Are user manuals available as printed booklets or are they soft copies?
User manual specification depends on customer requirements. Generally, a hardware product has a printed booklet as a user manual while a software tool or application depends on a soft copy user manual.
Why are there different categories of user manuals?
User manuals have varied categories because:
Technical communicators use multiple tools. How is each tool different from the other?
Our technical communicators use numerous tools – totaling about a dozen – to meet different customer requirements. Here's a look at the most popular ones:
|Microsoft Word|| - To create compact user manuals
- Provides basic support for graphics
- Provides 'styles' to enable consistent and easy formatting
- Allows conversion to PDF and XPS file formats with the addition of third-party tools
- Enables effective documentation review
|FrameMaker||- To create large documents
- Output formats – PDF, XML, HTML
- Provides rich media support
|RoboHelp||- To create online help systems
- Output formats – HTML, CHM, PDF, Word, XML, Java Help, Oracle Help, Flash Help, Web Help, Win Help
- Provides graphics and multimedia support
- Provides pop-ups, image maps, and hyperlinks
|MS Visio||- To create top-class diagrams (flow charts, workflows, network
diagrams, database models, software diagrams)
- Connects diagrams to data
- Enables effective integration of Visio diagrams into other applications
|Adobe Photoshop||- To edit graphics/images
- Supports a wide range of file formats – BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PSD, PNG, etc.
- Provides enhanced painting and drawing functionalities
|Arbortext Editor||- To create/edit/publish WYSIWIG SGML/XML files|
How many pages does a user manual have?
Most user manuals have between 50 and 300 pages. However, some user manuals could be more extensive.
What are the output formats for a user manual?
A user manual could be delivered in the following formats:
How do I integrate an online help file to a software application?
The procedure for integrating an online help file (HTML, CHM files) to an application varies according to the application development tool. Every programming language has a particular syntax for integration and a programmer can easily integrate the two.
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