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On 06/24/2015 12:58 PM, 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.


I can only speak for myself, I don't know what others do, but for programs
or devices that require documentation, I download the pdf file and print it
out, and put the document into a 3-ring binder dedicated to that application.
I would sincerely hope that the file would have an excellent index. I am much
more comfortable with paper documentation that I can have in front of me
while I am looking at the program on screen, or the physical device.

As to LibreOffice, I gave up on it some time ago. The program is far too
complicated for a word processor. I believe that it attempts to be a desktop
publisher, and I am not looking for that kind of complexity. It hardly compares
with something like WordPerfect or TextMaker (from SoftMaker), either of
which is much more transparent to the user.

If I had to guess, my guess is that most people trying to use LO do not know
about finding help under the F1 key. In my experience many (but not all) programs
that claim to provide help do not answer the question that brought the user to
the help screen. Either the help documentation is too sparse, or it is poorly
indexed, or perhaps both. I do not speak for LO, as I don't normally use it,
and I am one of the people who never knew about the F1 key. I would not go back
to LO anyway, because of its unnecessary complication.

The one instance where I find LO useful is its capability of reproducing
graphic material cut and pasted from some online site, so that the material
can then be printed out with the graphics. This, of course, does not require
any editing, so avoids the complication.

In spite of my dislike of this particular app, I hope my comments in answer to
your questions have been helpful.


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