribution to others, any who may not use Windows may not be able to open or read the files you create in HTML help format. There are tools, though, that will convert the .chm files to straight HTML for use on websites and such. Some of them are free as well.

    David

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