People only remember so much so in a set of instructions, keep it to the minimum. The oft quoted example at presentations on this subject is where most users will understand a certain term but you know some will not. Put the extra information for novices into a dropdown. That way they do not clutter things for the experienced person who needs the help for some detail but the information is available for those who need it.
As to what is in them, whatever works best. Screenshots are fine, often dropdowns are used to include a screenshot so that the minimal text is in the topic but the screenshot is available for those who need it. "Show me the screen"
From another forum, "As little as possible, as much as necessary."
If you are using dropdowns, you might want to consider a single button to expand / contract all of them. That overcomes the point you raise of clicking each one and also means the information is there if the user wants to print a topic. How to do that is covered on my site.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips
Thanks, Peter! I'll pass on this information to my team.
On an unrelated note, perhaps you can help me with something else? I've created style guide, which I publish in .chm format. I recently found out you can add a Favorites tab (great for writers to save links to important entries). However, I can't find information about how to maintain/import those Favorites when a new version of the .chm file is distributed (like when you upgrade Internet Explorer, it brings in all your old Favorites). Should I be publishing to another format, such as WebHelp or Adobe Air instead?
Lead Technical Editor and Writer