Electronic Information Products

    • tcworld 2/2009

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      The pros and cons of IM in organizations

      Instant messaging and its contribution to efficient communication

      Susanne Richter

      With the development of the internet and the use of computers to communicate around the globe as well as increasing numbers of businesses acting globally, teams are no longer necessarily co-located, but distributed over various locations. Within the last five years, instant messaging (IM) has become increasingly popular as a communication tool in the work environment. This article discusses the pros and cons of IM in organizations. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 1/2007

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      250 Messages under close scrutiny

      Faulty error messages

      Johann Olasz

      Whether it is a programming error in a software, an installation that was not done properly, a hardware not connected properly or simply a mistake made by the user, a message promptly appears, indicating the exact nature of the error, its reasons and the appropriate corrective measure. Or so it seems at least in theory. In reality, though, things look a bit different. Faulty error messages result in more confusion and hence lead to stress, helplessness and waste of time among some users. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 6/2006

      Quality criteria for online help developed

      Installation manuals are taboo

      Birgit Bellem

      Online help is one of the fixed components of software products. Hence the same ergonomic requirements should apply to it as for the graphic user interface of the software. Of course, ergonomic principles cannot be applied directly to online help, but it is possible to derive from them the requirements for ergonomic and user-friendly online help. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 5/2006

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      Using Unicode in HTML-help

      International help

      Petra Thiemann und Dr. Christine Platz

      The internationalisation of online help, and hence the Unicode Standard, which is used for unambiguous representation of characters in different languages, is also gaining in importance as a result of globalisation. But does Microsoft support Unicode? Yes, but the help author will have to pass through a couple of hurdles before an acceptable solution is achieved. The HTML Help Workshop offers support in this direction. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 5/2006

      Overview of 20 authoring tools

      From AuthorIT to XDK

      Marc Achtelig

      Many technical writers are still familiar with only a small number of the authoring tools for online help that are actively advertised in the German market. But there are many more alternatives, some of them astounding in their performance, and affordable. The following article gives you an up-to-date overview of some 20 tools worth recommending, and also shows which of the new help formats are already supported by them, and what you should look for while selecting a tool. [...]

    • technische kommunikation 4/2006

      Creating help for and with OpenOffice.org

      XML with OOo

      Frank Peters

      Where technical documentation is concerned, OpenOffice.org has so far not been able to step out of the shadow of its larger-than-life cousin. This, in spite of the fact that this free, open source and platform independent product has all the functionalities of a modern Office package to offer. The XML-orientation and possibilities for extension and creation of customized form filters even make OpenOffice.org into an XML-Editor, as our example of OpenOffice.org-help shows. [...]

    • tk 206/2006

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      New online-help for Windows

      Ten questions on Vista-help

      Gabriele Schicht und Gertrud Grünwied

      Microsoft has announced a new operating system: Windows Vista. Beta testing is already underway; delivery is planned for the end of 2006. Things are going to get exciting for help-authors, because the software is also announcing a new help format with the new operating system – namely, Vista-help. [...]

    • 2005

      How To Develop Help That Builds Expertise

      Rob Houser

      In Standards for Online Communication, JoAnn Hackos and Dawn Stevens identified five stages of use for help users: (1) Novice, (2) Advanced Beginner, (3) Competent Performer, (4) Proficient Performer, and (5) Expert Performer. Users are distributed along a continuum of these five stages, and as they learn more they move up the continuum (i.e., they increase their expertise). Hackos and Stevens suggested that the largest group of users were advanced beginners. [...]

    • 2005

      Introducing Windows Vista Help

      Char James-Tanny

      Disclaimer: Because Vista is currently in beta and Vista Help is still in development, all information in this session is subject to change. The Microsoft Help MVPs have created the MSHelpWiki (http://www.mshelpwiki.com) and the Microsoft Assistance Platform Team has created a blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/apblog) which are updated with the latest information. [...]

    • 2005

      Best Practices for Web-based User Assistance

      Scott DeLoach

      Web-based applications provide numerous display options for embedded user assistance (UA). Unfortunately, most applications continue to provide a unified, external help system to answer all user questions. An external help system is an excellent approach to providing in-depth conceptual information and procedures. The weakness of an external help system is that it’s a passive, external resource. The user has to realize they need assistance, open the help, locate the relevant information, and return their focus to the application. For many que [...]

    • technische kommunikation 3/2005

      Marc Achtelig: Click me (not)!

      The Google returns well over 15 million search results to the technical question of how to formulate hyperlinks in HTML. However, a question on how  [...]

    • Tagungsband 2004 FP 4/2004

      Elke Grundmann: Fit for Microsoft

      "Longhorn" is the code name for the new generation of Microsoft operating systems which are expected to be introduced as a beta version in 2005 and in  [...]

    • Tagungsband 2004 FP 7/2004

      Marc Achtelig: Re-designing rusty help texts

      Every author of help texts will probably encounter this problem sooner or later: when a new version of a software is released, even the corresponding  [...]

    • Tagungsband 2004 FP 2/2004

      Günter Starkmann: Modern Ways of Presenting Information in Online Help Systems

      Given the increasing complexity of programs, online help systems can be of help to the user only if the information can be represented in a form that  [...]

    • Tagungsband 2004 FP 3/2004

      Jörg Ertelt: Working in Teams With RoboHelp HTML X5

      RoboHelp-Office X5 is available as of September 2004. RoboHelp-Office X5 includes RoboHelp for Word, RoboHelp HTML and RoboSource Control. RoboSource  [...]

    • technische kommunikation 5/2004

      Piet Westendorp und Jan Poot: MacHelp: Ahead of times again?

      Since the introduction of MacOS 9, MacHelp has been ahead of its times, like the Apple GUI since its inception. Apple has consistently improved and  [...]

    • technische kommunikation 5/2004

      Edgar Hellfritsch, Edith Parzefall und Thomas Schraitle: Help for the Penguin

      The open source operating system Linux is gaining in importance in the Desktop-domain. It is considered to be secure, stable and cheap. More and more  [...]

    • technische kommunikation 4/2004

      Marc Achtelig: Information Layering: Providing need-based information

      When you read this paragraph, you are already right in the heart of “Information Layering”. Your need: to find out if it is worth your while to read  [...]

    • technische kommunikation 3/2004

      Anja Edelmann: Beyond the Trodden Path

      This article is intended for Technical Editors searching for an alternative to commercial Online Help authoring systems. You should first be familiar  [...]

    • 2003

      Marc Achtelig: Why the Breadcrumbs Theory Cannot be Used for Navigation Concepts

      Using breadcrumbs Hansel and Gretel invented an easy and apparently effective navigation tool. The so-called “bread crumbs” can be found on many  [...]