Re: Using screenshots in Online Help

Subject: Re: Using screenshots in Online Help
From: David Castro <thetechwriter -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L Mailing List <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 03:42:14 -0700 (PDT)

Martha Jane {Kolman | Davidson} wrote:

> This has happened to me many times. I am a casual user of graphics
> programs like Paint Shop Pro and Visio and often am not sure how to do X, Y,
> or Z. When I find myself in that situation, I consult the help, and more
> than I can count I end up at a topic that describes exactly the end result
> of what I need, but without instructions how to get there or a picture
> that might help me figure that out.

When I worked with Martha at a previous employer, we handled this particular
issue by adding a "How To Get Here" link on all topics that documented dialog
boxes, and then linking to the dialog box topic within a procedure. That way,
if someone started a procedure and didn't know how to get to a dialog box, they
would be within two clicks of that information: click on the dialog box name to
go to the dialog box topic, and then click on the How To Get Here link at the
top of the topic. Follow the steps, click back button twice, and you're ready
to continue. (We were outputting to HTML Help at that particular employer.)

It was a pretty neat solution (I thought), and I anticipate using it again the
next time I document a GUI-based application.

-David Castro
email -at- davidcastro -dot- com

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