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AL help file
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* December 05, 2017, 07:28:35 AM
Which do you think is best,  CHM file (compiled htm) like the one when we get when clicking help button in AL, or is PDF preferred nowadays, both have pro's and con's.

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December 05, 2017, 09:06:04 AM
#1
Which do you think is best,  CHM file (compiled htm) like the one when we get when clicking help button in AL, or is PDF preferred nowadays, both have pro's and con's.

Andy,

    actually, I don't mind either, if the information given is what I'm looking for.
    However, PDF format is probably more practical, for some, and I quite like the CHM format used with Animation Lab.
    So, I'll stay, sitting on the fence!

Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2016/2017 + Lightworks (64-bit versions).


* December 05, 2017, 02:25:06 PM
#2
CHM files are really old style are are not modern by todays standards. You have more control with the pdfs.

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Thanks Daz
TCW V21, 2016 & 2017 PP, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, TCMap, TurboPDF V2-V3 & Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3400Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


* December 06, 2017, 09:44:36 AM
#3
OK thanks,   me I like chm so I will play with both chm and pdf, (only real difference for me is that pdf image quality can be higher), not that the document will be of any use to yourselves, its aimed at the new user who doesn't even know what the AL palette looks like :)

Thanks again
Andy

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* December 14, 2017, 10:53:10 AM
#4
Need some advice please - I've done the basics of a .chm and .pdf, but need advice about formatting, with .chm (much like the wiki) variable page lengths doesn't matter, as although it can be printed its really designed to be viewed on screen.

A Pdf isn't variable page length, and because I've put each command on separate page there is a lot of white space, (see attached),  do you think this matters - i.e. is the white space OK, or is it better to cut down the while space as much as possible, by having multiple commands on a page.

Also I put commands in alphabetical order instead of grouping commands together, which is ok for separate paged chm, but if there are multiple commands on a page is it better to group commands, like AddNode and Deletenode on one page or do you think it does not matter.

Thanks 

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December 15, 2017, 05:33:10 AM
#5
Andy,

    having had experience of creating help files in the past and observing many others since, I am of the opinion that keeping one item per page, regardless of white/wasted space, is less confusing
    in the long run.

    I tend to prefer things being kept in alphabetical order - just a personal preference.
    Alternatively, you might try a heading like Nodes, under which is AddNode and DeleteNode?

    My pennies worth.  :)

Regards Tim
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 06:41:22 AM by Tim Stewart »

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2016/2017 + Lightworks (64-bit versions).


* December 15, 2017, 10:12:15 AM
#6
Will your CHM have a "Table of Contents" and "Index"; also, a "Search" option? Users can then look up things via any method.

When assembling the LightWorks Help, each item had its own page, but then there were only a few ‘short’ pages.

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John R.

V17—V21, 2015—2018
Designer, Deluxe, Expert, Basic, Platinum
RedSDK enabled
Windows 10, 64-bit


* December 15, 2017, 01:43:27 PM
#7
Creating an AL helpfile will be awesome Andy and I reckon that a lot of people will appreciate your work there ( none more so than me ),

In this case I think the best solution is a chm helpfile with one page per topic like Tim says, what really surprised me was just how far back yours & Tims knowledge goes ( I saw an animation by Tim that was done in TC V6.0/7.0 ) and for that matter all the others that contribute to anilab. As for me Im just a rookie!

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Thanks Daz
TCW V21, 2016 & 2017 PP, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, TCMap, TurboPDF V2-V3 & Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3400Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


* December 16, 2017, 08:38:11 AM
#8
Will your CHM have a "Table of Contents" and "Index"; also, a "Search" option? Users can then look up things via any method.

When assembling the LightWorks Help, each item had its own page, but then there were only a few ‘short’ pages.

Yes - hopefully  :) , looks like there are lots of pages in that file, probably more in that file than what there will be with the AL one (about 90 pages including some of the original IMSI sample pages.), is that one you did John, I don't remember seeing that but then - I haven't looked at any Lightworks stuff for a few years.

 

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* December 16, 2017, 11:11:32 AM
#9
Will your CHM have a "Table of Contents" and "Index"; also, a "Search" option? Users can then look up things via any method.

When assembling the LightWorks Help, each item had its own page, but then there were only a few ‘short’ pages.

Yes - hopefully  :) , looks like there are lots of pages in that file, probably more in that file than what there will be with the AL one (about 90 pages including some of the original IMSI sample pages.), is that one you did John, I don't remember seeing that but then - I haven't looked at any Lightworks stuff for a few years.

I took a look and it's somewhere around 286 HTML pages. I believe many were done in Netscape Composer, then moved up to Adobe Dreamweaver. I used (and still use) "Microsoft HTML Help Workshop" to create the CHM (it's hard to pass up a freebie :-)). I started tinkering around with this prior to 2009 as just something for myself. There were complaints that LightWorks needed a real Help, so I suggested something like what I had and they ran with it. It's the same stuff that I put into the Wiki. The CHM should be in any version of TurboCAD prior to 2015 (V22) and after V18; in the Help menu.

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John R.

V17—V21, 2015—2018
Designer, Deluxe, Expert, Basic, Platinum
RedSDK enabled
Windows 10, 64-bit