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Inside Macintosh: Apple Guide Complete / Part 1 - Designing Guide Files

Chapter 2 - Authoring Tips and Suggestions

The best guide files are those that provide the user with a consistent and clear interface. This chapter provides tips and suggestions on how to develop this consistent interface in your files. You should read this chapter if you need to plan, design, and write content for a guide file. If you are scripting a guide file or developing code for it, you should also be familiar with this chapter.

This chapter assumes that you are familiar with the Apple Guide features described in Chapter 1 of this book. You should also be familiar with the general guidelines for Macintosh products as described in the Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines.

The chapter describes the requirements for the different guide file types. It explains how to select an access window for your guide file and how to give it the proper look and content. It also shows how to design the guide file panels that contain your help instructions, including how to

In addition, this chapter describes how to use coachmarks to lead the user's attention to screen areas described in help instructions. It then explains how to use context checks to display help instructions more specific to the user's environment. Finally, it provides localization guidelines for translating your guide file into another language.

Chapter Contents
Designing Guide Files
Using Guide File Types
Showing Guide Files in the Help Menu
Designing About Guide Files
Designing Help Guide Files
Designing Tutorial Guide Files
Designing Shortcuts Guide Files
Designing Other Guide Files
Designing a Mixin Guide File
Designing Access Windows
Designing a Full Access Window
Designing the Application Logo or Title Area
Features for a Full Access Window With Topics Selected
Features for a Full Access Window With Index Selected
Features for a Full Access Window With Look For Selected
Designing a Single List Access Window
Designing a Simple Access Window
Designing Howdy Text on Access Windows
Designing Topic Areas and Topics
Designing Topic Areas and Topics for a Full Access Window
Designing Topics for a Single List Access Window
Designing Topics for a Simple Access Window
Designing Headings
Designing Panels
Panel Features
Designing Panel Prompts
Designing a Default Prompt Set
Overriding Default Prompts
Using the Recommended Panel Formats
Designing Your Own Panel Format
Using Graphics in Panels
Formatting Panel Text
Providing Navigation Methods on Panels
Designing Panel Types
Designing an Introductory Panel
Designing a Decision Panel
Designing an Action Panel
Designing an Information Panel
Designing a Tip Panel
Designing a Definition Panel
Designing a Related Topics Panel
Designing a Transition Panel
Designing a Closure Panel
Designing a Panel Associated With a Huh? Button
Designing an Oops Panel
Designing a Continue Panel
Designing a Sequence
Designing Branches
Designing Branches for Mutually Exclusive and Related Tasks
Designing Branches for a Specific Condition
Designing Buttons
Designing Navigation Buttons
Designing Content Area Buttons
Using Standard Buttons
Using Three-Dimensional Buttons
Using Radio Buttons and Checkboxes
Designing Hot Text, Objects, and Rectangles
Designing Coachmarks
Using Coachmark Types
Using Coachmark Styles
Using Context Checks
Comparison of Oops and Continue Panels
Analyzing a Sequence for Context Checks
Evaluation of Context Checks
Designing for Localization
Planning for Expanded Text
Translations for Apple Guide Phrases
Graphics and Buttons
Sequence Display Titles
Context Checks

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© Apple Computer, Inc.
12 JUL 1996

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