Software Help – When User Manuals Fail

One of the biggest problems with software manuals, from a tech support point of view, is that they are not designed to be helpful in troubleshooting. Take a look at product manuals you have received, and flip through them to see how helpful they would actually be.
Instruction manuals are meant to do just that, instruct. Software companies assume that you will dutifully ready through their instructions from beginning to end before attempting to use their programs. That’s not how it works. No one uses them like that.

There are of course a number of sections they include to help guide you through if you choose not to read the manual linearly.
Table of Contents – This least lets you know how the manual is classified and can give you a broad range of pages in which you might find the answer you are looking for. Glossary – Gives you a list of popular terms and on which pages they are used. Glossaries, however, are only helpful if you happen to know the exact term that relates to the problem you are having. Troubleshooting guide – Are actually organized according to problems you may encounter, but have you ever noticed how stupid most of the problems they troubleshoot are? If you have ever flipped furiously through a software user manual, or scrolled through a support forum yelling that, ‘that’s not what I’m trying to do,’ then you might want to consider getting software support from a tech support service. User manuals are written by technical writers and are meant to be as concise as possible, which rarely works in your favor.

Tech support specialists, on the other hand, talk directly to you, will listen to the problems you are having and the processes that are bringing them up, and help you through the process of troubleshooting. Software help can include installation and configuration of new programs, customize your user preferences and even help you with the basic operation of the software program.
The software support you find in many tech support service plans covers Microsoft support, word processing, spreadsheets, photo editing, video editing, and email programs. Essentially if you double click on it, it’s covered. And unlike brand specific software help, comprehensive tech support can help you out even if the problem with your program is caused by another program altogether.

Robert Morris a Microsoft Office expert has been working in the technology industry from last 5 year. As a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as

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