What other technologies do Technical Authors and developers use from 1997?

Did you know the compiled Microsoft HTML Help format was launched back in 1997?

In 1997, you’d be using Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 4. Microsoft was buying a $150 million share of a financially troubled Apple Computer, and the first colour photograph appeared on the front page of the New York Times.

Apple in 1997

Almost 15 years on, this format has, apart from a few very minor updates, remained unchanged, and today, it is still the primary format for delivering online Help.

It’s possible to publish online Help in more present-day formats, using Help Authoring Tools such as RoboHelp, Flare and Author-it. These offer Technical Authors opportunities to be more innovative in their approaches towards assisting users.

So why are so many Technical Authors still using compiled HTML Help? Is it so good that nothing else can beat it? Or is there a reason why they haven’t moved onto other formats?

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