Press Release

Tuesday, November 3, 1998 < Prev Next >

Future Visio Products to Utilize AnswerWorks Help Technology

Natural Language Interface Offers Smarthelp Capabilities

SEATTLE, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ — Visio Corp. (Nasdaq: VSIO) today announced that it has licensed WexTech System Inc.'s AnswerWorks technology for use within future versions of the Visio® product line scheduled for shipment in the second half of 1999. AnswerWorks technology, a development system for adding an easy-to-use, natural-language interface to the standard Help and HTML Help functionality built into Microsoft Windows, will offer Visio users the ability to pose written questions to the Visio Help system that are phrased in everyday language. Visio expects that the incorporation of AnswerWorks technology into its products will result in faster, easier and more accurate access to the Visio Help system.

"We take great pride in developing the best and easiest-to-use business diagramming and technical drawing software that dramatically impacts users' performance and productivity," said Ted Johnson, co-founder and chief technology officer at Visio. "AnswerWorks will give Visio users the ability to pose questions about using Visio products just like they'd ask a Visio power user sitting in the cubicle next to them. Getting accurate answers with a minimal amount of effort means greater drawing productivity, which is what Visio is all about."

WexTech's AnswerWorks complements Visio's best-in-class development strategy by allowing the company to create smarter Help systems, which make it easier for users to find the information they need. AnswerWorks' index-building engine analyzes a Help system and creates a linguistic image that describes the content of every sentence, storing words in root form along with information regarding the word use in context. AnswerWorks' automatic handling of synonyms and morphology — the changes in a word's form depending on its use in a sentence — are among the most striking differences between AnswerWorks and full-text or keyword searches.

"It's gratifying to have an industry leader like Visio take advantage of AnswerWorks technology," said Steve Wexler, WexTech's founder and president. "WexTech is committed to developing technology that makes applications and Help systems smarter. Help has come a long way from the days of pressing the F1 key. With AnswerWorks and our newest product, HelpXtender, we're leading the charge in elevating Help to the level of a true electronic performance support system."

About WexTech

WexTech Systems Inc. is one of the industry leaders in Windows Help and HTML Help technology. Its flagship product, Doc-To-Help Professional, is used by thousands of Help authors worldwide to develop sophisticated Help systems and commercial-quality printed documentation from a single, easily maintained source. WexTech is also the author of "The Official Microsoft HTML Help Authoring Kit," Microsoft Press' official guide to understanding, creating and migrating to HTML Help. For more information on WexTech Systems, call 914-741-9700 or visit

About Visio Corp.

Visio Corp. is the leading supplier of enterprisewide business diagramming and technical drawing software, with an installed base of over 2.5 million users worldwide. Founded in September 1990, the Seattle-based company pioneered the drawing and diagramming software market with the release of Visio 1.0 in November 1992 and has since released additional Windows-based graphics applications that offer users a unique and effective way to communicate and work. Visio's powerful product line is becoming a worldwide standard for graphical solutions in business, with the support of partner programs and third-party relationships in key market segments. Visio products are available in as many as 11 language versions and are sold in more than 40 countries.

For more information about Visio Corp. and its products, customers can contact Visio at 800-24-VISIO (248-4746), ext. 93W, or visit the company's website at

NOTE: Visio is either a trademark or registered trademark of Visio Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks, trade names or company names referenced herein are used for identification only and are the property of their respective owners.