Writing Tools Series

Microsoft Expression Web Help

Topic status automatically displays here - do not remove.

Bookmark me!Bookmark this topic  Print me!Print this topic

By Colin Ramsden, October 2006.

The Expression Web help is a curious new looking trim version of HTML based help, presumably by now using the Microsoft Help technology developed for the dotNET framework.

Expression Web Help 

It displays new look icons and tooltips—presumably similar to (if not the same as) the new Windows Vista (2007) look. The help window structure has been rearranged:

Each help topic appears to be minimal and tightly focussed, resulting in short chunks of relevant information, not requiring much scrolling to view it. This is otherwise known as "chunking", where the information is broken down into its smallest possible sizes or chunks. These chunks are liberally sprinkled with links to other chunks, apparently leaving the formation of the bigger picture up to the user to try and piece together.

I don't know if this works well, or better than before, but my initial attempts to locate specific information resulted in minimal finds. For example, I searched for "tutorial" and had no results, so presumably, there's no tutorial in the Expression Web help. I searched for "Frontpage" thinking it might describe an upgrade procedure or contain a comparison topic, equally to no avail.

I displayed and expanded the TOC to gain an overview of the help contents. It does appear to detail how to use the dialogs and individual functionality of EW, but not contain introductory or conceptual explanatory topics.

Clearly, MS have deliberately provided only the minimum necessary in the product help. That must be by design, however, I'm cynically inclined to believe that the design was to minimize development expense. That leaves plenty of room for aftermarket third-party tutorials and books.  

See Also

Jump across to site home page Lotech Solutions' Tips, Tricks, and Procedures | Jump to separate topic The Future Of FrontPage | Jump to separate topic Expression Web Designer 

Back to Top

Who am I? > find out more