OOo's Help

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OOo's Help

Harold Fuchs-9
In another thread in this list there has been discussion about the Help in
OOo. In reality I think it's only just OK. There are many examples I've
discovered over the years (I  don't have details, mea culpa) where a search
leads to a completely unrelated topic. The example that triggered this post
was generated by the thread in question ("Suggestions" started 10 Nov).

The OP asked about Autocomplete in Calc. I created a blank Calc sheet, hit
Help and entered Autocomplete into the Index search. The left (headings)
pane shows "AutoComplete function in text and list boxes" which is promising
but then the right  (details) pane shows "General Shortcut Keys in
OpenOffice.org" which is entirely unhelpful.

If you enter "Autocomplete" into the Find search box you get the following:

Open
Using the Filter Navigator
General Shortcut Keys in OpenOffice.org
Writing aids
Writing Aids
Data

which, again, is not really very useful.

If you type "Auto complete" (note the space) into the Find search box you
get a much longer list. In this list is an entry "Word Completion". It's
entry says
"To access this command... Choose Tools - AutoCorrect Options - Word
Completion tab "

But there is no "Word Completion tab" in the *Calc* set of AutoCorrect
options. Writer, yes; Calc, no.

It seems to me that there should be a concentrated project to tidy this up
so that (a) the index entries are made to point to relevant text and (b) the
help is made relevant to its context (Calc, Writer etc.) or is made to
explain that an option is, for example, only available in Writer.

Entering a bug report for each error one finds is far too laborious, not
only because the bug reporting system is such a mess - but that's a separate
thread.

--
Harold Fuchs
London, England



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Re: OOo's Help

Uwe Fischer
Hi Harold,
thank you for your comments.

On 13.11.2010 11:10, Harold Fuchs wrote:
> In another thread in this list there has been discussion about the Help
> in OOo. In reality I think it's only just OK. There are many examples
> I've discovered over the years (I don't have details, mea culpa) where a
> search leads to a completely unrelated topic. The example that triggered
> this post was generated by the thread in question ("Suggestions" started
> 10 Nov).
>

We know the search function in Help Viewer is not optimal. To say it
politely.
We have many good ideas how to improve the search, but unfortunately we
do not have resources to do the hard work of coding. Volunteers are very
welcome.


> The OP asked about Autocomplete in Calc. I created a blank Calc sheet,
> hit Help and entered Autocomplete into the Index search. The left
> (headings) pane shows "AutoComplete function in text and list boxes"
> which is promising but then the right (details) pane shows "General
> Shortcut Keys in OpenOffice.org" which is entirely unhelpful.
>


We now added some new index entries that should improve the Help.

...
>
> It seems to me that there should be a concentrated project to tidy this
> up so that (a) the index entries are made to point to relevant text and
> (b) the help is made relevant to its context (Calc, Writer etc.) or is
> made to explain that an option is, for example, only available in Writer.
>
> Entering a bug report for each error one finds is far too laborious, not
> only because the bug reporting system is such a mess - but that's a
> separate thread.

Please send issues for the "documentation" component, with subcomponent
"Online help". It is almost as easy as sending an email:
http://www.openoffice.org/issues/enter_bug.cgi?component=documentation

If you really cannot use IssueZilla, you may send an email to me or to
the documentation developers list: [hidden email]

Only on rare occasions developers find time to read the discussion
lists. Please use the right methods to reach the developers, otherwise
your valuable contributions might get lost.

Uwe
--

Uwe Fischer | Technical Writer
Oracle Office GBU

ORACLE Deutschland B.V. & Co. KG | Nagelsweg 55 | 20097 Hamburg

ORACLE Deutschland B.V. & Co. KG
Hauptverwaltung: Riesstr. 25, D-80992 München
Registergericht: Amtsgericht München, HRA 95603

Komplementärin: ORACLE Deutschland Verwaltung B.V.
Rijnzathe 6, 3454PV De Meern, Niederlande
Handelsregister der Handelskammer Midden-Niederlande, Nr. 30143697
Geschäftsführer: Jürgen Kunz, Marcel van de Molen, Alexander van der Ven


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Re: OOo's Help

David B Teague-3
On 11/17/2010 7:46 AM, Uwe Fischer wrote:
> We know the search function in Help Viewer is not optimal.
> To say it politely.
> We have many good ideas how to improve the search, but
> unfortunately we do not have resources to do the hard work
> of coding. Volunteers are very welcome.
Granting all you say about OO.o's help, I think OO.o help
still beats the out  what I recall of Microsoft's manuals.
MS' manuals appear to be for the raw beginner, but if you
have anything hard, the manuals don't get there. That isn't
true of OO.o's help.

Kudos to the documentation team.

--David



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Re: OOo's Help

Robert Derman-2
David B Teague wrote:

> On 11/17/2010 7:46 AM, Uwe Fischer wrote:
>> We know the search function in Help Viewer is not optimal. To say it
>> politely.
>> We have many good ideas how to improve the search, but unfortunately
>> we do not have resources to do the hard work of coding. Volunteers
>> are very welcome.
> Granting all you say about OO.o's help, I think OO.o help still beats
> the out  what I recall of Microsoft's manuals. MS' manuals appear to
> be for the raw beginner, but if you have anything hard, the manuals
> don't get there. That isn't true of OO.o's help.
>
> Kudos to the documentation team.
>
> --David
Actually David, you are being more generous to M$ than they deserve.  M$
is another of those companies like Dell and HP who used to do much
better than they do today.  Windows 3x and Windows 95 came with nice
thick informative manuals.  Win 7 comes with something that it would be
generous to call a leaflet.  I went to their Win website to see if I
could download something, and I found nothing.  By using Google, I
finally did manage to find a manual for Win 7 by M$.  But you should not
have to jump through hoops to get a manual.  OOo also needs to do better
in this.  I still say that there should be a users manual right in the
download package.  And to keep it to a managable size, it should be in
ODF format not PDF and it should be formatted 8.5x11, not 5x7.  Also it
should be edited down to no more than 100 pages so that the end users
might actually decide to print it on hard copy.  It would probably be
best to just touch lightly on the modules other than Writer, telling the
user where to go to download seperate manuals for Calc, Impress, Draw,
Base and Math.

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Re: OOo's Help

Barbara Duprey
On 11/17/2010 1:27 PM, Robert Derman wrote:

> David B Teague wrote:
>> On 11/17/2010 7:46 AM, Uwe Fischer wrote:
>>> We know the search function in Help Viewer is not optimal. To say it politely.
>>> We have many good ideas how to improve the search, but unfortunately we do not have resources to
>>> do the hard work of coding. Volunteers are very welcome.
>> Granting all you say about OO.o's help, I think OO.o help still beats the out  what I recall of
>> Microsoft's manuals. MS' manuals appear to be for the raw beginner, but if you have anything
>> hard, the manuals don't get there. That isn't true of OO.o's help.
>>
>> Kudos to the documentation team.
>>
>> --David
> Actually David, you are being more generous to M$ than they deserve.  M$ is another of those
> companies like Dell and HP who used to do much better than they do today.  Windows 3x and Windows
> 95 came with nice thick informative manuals.  Win 7 comes with something that it would be generous
> to call a leaflet.  I went to their Win website to see if I could download something, and I found
> nothing.  By using Google, I finally did manage to find a manual for Win 7 by M$.  But you should
> not have to jump through hoops to get a manual.  OOo also needs to do better in this.  I still say
> that there should be a users manual right in the download package.  And to keep it to a managable
> size, it should be in ODF format not PDF and it should be formatted 8.5x11, not 5x7.  Also it
> should be edited down to no more than 100 pages so that the end users might actually decide to
> print it on hard copy.  It would probably be best to just touch lightly on the modules other than
> Writer, telling the user where to go to download seperate manuals for Calc, Impress, Draw, Base
> and Math.

Maybe start from the "Getting Started" material? I'd include fairly good coverage for Calc as well
as Writer, though -- between them I think they'd cover the majority of the audience quite well.
Sounds like an interesting project, I'd be willing to tackle it myself.

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Re: OOo's Help

David B Teague-3
In reply to this post by Robert Derman-2
On 11/17/2010 2:27 PM, Robert Derman wrote:

> I still say that there should be a users manual right in
> the download package.  And to keep it to a managable size,
> it should be in ODF format not PDF and it should be
> formatted 8.5x11, not 5x7.  Also it should be edited down
> to no more than 100 pages so that the end users might
> actually decide to print it on hard copy.  It would
> probably be best to just touch lightly on the modules
> other than Writer, telling the user where to go to
> download seperate manuals for Calc, Impress, Draw, Base
> and Math.
Thanks. A manual of that dimension would be great. And at
least there should be a pointer to a manual that is as you
describe. As most folks don't use the other modules except
for perhaps Impress, so there should be a page or two on the
other modules and a pointer to real manuals. But I agree
whole heartedly with the sentiment you express.
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Re: OOo's Help

RA Brown
On Wed Nov 17 2010 16:40:18 GMT-0800 (PST)  David B Teague wrote:

> On 11/17/2010 2:27 PM, Robert Derman wrote:
>> I still say that there should be a users manual right in the download
>> package.  And to keep it to a managable size, it should be in ODF
>> format not PDF and it should be formatted 8.5x11, not 5x7.  Also it
>> should be edited down to no more than 100 pages so that the end users
>> might actually decide to print it on hard copy.  It would probably be
>> best to just touch lightly on the modules other than Writer, telling
>> the user where to go to download seperate manuals for Calc, Impress,
>> Draw, Base and Math.
> Thanks. A manual of that dimension would be great. And at least there
> should be a pointer to a manual that is as you describe. As most folks
> don't use the other modules except for perhaps Impress, so there should
> be a page or two on the other modules and a pointer to real manuals. But
> I agree whole heartedly with the sentiment you express.
>

ODT and PDF versions of all users manuals are available from
http://www.oooauthors.org/  , a wiki version is available at
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/ .  You will need
to scroll down a little  to see the users guides but they are there.

HTH
Andy


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