View Full Version : Best way to write a manual (pdf output)

12th March 2006, 04:07 PM
I need to write a manual for a hardware device that I've developed. It's not a consumer device, but rather a device that will be used by scientists (at this stage).

Basically I need to have something written as a PDF so that everyone can read it ok, and so it can be printed without formatting worries.

The manual doesn't need to be overly complex or detailed, but it does need to be well laid out and obvious. I need to insert some pictures into it as well. What program could do the job best?

12th March 2006, 04:14 PM
Pages, probably!

12th March 2006, 04:19 PM
Anything that's free? I've got MS Office, but for some reason (bitter experience, perhaps?) I don't trust Word to output to any format other then it's native .doc.

12th March 2006, 04:32 PM
I'm using MS Word for Mac 2004. It provides the facility (Under File>Print) to make a .pdf of whatever I might have compiled. I've used the option a number of times, and sent it to colleagues, and it works fine. I also understand OSX gives the option to make a .pdf of a file but I don't know the exact procedure.


12th March 2006, 04:57 PM
Aha, that's exactly what I wanted. It amazes me that Word for Mac is better/nicer to use then Word for windows.... it's just mind boggling really.

I've tried to steer away from Office except for when I really NEED it (I need excel quite often for work/scientific stuff), but Word isn't as bad as the Windows version, so I might stop being so negative about it.

In what ways is Pages comparable to Word? How do they differe exactly?

12th March 2006, 05:11 PM
Yes, you do know how to use the OS X feature, that's what you just explained. It's not a word feature, it's an OS X. You should be able to print to a pdf file from any application, using File>Print and selecting the pdf icon at the bottom left of screen.


12th March 2006, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by forgie@Mar 12 2006, 05:57 PM
In what ways is Pages comparable to Word? How do they differe exactly?
They are both word processing applications however Pages is more of a Desktop Publishing Program like MS Publisher. It has really good templates for newsletters, reports, cards, etc. For presentation, Pages can make publications look much more professional. It is slightly limited for some word processing features and I don't use it for normal use.

There's a free trial I think you can download if you wish to give it a try.