Tools for creating a help file

Phil Davis revdev at pdslabs.net
Fri Mar 23 16:39:38 EDT 2012


Hi Pete,

I use a "squeaky wheel" approach to user docs. Instead of creating volumes of 
info that only I will read, I use ScreenSteps to create very visual "how to" web 
pages on issues where users ask questions. The apps I build for my clients all 
use the same "Help Topics" plugin that appears in the app's Help menu. When 
users open it, they see a list of the How-To pages available for that app which 
are stored on the client's web server. If they click an item in the list, their 
web browser opens with the info displayed.

There's nothing like having the Help info right there when & where you need it!

Best -
Phil Davis



On 3/23/12 12:25 PM, Pete wrote:
> Thanks Richard, that sounds like a possibility.
>
> I'm using iPages to create the help text but I think it is capable of
> saving a file in Word format although not sure how good a job it does.  I
> guess I'll give it a whirl with WordLib (hopefully there's a trial
> available) and see what happens.
>
> I'm not against typing into LC fields, just finding that there's less work
> involved in using a word processor that is built to deal with formatting,
> spell checking and inserting graphics that doing all that in native LC.
>
> Pete
>
> On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 11:30 AM, Richard Gaskin<ambassador at fourthworld.com
>> wrote:
>> Pete wrote:
>>
>>> I'm trying to decide how to supply the help text for an application and
>>> wondering what tools people are using to creat help files.
>>>
>>> I'm finding that it is much easier to use a word processor to write the
>>> help text and graphics than trying to do it within the confines of LC text
>>> fields.  I can't leave the help text as a separate file because that would
>>> require the user to have the same wp program I used to create it.  I can
>>> create a pdf version of it to get round that but I'm wondering if there is
>>> some way of importing the help text into LC, retaining all the formatting
>>> and graphics.  Is it possible to open a pdf file and display within an LC
>>> application without starting a separate pdf viewer program?
>>>
>> I enjoy typing in LiveCode fields myself, but I'm funny that way. :)
>>
>> If you like using Word you'll love Curry Kenworthy's WordLib for importing
>> content from Word and OpenOffice/Libre Office into LiveCode:
>> <http://www.runrev.com/store/**product/word-lib-1-3-0/<http://www.runrev.com/store/product/word-lib-1-3-0/>
>> He's done an amazingly thorough job of recreating every element in doc,
>> docx, and odt files that can be represented in LiveCode fields.  And he's
>> hard at work on a new version that takes full advantage of LC 5.5's new
>> field object capabilities.
>>
>> For professional devs he also offers an option to acquire limited rights
>> to the source for an additional fee.   This is a must-have for myself and
>> my clients, and pretty much every other pro dev who need to consider code
>> base longevity, and his source fee was more than reasonable.
>>
>> Curry's support has been exemplary, and his willingness to work with
>> suggestions for new features and enhancements is an inspiration for all of
>> us tools vendors.
>>
>> --
>>   Richard Gaskin
>>   Fourth World
>>   LiveCode training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
>>   Webzine for LiveCode developers: http://www.LiveCodeJournal.com
>>   LiveCode Journal blog: http://LiveCodejournal.com/**blog.irv<http://LiveCodejournal.com/blog.irv>
>>
>>
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>>
>

-- 
Phil Davis

PDS Labs
Professional Software Development
http://pdslabs.net





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