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Mac DevCenter

Run with the Mac Pack!


Providing User Assistance with Apple Help
Gordon Meyer
Jessica Kahn, Apple

Track: UI
Date: Wednesday, October 02
Time: 10:45am - 11:30am
Location: Stevens Creek

Distributing your commercial, freeware, and shareware applications via the 'net means that "dead tree" documentation is impractical. Yet customers expect and deserve an efficient and effective way of learning how to use your app.

This session covers everything you need to know to deliver great onscreen documentation using Apple Help, the help system built into Mac OS X.

We'll begin with a discussion of how to make your documentation usable. How to write, optimize, and think about your help system with examples to learn from. Findings from user studies, industry experience, and lessons from past systems will change the way you think about documenting your products.

We'll cover the technical nitty-gritty of creating Apple Help books for your own applications. How to create and improve the search index so customers can find answers to their questions. How to use AppleScript to create an active help system that gets users back to work quickly. See examples of using QuickTime to add interactivity, graphics, and network-based media to your help.

You'll also discover how to take advantage of Apple Help's innovative support for Internet-based content. Find out how you can update, enhance, and correct your help files after your product has already shipped, and how to ensure that connected customers always and automatically get the latest version and news.

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