Help for Mac apps?

Subject: Help for Mac apps?
From: "McKenna, Colleen" <cmckenna -at- SPSS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 12:21:11 -0600

Hi,

I'm de-lurking to ask if anyone out there is developing Help for Macintosh
applications. I'm conducting an assessment of one of our current products,
which will be upgraded this year. It is being developed for the Mac and will
be ported to Windows immediately following the Mac release. Right now the
docs are a mess, with different source material for the print manual (which
is cross-platform), the Mac (AppleGuide) help, and Windows (WinHelp) help
systems.

The new version will be substantially different, requiring a major rewrite
of the documentation. Ideally we will move to a single-source system that
will cover all three needed products (one book, 2 help systems).

Certainly an HTML-based solution comes to mind, but we are not happy with
HTML Help for Windows and have decided to stick with WinHelp for our Windows
products. In addition, a cursory review of Help for the Mac OS 8.5, for IE
4.5 for Mac, and for MS Office products shows a lack of standardization for
Mac Help. The Mac OS help lacks an index (!).

Has anyone out there faced a similar challenge recently? What does your Mac
help look like? Are you satisified with it? Did you write for one platform
and port to the other? Which one did you start with?

Please CC me (cmckenna -at- spss -dot- com) on replies-- I get the digest.
Thanks for any advice,
Colleen McKenna
Publications Department
SPSS Inc.

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