WinHelp documentation does not create itself, especially out of around 80 assorted manuals; for one business, WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word took that material and seamlessly assembled it into the format they needed.
Writing about technology and technical writing occupy two separate wings of the writing world. There is a certain freedom with writing about technology, even as its readers expect accuracy in the details.
Technical writing, that's all about details. Some technical documentation may be for software, or heavy mechanical tools, or biomedical devices. As many firms migrate from printed documentation to electronic versions, the translation has to be precise. Errors could be fatal.
Users of Quadralay's WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word benefit from the product's ability to move content from various formats into other presentations. We found out more about this from Doris Holloway, who works in Software Documentation Services for Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Information Services.
She described how her firm switched away from a different product to WebWorks about two years ago. The company had a vast library of documents in Microsoft Word formats that they needed to convert to WinHelp.
WebWorks supports WinHelp and other help systems. Holloway said WebWorks met their needs well, and continues to do with other projects. Her company works continuously at releasing documentation on a monthly basis with WebWorks' help.
One project Holloway cited, an 80 manual collection of documentation for a mortgage-servicing client, required a transition from its legacy format to WinHelp. Through the use of WebWorks her group completed the change without difficulty.
Our readers likely spend more time crafting documents for the Web than for help systems. Publishers can use Word to create documents as they always have. When it is time to repurpose that content for their websites, or render it as a PDF or XML document, WebWorks will be able to do so.
We see a potential benefit for WebWorks for the small to medium business market, particularly for firms with a local scope of interest that may not have ventured to the Web yet. We know the big Internet companies, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, all have designs on the local search market.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed to us that their AdCenter service and its supporting staff wants to bring in a high volume of smaller clients to their self-service search advertising product.
Yahoo and Google each have made efforts to increase awareness of their search marketing products, and their services, for local businesses. Those local companies that have been in business likely use Microsoft Office if for no other reason than to have Excel.
But many of them probably have turned to Word to create documents of all kinds for their businesses. Those entrepreneurs have a passing familiarity with Word, and would likely see it as a tool to assist with their Web aspirations.
That is where WebWorks can have an impact. A business with product sales literature and documented instructions all in Word could use WebWorks to export the sales information to the Web, and instructions to PDF files.
Each type of document flows online and becomes usable on a website by its visitors. This looks like the way WebWorks can make the Web work for the growing local business online market.