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Thread: BW 7 Manual?

  1. #21

    Default

    I started with version 6, thought the manual was great, but then never used it. For both v6 and v7, the video tutorials were by far the most helpful, and I use the online help (which is also very good) for more detail. For things that I need repeatedly, such as search syntax, I have printed it out (all five or six pages), so I've not missed the printed manual in version 7 one iota.

    As a developer myself, I understand both the importance of enduser documentation and the need to balance that importance with cost and accuracy. I would not want to maintain to lines of documentation for anything. Actually, I don't like maintaining any documentation. But I'm glad y'all do such a good job of it!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    181

    Default Get familiar booklet?

    Though I have used previous version manuals, I have just scanned them cover to cover. Then I would use the index, sometimes with my own additions, to find what I need. I also save a few printed articles from the Topica day or this forum as extra information.
    The program enhancements throughout a version are incredible. I keep my copy up to date. But I remember using a school, multi-user computer that just had the original version 6. I then appreciated how much had been added over the life of version 6. And none of those features were in the printed manual.

    Perhaps a suggestion: A small fold sheet or a small booklet to alleviate the initial confusion. Even whole computers and software packages today come with no or very little manual. But most come with a basic sheet or booklet to calm the fears and jitters and help someone get started. I know most of this is covered in the initial videos and help upon first running the program. But a basic screen layout with lables, directions for a couple basic uses, and how to get to the training videos and help file may do it. (Your advertising brochure, reworked and simplified a little to look like a "getting started" booklet that would fit in the box.)

  3. #23

    Default

    It sort of does this. There's a sheet to help you get it installed (if you really need it), and the first screen to appear when you launch BW is a "Getting Started Screen" which takes you to the most important videos or help topics.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    838

    Default

    There are a lot of good ideas here and we'll discuss them internally. Lots of things are posible, including bringing the manual back. But do keep in mind that the printed manual would be the same as the online help, except that the bitmaps would be redone at higher resolution and the text would change to change, for example, hyperlinks to "see page so and so".

    One thing that we would appreciate is suggestions on how we can make the online help more useful. I know a lot can be done in that regard.

    Mike

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MBushell
    Lots of things are posible, including bringing the manual back. But do keep in mind that the printed manual would be the same as the online help
    I haven't received a printed manual to a single major program in years. The whole mass of software develoment has moved to an electronic help format, and it's only going to increase, i.e., printed manuals are going to continue to go out of style until there's no such thing.

    I would hate to see BW put more important issues on the back burner in order to produce a printed manual when printed manuals are a thing of the past.

    If you want to improve the online help file, one area you might concentrate on is in the printing capabilities since this has been mentioned quite a bit.

    Davka, for example, has a section under its help menu for "printed manual" wherein you can access its manual by chapters and print each one out. This is how Davka distributes its manual, by the way -- in its help file, not with a printed manual.

    So perhaps BW could enhance the online help printing capabilities in some way, but investing time and money in a printed manual is something I would vote against. It isn't needed. It's a luxury that has seen it's day, and the online help is not only more than sufficient, it's smarter, smarter in time, smarter in money, smarter in functionality, since it keeps changing.

  6. #26

    Thumbs up Printing the oneline help

    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos
    If you want to improve the online help file, one area you might concentrate on is in the printing capabilities since this has been mentioned quite a bit. Davka, for example, has a section under its help menu for "printed manual" wherein you can access its manual by chapters and print each one out.
    I think Scott's on to a useful solution here. It would satisfy me I think.

    Dale A. Brueggemann

    כִּי עֶזְרָא הֵכִין לְבָבוֹ לִדְרוֹשׁ אֶת־תּוֹרַת יְהוָה וְלַעֲשֹׂת וּלְלַמֵּד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל חֹק וּמִשְׁפָּט (Ezra 7:10)


  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I, too, was slightly disappointed not to find a printed manual with BW7. Reality is, though, I rarely used it with BW5 & BW6, favoring the online help and videos.

    Speaking of the videos, what I really miss are the mouse click and typing sounds!

    I'm enjoying getting to know BW7. It opens fast and is one of the most used programs on my computer. I couldn't imagine Bible study and sermon prep without it.

    Alan

  8. #28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wezlo
    What did you use to create this PDF?
    I used the trial version of this program http://www.theta-software.com/chmtopdf.htm It's 99 EUR. I tried several such shareware programs but this one did the best job. It's still not perfect. Most of the internal hyperlinks don't work (the links from the top to a detail area in the page), but the table of contents works very well and you can search the text.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos
    I haven't received a printed manual to a single major program in years. The whole mass of software develoment has moved to an electronic help format, and it's only going to increase, i.e., printed manuals are going to continue to go out of style until there's no such thing.
    The fact that something happens does not make that thing a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos
    It isn't needed. It's a luxury that has seen it's day, and the online help is not only more than sufficient, it's smarter, smarter in time, smarter in money, smarter in functionality, since it keeps changing.
    A number of few posts here would indicate otherwise. It isn't needed by you, but it is needed by others. As has been discussed here multiple times, on-line help and printed manuals serve two completely different needs, and one does not suffice for both.

    Vince

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MBushell
    I have read comments from disgruntled users for some 15 years (that's how long we've been in business) and I have to admit that this is among the unkindest that I have heard posted on a public forum.
    And inaccurate to the point of misrepresentation of fact. There's certainly oodles (technical term) of value in the upgrade from a content perspective, and I don't know what "major" bugs everyone is talking about, but I've been happily using BW7 since it was released (after having used it "in production" for the entire beta cycle), with nary a hiccup.

    And when there are bugs, any "major" ones (and many minor ones) are addressed within a day or two. Where else does that occur on Planet Earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by MBushell
    We will certainly reconsider this decision, but I have to tell you that strident comments like this make us a lot less likely to change. Reasoned suggestions from people who appreciate the program and realize how valuable a tool it is have a lot more weight.
    The latter should be true, the former should not. An unreasoned (and unreasonable) comment is still a comment, and with any attack (perceived or real) you should determine if anything's useful and throw out the rest, but you shouldn't throw out the whole thing just because it was an attack, on this or any other issue. God's messengers (not implying he was or wasn't) don't always have a calm, smooth voice.

    Bibleworks as a company and a product are among the best in the business. On the PC, there is no competition, IMO. For all of BW's UI quirks, it is still a Shining Star next to it's competitors (any of them, and I've used them all). It is fast, both in startup and MUCH more importantly in use. The command line is a brilliant way to do quick searches (which I'd like to see become even more brilliant, but that's like the difference between Hawking and Einstein).

    Most important, BW as a company has about the highest integrity I've found in business anywhere, not just in this industry. So, if you're reading about BW for the first time, read all of the threads here, not just that one comment. And don't look for the problems (all software has them, and that's the reason 99% of people post here in the first place), look for how fast the problems are resolved.

    Vince

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