It's been about 10 months since we started publishing Office Visual How-tos (VHTs), which is a compound content type, mixing a short how-to article, code samples, and a video of that code sample in action. The wealth of this content type is that you can watch a quick video to visualize how a feature works and then you can read conceptual information and grab a code sample. We also provide a list of related resources for further reading and learning.
Here's a sample VHT: Setting Conditional Formatting in Excel 2007 and here's a pointer to a blog entry where I explained the project in detail. I am happy to share that we have published more than 100 VHTs. We have been lucky to have well-known MVPs and experts collaborate with us and contribute with some VHT. A few names come to mind: David Gerhardt, John Peltonen, Ken Getz, Patrick Tisseghem, Ted Pattison, Joel Krist, Steven Hansen, and many other Microsoft programmer writers and product team members.
Another interesting fact is that the VHT content plan attempted to cover most relevant developer features of the different 2007 Microsoft Office system products, servers, services, tools, and technologies. We worked very hard to cover as many MOSS, WSS, Office Core, Office Client, and VSTO code samples. I pulled some numbers from our editorial calendar this morning to track the distribution of available VHTs by product and here's how content looks like today:
The Office Developer How To Center provides a list of available VHT by title. Because we have so many articles to promote, it's getting hard to list all on the MSDN Office Developer Center. To help a bit with discoverability, I built a quick html image map to help you find VHTs by product. Just use the image below and click the product name to go to the MSDN Library node where we list all VHTs by product.
We are interested in getting your feedback and comments. You can rate the articles and send comments using the Click to Rate and Give Feedback link located at the top right corner of the MSDN Library. We have a system that helps us track comments and ratings for every technical article and content asset living under the Office Development node of the MSDN Library. We hope you find this content useful and if you find errors in code or broken links, please let us know so we can fix them! Feedback is always appreciated. In fact, here's a few nice comments for VHT content that we pulled last week:
- "Great example of simple but hard to find technique."
- "Super video - short and precise :)"
- "Thanks for the lovely article...!!!!!! You people have solved my greatest problem"
- "Thank you for this! It's the first article I've found with all the required information needed to create associations and is also in a readable format."
- "It was an awesome Video which helped me out a lot!!"
- "Great content, bridging IT concepts and Dev experience."
- "This is great in learning Office 2007"
- "Haven't tried it yet but this is EXACTLY what I was looking for!"
Finally, some people would like to have the videos available in Zune and IPod format, so we will start looking into this soon.