What do you call it ?

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What do you call it ?

Postby jbean on Wed May 28, 2008 11:01 am

I'm in the process of converting my company from a Word/hardcopy model to a Help/on-line pdf model for our hardware documentation (software is already Help only).

Right now our help is called "Web Help", but that is really a misnomer as it is primarily accessed through the software UI (as well as the company web site). What other naming options are people using ? "e-Help" ? just "Help" ?

Secondly, I will be replacing the booklet style "User Manual" with a printable pdf version of the Help. An obvious name is "Printable Help", but I'm wondering if traditional users will be looking for a "Users Manual". Does anyone call the printable version of their Help a "User's Manual", even though it is the same content ?.

Does anyone know of a technical writing web site that has these types of things on it ? I have checked STC but haven't found anything.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Cheers from sunny Cape Cod
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Re: What do you call it ?

Postby LTinker68 on Wed May 28, 2008 12:08 pm

I usually specify "Online Help Guide" or "Online User's Guide" for the WebHelp version, and "User's Manual" or "User's Guide" for the print version. Apparently people are put off by the concept of needing help, so I believe the new thing to do is not use the word "Help", so that should probably be changed to "Online User's Manual" or "Online User's Guide".

Or you can go the Microsoft way and refer to the WebHelp version as "Online User's Assistance".

Don't believe there's a standard naming convention, per se.
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Re: What do you call it ?

Postby jbean on Wed May 28, 2008 12:17 pm

ahh i like that approach. didn't think of going in the other direction.

thanks !
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Re: What do you call it ?

Postby dmaiorana on Wed May 28, 2008 1:32 pm

Hi jbean. The Adobe rep I recently met at a conference used the phrase "online knowledge system" to describe webhelp-type outputs. Thought I'd mention it!
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