In computer science, help authoring stands for writing technical documentation such as an application help file, online manual for a web service, or a printed manual for a device. However, for a technical writer who works on documentation, help authoring involves many different processes such as:
Thus, it is obvious that a technical writer should have certain writing and instrumental skills including the ability to work with specialized software tools such as help authoring tools, image editing tools, screen capture, and screen recording software.
Below you will find general information on help authoring, step-by-step instructions on creating a help file or manual, specific pages on HTML Help (CHM) and Web Help systems, and also information on documentation tools that you can use for your own project.
If you are a beginner technical writer, you can visit our step-by-step instructions explaining how you can create your first help file using a help authoring tool.
In addition, we have prepared a checklist that you can use to control the quality of your help files and manuals by providing well-structured and clear documentation, so your users will be able to find a solution to a specific task or issue easily.
If you need to integrate a help system with your application, you can find the articles for developers below. Also, you can see our list of online communities where you can discuss questions with other professionals.
If you a looking for a help file tool or related tools such as screen capture and screencasting applications, you can find a quick overview of some popular products.
To help you select a help authoring tool for your documentation project, we have also prepared a list of features that you may need to complete your project.
You can download one of the recommendable help authoring tools that combines a rich feature-set, slight learning curve, and affordable price.