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Learning ClarisWorks

ClarisWorks has a fantastic and easy-to-use overall feel. However, the basic frames and links concepts and a number of details require study before you can use them effectively. Here’s an overview of ClarisWorks’s help tools.

The online help can be found by typing command-?, looking under the Apple menu, or in balloon help under System 7. The online help is OK, and emphasizes examples over exhaustive reference. Its context-guessing feature is nicely implemented. I found myself referring to it far more frequently than any other source of help.

HyperTour – this stack is a good starting point, and allows limited trials of some features. It’s far too simple-minded to be of serious help to anyone but a novice user.

Documentation – There are three manuals – but no reference manual. "Getting Started" is an excellent tutorial linked to sample documents included in the ClarisWorks distribution disks. The "ClarisWorks Handbook" is a user’s guide to each tool, with task-oriented directions about integrating the tools. The "Communications Handbook" is a separate user’s guide for the communications tool and the Apple Comm Toolbox.

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