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Here are my responses.

1. I seldom look at the PDF documentation. Mostly I find what I need through the F1 key, and also because I forget it's there until I go searching for an answer online. I'll also go to the PDF when I'm trying to understand an entire concept (like styles, which still are winning the battle).

2. I use the F1 key all the time. I came to LO after using Windows since it was created and F1 is the first thing I do to get help on any program. It's nice when it's context-sensitive, but just going to the built-in help is sufficient.

3. Most of the time I'm using any documentation it's via the F1 key (or the menu equivalent, if I already have my fingers on the trackpad) and I'm usually coming from a spreadsheet, looking for the parameters for a specific function. This is one of the few areas where in my experience MS Office is actually superior to LO; in MSO the functions are grouped better for ease in finding what you're looking for (arithmetic functions, logical functions, etc.). In the LO help you often have to know what function you want to use, even if what you're looking for is what function fits your current need -- like having to know how to spell a word before you can look up its spelling in the dictionary.

4a. Some have suggested videos. Personally, while I have no trouble with either my vision or my hearing, I hate the trend toward doing everything on videos. They take longer than reading, they annoy other people in the office, and usually they're not the best choice for what I need at the time. They might be useful for longer topics (like those blasted styles), but not for syntax questions, for example.

4b. My preference is for a manual's information to be available locally. I'm not always in a location with Internet access, and sometimes I turn off my modem because I don't want any new mail downloaded (I have 18 mailboxes to manage, and if I close the email program before I check them all then the new messages are no longer flagged as new; unread isn't a sufficient status).

Thanks for asking for our input. I've rewritten seven sets of bylaws for various organizations, so I don't envy you and the rest of the volunteers on this project!

Dave Liesse

On 6/24/2015 09:58, dallen wrote:
Hi All,

    I'm an experienced Technical Writer beginning work on LibreOffice's
documentation, but I have some questions for LibreOffice users:

    1) Does anyone EVER look at the pdf documentation? If not, why not?
    2) Does anyone EVER click the F1 key for help? If not, why not?
    3) Do you see any overall issues concerning the documentation?
    4) If the presentation of the documentation were to change to make it
more useful, what would it look like?

Thanks for anyone's help.


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