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Tools for writing application documentation
June 14, 2005 11:53 AM   Subscribe

For the purpose of documentating an application, I'm looking for a WYSIWYG editor that can yield both in HTML and PDF formats, but meets a few other criteria. [More Inside]

Criteria:
- Need WYSIWYG: don't want to muck with HTML across a large document
- Need HTML: organized and hyperlinked from a table of contents at the top, so it can be read "top down" or as in-program documentation by linking to the appropriate page.
- Need PDF: shouldn't be a big issue since I can probably render PDF from whatever HTML I end up with.
- Need automatic TOC generation/upkeep that links to the referenced item
- Nice to have: automatically include a link back to the TOC at the end of each section. If I had to do this by hand it wouldn't be the end of the world.

What I already considered:
- Word: WYSIWYG, does the TOC the way I'd like, but really afraid of the HTML it would generate
- Open Office: WYSIWYG, does TOCs but doesn't link to the referenced location, HTML hopefully sucks less than Word's
- Generic WYSIWYG HTML tools: don't automatically do a TOC

Any ideas on other tools I could check out? Free/open source solutions a big plus.
posted by turbodog to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
 
Adobe Framemaker could do it....but be the learning curve is steep and the price is high.
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:21 PM on June 14, 2005


Have you checked out RoboHelp?
posted by mkultra at 12:53 PM on June 14, 2005


2nd the Framemaker recommendation. Yes, the learning curve is steep, BUT . . .

It will output the best PDF you've ever seen.
It will make maintaining and updating the document a breeze
It will save you days and days building and updating the TOC, index, numbering, etc.

Shame they've stopped developing it for the Mac.
posted by cptnrandy at 1:00 PM on June 14, 2005


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