Manuals and Help Systems

When it comes to manuals and Help systems, the better one holds up, the less you need the other.

The first question you need to ask yourself is Do I need a manual? Much depends on what your product needs. Computer languages, for instance, need printed manuals to explain their vocabulary and grammar while the Help program enables users to apply the syntax satisfactorily. This is particularly necessary with programs designed to be used by programmers. When their screens are crammed with the code they are writing, it is more convenient for them to work from printed text than constantly switching between windows on the screen.

Where a program commands a substantial price, customers may expect an impressive manual as a matter of course. It gives a tangible presence to a purchase that may otherwise appear to be extremely intangible for the money spent.

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