The world is awash in training and instruction manuals. I’m guilty of creating more than my fair share. It doesn’t take much to create a manual of any kind these days. Or, does it?
Most manuals are smallish books or booklets, filled with images, step-by-step instructions, details, a table of contents, perhaps a glossary or appendix. When you think about it, a good manual is priceless. Try this Mac app on your next project.
Word, Pages, Or Something Else
Manuals can be nothing more than a dozen page booklet thrown together in iWork’s Pages. Drag and drop images, photos, re-arrange elements on a page, and save it as a PDF.
Voila! A manual is born on your Mac. Easy, right?
Not so fast. Manuals come in all shapes and sizes and Mac users can choose from many different manual creation tools. Like The Three Bears, some are free, some too expensive, and some are just right.
I can’t really blame anyone for using Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages to create a training or instruction manual on a Mac. Both are competent, albeit different, tools. One is loaded with far more features than most manual makers need. The other is a state-of-the-art drag and drop QYSIWYG mini-publishing app.
Both have a hefty price tag, and neither actually focuses on the specialized requirements that building a manual entails.
Keep It Simple, Manual Maker
For a lot less money, myManuals is a Mac app that throws away all the word processor tools you don’t need so you can focus on those manual features you must have. That results in a manual that goes together quicker, simpler.
Take a look at these screen shots. What you’ll see is simplicity personified. Create the manual page-by-page, step-by-step with Body, Header, Footer in each page.
Anyone who can use a Mac can use myManuals to build an instruction manual. The app starts with 10 attractive templates, which you can adapt to your needs, but you can also build your own.
Unlike some word processors used to create a manual, myManuals even allows annotations on inserted images. Steps in the manual can be arranged via drag and drop. Images can be dropped into the header or preface page.
One of the highlights of using myManuals is exporting documents. A PDF manual is created with a single click. Ditto for an HTML manual which can be placed on the web, and includes hyperlinks.
Styles can be changed with a click. Table of contents can be generated with a click. If you want to get really geeky myManuals provides customizable HTML and CSS code for web page manuals.
Why us a Mac app designed purely to create manuals? What’s wrong with Word or Pages (especially if you already have one or the other, and know how to use it)?
Therein lies the beauty of the right tool for the job.
myManuals takes word processor functions and features—but only those needed to help you create manuals quickly and easily. All the basics are there—Body, Header, Footer, Preface, Table of Contents.
All the standard Mac functions are there, too.
Drop in images. Import text. Templates. Auto save.
Ability to embed video clips (for HTML web-based manuals). Step-by-step page management. Exporting as PDF, RTFD, Word, or XML files.
Finally, the option to save a manual as a standard PDF or an HTML web-based manual make it a no brainer for a business or organization that needs manuals but doesn’t want to hire someone to do create manuals full time.
myManuals means you save money on the up front cost (vs. Word, or Pages, or InDesign), and save more on the hourly cost because manual production is faster.