TEXTnology is dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art, user-accepted help systems available. We offer the following research findings and observations regarding current comparisons of HTML and Windows help systems.
Help authoring and development tools have evolved and continue to do so. The original Windows 3.1/3.11 help system offered many features and many limitations. Then, with the growing popularity of HTML, some writers turned from Windows 3.1/3.11 help to HTML. However, two factors are apparent:
TEXTnology is prepared to develop both HTML and Windows help. However, if you are in the process of defining only one delivery vehicle, we recommend the Microsoft Windows 95 help system. It provides extensive authoring features, significant conversion support from standard word processing (WP) and desktop publishing (DTP) tools, familiarity-based user acceptance, varying navigation mechanisms, and future stability.
The familiar Windows 95 "Contents-Index-Find" help window, enables writers to carefully create a hierarchy of topics by content and complexity. Search and indexing features provide flexibility for diverse audiences while keywords make it easier to find information from different perspectives.
In addition to the basic help features, we expect to soon see:
After analyzing Windows 3.1/3.11, 95, and emerging 97/NT help systems, we currently recommend the mainstream Windows 95 version and anticipate a smooth transition to more advanced 97/NT features in the near future.
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