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Help versus the printed page

The purist may argue, quite rightly, that on-line help systems and printed manuals have different characteristics; help windows tend to be much smaller than pages, help topics should be more stand-alone than pages in a manual, navigation methods are very different, etc. Therefore, help systems should be based on printed documentation but separately hand-crafted into hypertext help, preferably by an independent person or team.

This might be the ideal, but many organisations or individuals simply do not have the time: on-line help wouldn't get done if the documentation effort had to be doubled. However, Tex2RTF does provide some commands to allow tailoring the documentation to printed or on-line form, such as \helponly and \helpignore. An awareness of the design issues should go a long way to making the compromise a good one, so a book such as Developing On-line Help for Windows [1] is highly recommended.