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Part: 2 Get with the Program > Surviving Without Documentation - Pg. 143

143 Chapter 15. Surviving Without Documentation In This Chapter · Fake your way through any program without a manual · Pinpoint specific information in a help system using its index · Get immediate help for the task you're trying to perform · Get late-breaking information about your programs Worst case scenario: You get a program, and there's no documentation. None of your friends know how to use the program, and the local bookstore doesn't have a book on the topic. What do you do? The following sections provide some tactics for dealing with such situations. Although they won't work for all programs, they will work for most. Fake It with Online Help Not so long ago, software developers gave you a book with your new program--some real docu- mentation that told you how to enter commands and do something useful. Nowadays, you're lucky to get a pamphlet with installation instructions. In some cases, you get a CD and that's it--consider yourself lucky if you get a jewel case for it! More and more software companies are cutting expenses by reducing or eliminating printed docu- mentation. As a replacement, they provide the instructions through the program's help system or on special files that you'd never think of looking at. In most cases, you just open the Help menu, click Contents and Index, and then follow a trail of topics till you find the answer. The following sections show you how to navigate standard help systems.