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offline manual



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Pastor Randy

Posted: Nov 21, 2011
Score: 0



Hi,

since there is not a pdf manual, is there a way we can get a copy of the entire HTML help so we can print it offline?

Thanks.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Nov 21, 2011
Score: 0



Sorry, we don't have this capability at this time.
Pastor Randy

Posted: Nov 23, 2011
Score: 0



OK. I'd like to suggest that as it's easy to allow download of such a file. As it is now if I want to get staff familiar with the app, they have to just dive in. I find it much easier to just read a chunk of pages first. It will also save you lots of forum questions and tickets when people knee jerk that instead of searching help. Not all people will read a manual, but I think quite a few would use it and it would be easy for you to make available for download as HTML then we could use tools to print it. Thanks.
Salgud

Posted: Nov 23, 2011
Score: 0



I read an article years ago about why M$ stopped giving printed manuals with their software. They did a survey, and found the 98% of the manuals were still in the shrink wrap 2 years after they were purchased. YMMV.
Pastor Randy

Posted: Nov 23, 2011
Score: 0



Posted by Salgud:
I read an article years ago about why M$ stopped giving printed manuals with their software. They did a survey, and found the 98% of the manuals were still in the shrink wrap 2 years after they were purchased. YMMV.


Salgud - I'm not really asking for a printed manual, which would be expensive for them to produce, just a downloadable file that I can print. No cost to TD. A significantly large percentage of software developers, especially of specialty apps, produce pdf manuals. Or, I'd be happy with just the HTML help file. Not hard to compile.
Salgud

Posted: Nov 28, 2011
Score: 0



@Pastor Randy

"No cost to TD"

If TD developer time is free, then making a manual would, indeed, be free. I very much doubt this is the case. Someone has to WRITE the manual, which is considerably more expensive than the printing costs. And that someone has to know TD extremely well, which means either a developer who also has manual writing skills (very rare), or hire an outside professional (not cheap) to pick the brains of a developer, who would give a considerable amount of time to the project. Definitely not cheap! Not to mention the indirect cost of tying up a developer's time which would slow down the development effort. Which would only add to the clamoring in here by the better-get-my-favorite-feature-out-or-I'm-switching-to-my-other-favorite-task-manager crowd.

If this helped most (more than half) of their users, some companies might do it. But M$ experience is no different than most - very few users will actually refer to a manual, printed or pdf, makes no difference.

In my experience, there is considerable cost, and very little return. And it's not a one-time cost, because the manual should be undated every time a new feature is added, which with TD, is pretty often.

If TD were to consider some kind of help, and they are, videos are far more popular these days than printed manuals, though even more expensive. They've said they're considering such an aid, but AFAIK, haven't started it yet. I understand their hesitation.
MM1772

Posted: Nov 28, 2011
Score: 0



I'm a tech writer by profession, and there's another option that might be viable. There are applications out there that will combine a bunch of HTML files into a single PDF or single RTF file. Some of them are free, some aren't.

Still, it takes a bit of re-arranging and cleanup (especially page breaks) after the fact. This means someone would have to do some post-processing.

You could probably do this yourself. Go to a site like CNet's www.downloads.com and search for software that will allow you to give it a URL that it will then save as PDF.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Nov 28, 2011
Score: 0



Another problem with a printed manual is that our online manual is constantly being updated, expanded and improved. So any printed manual would quickly become outdated. It is best to refer to our online manual to have the most up-to-date information.
Pastor Randy

Posted: Nov 29, 2011
Score: 0



Salgud, TD,

MM1772 is on the track I suggested. No writing necessary. And even beyond what MM is suggesting, I'm suggesting something even simpler - I said in my post "I'd be happy with the HTML help file(s)". I can manipulate those quite easily to print out a manual. So, if TD would simply allow us to download the HTML help file(s)structure I would be happy. Probably anyone else wanting an offline manual would be too. It would be a simple gesture to solve it at a simple level. The only updating needed would be to perhaps zip up the help files every so often so they stay reasonably up to date. If that were to happen, and I converted it to something here, I'd post a link to it that I would upload to my site, so anyone could have it that wanted. This is certainly not a time consuming request.

A simple way to upload them would be a date on the file like TD-help-files-11.28.2011.zip

Thanks!
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