This pages contains links to articles and information that has been written by Info Action's owner, Colin Dawson.
Please refer also to our our Case Studies page.
Issues you should consider when Selecting a service provider for documentation, help or other information projects.
Benefits of embedded help for web applications (pdf file). In collaboration with Dr Ray Archee (University of Western Sydney), Info Action performed user testing to evaluate the merit of embedded help in web applications. Two near-identical test sites were created, one with conventional menu help and the other with menu help and embedded help. The test results indicate strongly that users engage more often with help when embedded help is provided. See the full test results in the PDF (this paper was presented by Colin Dawson and Dr Ray Archee at the STC annual conference in Las Vegas, 2005). Info Action developed the web application used for testing in this research. We have a simple and efficient help authoring process for embedded help in web applications.
Becoming a Technical Communicator (pdf file). All you need to know about working as a technical communicator - skills, training, types of work, remuneration.
Perspective Illustrations in Corel Draw (pdf file). An explanation of perspective illustration, with steps for producing an illustration using Corel Draw. This article was published in Keyword, the journal of the Australian Society for Technical Communication (NSW) (http://www.astcnsw.org.au).
Graphic Formats (pdf file). A guide to using different types of graphic file formats.
Effective use of Contract Communicators (pdf file). How to get the most from employing a contract technical writer - common sense, but not necessarily common practice. This article was published in AuSTCom, the journal of the Society for Technical Communication (Australia chapter) (http://www.stc-aus.org.au/).
Using JavaHelp (pdf file). An explanation of JavaHelp as a format for on-line help: why you would use it, issues surrounding its use, and relevant resources. This article was published in Keyword, the journal of the Australian Society for Technical Communication (NSW) (http://www.astcnsw.org.au).
Link to CHM files without grief (zip file, contains VBScript, PDF, CHM and setup files). An ActiveX "OCX" file that can be used for much easier and more flexible cross-references to and from CHM help files. Supports linking by file name or ID, linking to arbitrary file type (e.g. PDF, text, doc), and can be used with relative paths. Cross references are constructed with natural syntax - no more grotesque "IT Store" syntax! Zip contains demo files ready to test and a detailed readme file explaining usage. The OCX file must be installed on each user's PC. It is freeware. Note: the OCX file enforces branding. By default this is "Info Action" branding. You can purchase a small encrypted file from Info Action for AUD$20 to apply your own branding (and a base path for all cross references if you wish). You can use the free IAVerify program to read any encrypted file to verify the owner's name and the base path. Use the Contact page of this site to ask about payment options and required information for an encrypted file.
Verify an encrypted ShowHelp file (zip file, contains PDF and setup files). A small program that can be used to extract the person name, company name, date and path from an encrypted IAShowHelp file. This is to protect you against unscrupulous usage of an encrypted file to set an unexpected path. This file is freeware.
Custom Robohelp files (pdf file). Step-by-step explanation of how you can overcome RoboHelp annoyances for WebHelp (cross-browser HTML) format. Includes removing the gratuitous "Powered by RoboHelp" logo, exclude topics from full text search, and more.
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